Seven Tips to Keep Your Home Office from Being a Hamster Wheel!
(3 Minute Read)
Chase Your Dream
When you are working at home, the line between work, family, and play can be blurred. To keep this from happening, surround yourself with items that remind you why you are doing what you are doing. Keep your dream and focus and you will function better on a daily basis. For some new “home workers,” shaving and other regiments fall apart. Don’t let your dreams fall with them.
Make a List
Make a to-do list. Write down what you have to do. The written list will clear up prime mental real estate. Keep the list in your phone, hang it on the wall by your desk, or stick it to the refrigerator with a magnetized photo of your cat. But make sure it is visible and handy. The list will remind you of your obligations and it will remind you that you do have things to get done even though you are in your pajamas.
Deal with Tough Stuff
Home can be full of distractions. It makes it easier to hide from the hard tasks. When you have something that you really do not want to do, but you know that you must do it, put it on your schedule. Set aside time to finish the task by treating it as an appointment with yourself. Every time you schedule something and then get it done, you will be one step closer to being the quintessential home office King or Queen.
Make a Time Plan
Sit back on Sunday night and look at your weekly schedule. Look at your to-do list and calendar. Schedule your tasks and phone calls at set times during the week. Evaluate how long you think each task will take and block your time accordingly. This way, the tasks will have definitive start and end times. This way, you will find extra time to entertain your distractions, like learning to play the guitar or learning to speak Portuguese, when your work is done.
When you schedule appointments, create buffer zones. For those who have never worked at home, you will find that travel time is not a luxury anymore. So, create travel time. Give yourself a window before major appointments or zoom meetings to go get a cup of coffee or wander around the house in your slippers to get your blood flowing. Think of the walk from the coffee maker back to your bedroom desk as travel time.
Just because you’re working at home, it doesn’t mean you are a prisoner in your house. Create a distinction between work time and pleasure time, period. Schedule time to actually go play the piano, put together a puzzle, do a crossword, or learn to bake gluten-free cranberry raisin muffins. Whatever it is, find ways to keep your brain stimulated so you don’t feel trapped, because you are used to the stimulation of social conversation at the office. Keeping your focus on the computer monitor all day will turn your brain to mush. Stimulate your mind.
Even the laziest of us walked from our cars to the office or up the stairs to our office. Walking from your bed to the coffee maker is not exercise. Remember to make time to take care of you. As your body exercises and works out, your mind becomes clearer. Sitting at your desk and trying to imagine something new is nowhere near as productive as getting up and moving around. Get that blood flowing and grow your imagination.