I started working from home more than five years ago, and I concluded from my experience with a set of advice that I wished someone had given me at that time; Therefore, I intend to present to you in this article some of them, to help you facilitate your remote work.
1. Set up a custom workspace:
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is all the distractions like: your family, your pets, and your kitchen.
For this reason, it is very important to have a dedicated workspace, so if you have a separate home office space, this is ideal; But even if you don’t have it, you can manage it with a desk or small table.
The purpose is to use a room, where you can close the door and find a little bit of solitude. Is this not available in your home? So buy a new pair of noise canceling headphones, or order some earplugs.
2. Schedule the work time:
The control your schedule gives you is one of the best things you do while working from home, but it is easy to run out of time or energy when working without a good structure in your workplace.
If you are like me, your brain often works better in the morning after a cup or two of coffee. But you may choose to start your day with an exercise or personal tasks, and then focus on work in the afternoon or evening. And with a little time and practice, you can discover which method works for you.
Downtime is just as important as scheduling, and the worry at home is the intermingling of work and personal life, where you feel like you are always “on”; This can be very unhealthy.
To help yourself with this, choose a time in advance to “take off work,” even if the stopping is just a simple mental pause, as it helps provide the part
3. Schedule a time for focused work as well:
In addition to scheduling your general work time, you should also schedule time for focused work; In other words: work without being distracted by email, other instant messages, or constant notifications from your phone.
I do this by scheduling what I call “work with the head down,” meaning focused work that requires deep thinking or flowing, and ranges from 9:30 to 12:00; Meanwhile, I turn off my notifications and focus on the task at hand.
4. Use ‘break time’ for email and meetings:
If you spend your prime time on focused work (deep work), when should you respond to emails and hold meetings?
I myself like to spend about 20 minutes early in the morning reviewing emails, but only respond if it’s urgent. Otherwise, I respond in the afternoon, as it gives me time to think carefully about the messages I read in the morning; Which often leads to better responses than if I had answered right away in the morning.
Regarding the meetings, I also try to postpone them to the afternoon if possible; But if they are very important meetings and require a lot of mental focus, I will postpone them until the morning, and schedule meetings on certain days, as the organization helps me do more throughout the week.
5. Take appropriate breaks:
There is a lot of research out there indicating that humans do better by taking short breaks between bursts of high activity. But, how long should you work before you take a break?
The answer depends on a number of factors, as people differ, and the tasks we work on also differ.
I have found that if I am working on a highly focused task, I will begin to experiment with what the famous Hungarian psychologist (Mihály Csíkszentmihályi) describes as “the flow”; That is, when I am confined to this type of task, I can work continuously without even thinking about taking a break to eat or drink, or even use the bathroom.
Although, when I’m working on simpler tasks, like trying to get rid of a bunch of emails; I take frequent breaks, the purpose is to make sure that you take time to rest your mind and body.
The break for five to fifteen minutes will make a difference, as will the perfect lunch break. And don’t forget to keep a glass of water on your desk, to help you stay hydrated.
6. Go for a walk:
Never underestimate the power of walking.
Sometimes walking around your house is enough to get over the problem you’ve been stuck in, but the best thing is to walk a short distance outside, of 10-20 minutes. The combination of fresh air and different landscapes helps an exceptional flow of creative ideas in your mind.
7. Stay in touch:
Good relationships are built on good communication. Although I try not to be deeply immersed in email and instant messaging, these methods are still very useful for staying in touch with colleagues and maintaining these relationships.