My home has been my office for more than 3 years now.
What Iíve learned is that it requires structure and self-imposed rules.
These are my five favorites.
#1. Use a timer.
Yes – I am all about my kitchen timer to keep me focused on a project and section off my day.†I discovered yet another reason to use one when youíre working from home and deeply involved in a project on deadline. It reminds you to stand up and get away from the desk.
Sitting too long, I have discovered, can lead to swollen ankles. Of course, so can standing up for too long.
#2. Try not to work in your pajamas past 9AM.
It sounds like a good thing. And God knows when it is a rainy, cold and/or snowy and bleak day with no outside appointments, it will sound like a brilliant idea and you are likely to succumb to the temptation and not listen to this advice.
But I will tell you anyway – getting dressed does set the tone for the day.
It makes a statement if only to you and the Universe that you are serious about working – even if getting dressed only means changing out of your pajamas and putting on yoga pants.
#3. Exercise daily.
My advice is the earlier the better. When in the corporate world I would get up at 5AM to make sure I got my exercise in before the day started. I knew if I waited until lunchtime or after work, chances are it would not happen and when given the choice at the end of the day, a glass of wine would always win over the gym.
I experimented with alternate times when I left. It seemed a bit silly to get up so early when my commute time had now dwindled to the three minutes it took me to get from my bed to the living room. I even went through a phase where I thought exercising as a lunch time break was a good idea. I was wrong. So wrong. I discovered If I didnít exercise early – I probably wouldnít.
Exercise is critical for sanity and health. Even more so when your home is your office. Or is it your office is your home?
#4. Get out of the house.
Some days this is harder than others. I have been known to intentionally not keep coffee in the house so I am forced to leave it.
It really becomes a challenge when itís raining sideways or youíre so focused on the project youíre working on and you donít want to waste any time with something so frivolous as fresh air. But trust me, you need it! Lack of exposure to sunlight leads to Vitamin D deficiency. Not to mention the sanity factor!
#5. Schedule in FUN.
If youíre like me when youíre into a project and on deadline – self-imposed or otherwise – youíre harder on yourself than any boss you have ever worked for – anywhere. And trust me – Iíve worked for some All-Stars.
But you MUST include fun in your day. And I mean schedule it in as you would any other appointment.
People who have never worked from home imagine that fun is a given and much more readily accessible than when you are beholden to a corporate power. In one aspect- they are right. I really love what I do, so I am always having fun. Like right now.
But the fun apart from my work – the real ďplayĒ time – if I am not consciously scheduling that in – it doesnít happen. And if it doesnít happen the work is never as good or as easy as when I do.