Work from Home Tips

I’ve been working from home for over a decade largely as a disability accessibility thing & some people have asked me for tips. (Disclaimers: I’m a natural introvert and have no children.)

  • Set up a work space that is for work. Do not do other activities in it until AFTER you have mastered work-from-home.
  • Set up a schedule for when you will be working and write it down. Share the schedule with others in the house and make sure they know to respect your work-time boundaries.
  • Set up some transition / cuing activities that start your work / rest blocks; for example, by closing a door, turning on music, just small things but ones that can become habitual indicators. BUT–very important!–do not start your day or use as a start-work cue anything that is distracting and engaging (e.g., no TV, fun reading). Example: I start my day by going through my work email.
  • Write down your goals for each work block or day. Yes write, on paper. So that you have to stare at them. And they stare back at yoooooo—
  • External accountability – Share your goals with others for accountability, even if it’s just a FB post to no one who cares. Imagine the SHAME when you don’t deliver LOL
  • Internal accountability – Track your hours on paper. After over a decade of working from home I did this last year and was surprised by how much time I was wasting; I cleaned it up but have kept up with hour tracking for personal accountability so I can SHAME myself when I don’t work enough LOL
  • But, seriously, don’t feel guilty for having the extra flexibility. If you’re creatively stuck and really do need to give up for an afternoon and go for a long walk, or just absolutely have to run to the bank (or, please, drive-through ATM!) during the day, it’s okay–it’s a benefit of working from home. You’ll make up the time some other day when you get into flow and don’t realize you just worked through dinner. In other words, don’t pressure yourself to hold office hours so hard that you start resenting and hating work (or your home!!! no toxic spaces!).
  • Make boundaries and track your rest time too. It’s easy to be distracted by non-work things when you should be working, but also easy to be distracted by work things when you should be resting.
  • It’s okay, while working, to stop and pet the kitty. It’s not okay, while working, to stop and uncork that bottle of wine. Just sayin’…
  • Enjoy your reclaimed commute time!

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