7 Tips on How to Work from Home with Productivity
Is Work from Home a dream job for you? If that’s what you’ve been thinking, you may want to restructure your thoughts about this highly demanding and overwhelming job. Especially when you are a mom to either young kids who cannot contemplate that you are still doing ‘work’ on that laptop albeit with that messy hair and Yoga pants; or tweens/teens who whine about you not being available for any help or guidance. And let alone having a dream job, productivity then becomes a dream to chase.
Today, we have Rachna Parmar, an accomplished blogger, editor & entrepreneur to share with us 7 of her most effective tips to work from home with productivity in this wonderful guest post.
I gave up my work-from-office job when I was expecting my younger son. I wanted to dedicate a couple of years to be around the new baby. Having a toddler with a newborn required a lot of juggling around and with no help except for the husband, those were trying times. But later, I became antsy to do some professional work. Every offer I got required a long commute and that deflated me. I could not leave two young kids and pursue a job that also required an additional two hours of commute. Yet, I wanted to work. Luckily, I had started blogging back then and started landing a few freelance writing assignments. Writing did not require me to be physically present at the client’s workplace. It was a huge blessing in disguise plus I got to work with people from all over the world. Working from home presented a number of challenges too.
To keep my productivity high and sanity intact, here are my tips to work form home effectively:
1. Set Work Hours
A lot of people have a glamorous image of those working from home thinking that they work when they want while being in their pajamas (okay, I do this). But this is really not true. I have a set routine for my work. I begin by 8-8.30 am. Take a break of half an hour for lunch and small breaks every couple of hours. I mostly wind work by 4 pm except for a client meeting or something urgent. This way I know how many hours I have for work and accordingly allocate my priority tasks and chores. I let my clients and friends know these timings so that they treat these hours as my work hours and do not expect me to be always available. My kids also know this and do not disturb me on their holidays.
2. Avoid the Urge to Spend Time Online
Despite working online due to the nature of my work, I keep the internet on my phone off. I also have notifications off, as I find them very disturbing when I am working. I do turn on the WiFi from time to time to quickly look at any important messages. I am mostly connected via email, phone call, Hangouts and Skype when I work. I also set up scheduled updates so that I avoid logging in and then getting engrossed in updates in effect ending up wasting time. This is very important when you don’t work in an office environment and are your sole censor.
3. Keep Enough Time for Friends and Family
Working from home does not mean that your work starts spreading across all hours. It can happen that way if you are not strict about planning your work time right. I always keep time in a day to spend with the kids and the spouse. Also catching up with friends and close relatives is something I religiously do. There is no need to become a hermit just because you work from home. Working from home can be lonely and you may miss the human contact. Hence, take time out each day to talk to people to make up for the missing human contact during your day.
4. Plan your Meals & Other Activities
I find it very calming that my breakfast is done before I start work. And so, I plan for my mid-morning snack and lunch in advance so that I don’t need to spend too much time over it. I also have a fixed time for my workout every day. These days I spend half an hour on my rooftop getting some sun. I use that time to read, that way doing two things at one time. It is important that when we are at home, we plan the other chores effectively so that our working time is more stress-free and is productive.
5. Have a designated Work Space
It helps to have a designated area from where to work. That lends a seriousness that professional work requires. Also some people swear by dressing up for work. Frankly, I don’t do that. But yes, Changing clothes is certainly desirable.
6. Take advantage of Weekdays
I find that doing groceries, a doctor’s visit or a parlor visit take much less time and are more peaceful when done during a weekday. I allocate time on lighter workdays to these activities. That way my weekends are less stressful, and I do end up being more productive with my time.
7. Take Care of Yourself
You can sometimes take time out to catch a stray movie, coffee or lunch with a friend. The best part about working from home is that there is a flexibility in scheduling your work which helps you accumulate some free time for yourself. Don’t forget that you are also saving on commute time daily. So use this time to pamper yourself. This is your way of recharging yourself.
These pointers have helped me work very satisfactorily from home to achieve that elusive work-life balance and also be a hands-on mother. I would love to hear your thoughts about working from home effectively.
Rachna Parmar is an Editor of an award-winning corporate blog, Money View Blog. She is also a multiple award winning Parenting & Food blogger. You can catch her writing at Rachna Says & Rachna Cooks. Rachna is also a web columnist who has featured in top portals like the Huffington Post & Women’s Web. She is mum to a tween, teen & a Labrador. She counts reading, writing, cooking, fitness & watching legal dramas among her hobbies.