01. Wake up at the same time every day.

Naturally, my first thought is do I have to get up this early. Unfortunately, I am not a morning person, despite how much I would like to be. The thought of that morning run seems like a great idea the previous evening, and maybe one day I may get round to doing it. That said, the next feeling that kicks into my brain is excitement. I’m fortunate enough to love what I do and working with the people who share my passion. So No.1 of home working tips, is get your body into a routine by waking up at a consistent time. If you wake up at the same time every day it kicks off your automatic routine. In fact, half way through the thought of excitement, I am already going into auto mode, out of bed and into my morning my routine before I even realise it.

Do not pick up the phone in bed.

02. Have a routine when you wake up.

Now this might sound obvious, but it really does help getting things done most efficiently. No.2 of home working tips, and one major thing I avoid in the ‘waking up’ phase – DO NOT LOOK AT THE PHONE. I repeat, do not look at the phone.

If I do this, I can quite easily spend the next hour replying to emails, looking at the news, tweeting, reviewing linkedin, facebook…its just not worth it. If you must do this, set a very strict list of what you are going to do, why its imperative to do it first thing in the morning, and stop.

Dedicate a clear area to work in.

03. A separate area  is ideal— not always available.

If you are fortunate enough to have a room that you could dedicate to working, No.3 of home working tips is to use it as a separate space to work. It creates clear boundaries, which helps ensure you don’t get your head bitten off by your significant other or house at the dining table, or to be accused of being a bore by house mates, depending on your situation. With a seperate working environment comes working boundaries. Again, another reason why you don’t look at the phone while you are in bed. I repeat, don’t look at the phone in bed on a home working day.

In regards to the environment, I have had success when it is clean, has some greenery in it, and if you are not expecting to be on the phone every minute of the day, having some relaxing classical on a low volume in the background. This is not a definition of my musical tastes, but rather a way to ensure the mind flows easily. I find this works for me, so give it a try.

Have a clear cut off time.

04. Call it a day.

 

It’s very easy to keep working when you are in the flow as there is no clear cut off like there is a place of work. People start to leave, the vibe of the office starts to die down into an erring silence, with the last person to leave perhaps asking you to turn off the lights and lock the door when you are done. As you can tell, I haven’t worked in a corporate office environment for a while now! But they are important indicators that you do not get when working from home, as the environmental variables are not there. In the same way you get jet lag when the sun is up in another country, your body tells you that nothing has changed. So No.4 of home working tips is make sure you set a time, and try and keep to it.

Enjoy your downtime.

05. Life is for living.

Finishing for the day gives you time to focus on other areas that provide a fulfilling life. Friends, personal development, hobbies, sports. Working 100% of your life will not make you happy, regardless of how much money it gives you. There needs to be a balance, and while you can bank that time in lieu through busy periods, don’t do it too often. Even if you love work, just as I do, life experiences creep into it just as much as being a subject matter expect that helps others relate to you and what you are about. Lastly, No.5 of home working tips, is don’t forget to live your life outside of work!