I started my first business in 2006 after completing an internship at an antique shop. It wasn’t until 2016 when I transitioned to freelance writing that I began working from home full time. I had some experience working from home, but I always had another place to work on a full or part-time basis until that point.
This type of work setup seems ideal on paper, but it isn’t for everyone. Procrastination and distraction can turn what is a good thing into a seemingly endless struggle to get things done. I had to learn how to get used to working from home to make the most of this opportunity. Here are a few things I learned along the way.
Get into a productive morning routine.
When I first started working from home, I got up at a different time every day, and no two mornings looked alike. Little did I realize, my productivity was at an all-time low because I didn’t prioritize the start of my day. Work would get done when I felt like it, but this encouraged laziness.
This schedule (or lack thereof) worked fine for a while until I got a dog. My dog jump-started my morning routine, and I didn’t realize until I had one in place how much better my days went overall. Now, I get up at 6:30am every morning without an alarm clock to feed my dog. Then I eat breakfast, open the blinds, take a shower, GET DRESSED, and start my day with routine work tasks like answering emails.
Working from home tip: Get a dog.
Make it a priority to look your best.
I used to think you only had to look presentable for other people, so I wouldn’t get fully dressed until I had a meeting or other social plans. Eventually, working in pajamas every day caught up with me, and I felt like a slob mentally and physically.
Around the same time I got a dog, I also got into the routine of taking him out for walks. This somewhat forced my hand to look a bit more presentable (again, for other people).
Without setting this as my intention, I realized that putting on pants and shoes benefited me mentally and in turn, made me more productive at work. Now, I make it a priority to look my best to feel my best. This effort is for me (not other people or my dog anymore).
Don’t beat yourself up if you get distracted.
I used to be a box of complaints anytime I didn’t meet my work expectations. But how was that complaining serving me in any way? Let’s face it, when you work from home, you are going to have more distractions than if you work in an office. Try not to beat yourself up about it.
All that matters is this: you get the work done to the best of your ability.
I try to stick to a schedule, but I also give myself the freedom and flexibility to enjoy life. This added leisure time is one of the main reasons working from home is so beneficial for me. I try to remember that and keep things in perspective.
I’ll add more tips and advice as I think of it. These are the main things that helped me transition and learn how to get used to working from home. It’s had its ups and downs, like any job. But I hope I can continue this lifestyle and work format for many years to come!