I first started working from home over 4 years ago. I had just left my marketing job at a branding agency in Philadelphia and was starting out on my own, building my business.
At first, it was quite the adjustment. I went from being surrounded by people at my office job for 9.5 hrs a day to having full-on conversations with my dog Juno.
This is my first at-home workspace. I absolutely loved it.
By month three I was feeling a bit lonely and unanchored so I did some research on how to work from home. Most of the tips I read I found didn’t quite work for me. Like getting dressed as if I was going to the office. In fact, I found if I was dressed in comfortable clothes, rather than office clothes, I was less distracted by how uncomfortable I felt and was able to focus more on what I was doing.
Since then I’ve tried a lot of different routines and strategies to help make working from home enjoyable and productive and today I wanted to share with you what’s worked for me.
Don’t Get Straight To Work
You may think since you don’t have a commute you might as well just roll out of bed and right onto the couch to begin work. Whenever I’ve done that it’s made me more stressed out as the day goes on as I haven’t properly prepared for the day. Now I start my morning with an hour of reading and coffee before getting ready.
My workday is essentially broken up into two-hour time blocks. Choose when you want to start (or when you need to start) your work and from then on until the end of the day, look at it as just a normal workday. Only the scenery has changed.
Schedule A Lunch Break
It’s easy to forget to take a break when you work from home. That’s why I actually have a lunch calendar event on my google calendar that sends me a notification when it’s time to break for lunch.
If you’re going a little stir crazy then go outside for a quick walk (even just 5 mins). Not only does it help you get some energy out, but also helps to clear thoughts, eases anxiety, and sometimes I’ll find a solution to a problem I’m working on when I switch up my surroundings.
Choose An End Time
Just like when you leave the office for the day, the same thing happens when you work from home. Choose a time to log off and stick to it. Then proceed with your normal evening routine – make dinner, read a book, get ready for bed, etc.
The Bottom Line
Working from home is just like doing your normal work, only the scenery has changed. It will take some getting used to, yes, but give yourself time to adjust and some grace along the way.
Tell me: What do you find most challenging about working from home?