I’ve been working from home for the past eight years and I couldn’t be happier about it. I love the flexibility of creating my own schedule. I love having a creative and productive space that I designed for my specific entrepreneurial and creative needs. Sometimes I work from my home office, sometimes I work at a local coffee shop, and sometimes I head into a co-working space. However, working from home can come with it’s own unique challenges. These five tips have made my experience of working from home an excellent one.
Get out of your pajamas. Every. Single. Day.
Working from home means that you can easily go days without seeing anyone that doesn’t live with you, if you so choose. It also means that no one will notice if you are wearing your pajamas. There is nothing wrong with wearing comfortable clothing while you work (my uniform of choice is normally yoga pants) but it’s important not to get in the habit of sleeping and working in the exact same outfit everyday. Taking the time to get dressed and get ready for your work day will help signify the change from rest time to work time.
Getting proper rest is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Often times, entrepreneurs prioritize every aspect of their lives over sleep, not realizing the damage that this can do on their overall health. Even if it seems like you are operating well without sleep, it will eventually catch up to you and can wreak havoc on your health. Take the time to get the recommended 7-9 hours every night. Your body and brain will thank you for it.
Eat well and stay hydrated.
It’s easy to get caught up working on a project and look at the time only to realize that you worked straight through lunch. The body and mind need sustenance throughout the day to operate at their maximum potential. Be sure to have healthy food throughout your work day and plenty of water. If you need to, set timers to remind yourself to get up, stretch, and have a healthy snack.
Connect with friends.
Working from home can feel lonely sometimes, especially for those who spend most of our time behind a keyboard and computer screen. It’s important to befriend other freelancers, small business owners, and remote workers who understand what it’s like to work from home. It’s also beneficial to take a few breaks throughout the work day to interact with loved ones. It can be as quick as a series of short text messages to a more involved lunch break. Remember that if you worked at a regular job, you would have some time every day to interact with co-workers so there is no reason to feel guilty about taking the time to connect with friends during your workday. In fact, those personal interactions and breaks from work will help lower your stress levels and make it easier to concentrate when you are focused on work.
Do something creative.
Many of us who work remotely have careers that enable us to be creative on a daily basis. However, creativity is a muscle and it’s important to vary your workout. Try something outside of your comfort zone. Do something you have never done before. Engage in an activity that you know will be a complete challenge. Not only will it be potentially enjoyable and stress reducing, you most likely will find growth and inspiration in stepping outside of your specialty.