Internet accessibility makes it easy for us to take our work home, and pop in at the office only when needed. When you work from home it can be all too easy to blur the lines between work-life and home-life, which can not only kill productivity, but can also make you feel like you never get a break from work. So here are five top tips to separate business and pleasure.
1. Create Boundaries
When working from home it can be easy to just take the laptop into the living room and do a bit of work while watching the TV, but this generally means things will take twice as long to do as you’re not giving any task your full attention.
So create boundaries, set up an office in the spare room or take over another room and use it solely for work purposes and shut the door when you’re at work – this not only blocks out external noise and distractions, it also lets anyone else in the house know that you’re working and are not to be disturbed.
And once the boundaries have been set, make sure you, and anyone else in the house, sticks to them.
2. Keep Your Equipment Handy
Once you’ve created your office space, try to ensure that any equipment you need to use, including computers, telephones and printers, are all kept in the same area – if any of these are in another room you’ll find yourself leaving your work space and leaving yourself wide open to any number of distractions.
3. Don’t Procrastinate
Procrastination kills productivity – if you start thinking too hard about a task you’ll invariably end up taking forever to get anything done, that’s if you get it done at all.
And procrastination can lead your mind to wander and see you putting off your work to do any number of menial tasks around the house from making enough cups of tea to keep a football crowd quenched to cooking a full dinner for the whole family.
4. Get The Conditions Right
We all work best under different conditions – some require complete silence, while others go mad unless there’s at least a little background noise. And while some need office space to be completely minimalist, others can’t work in anything less than (slightly organised) chaos.
So make sure your surroundings make for a stimulating work environment – and if you’re easily overstimulated, stash things in draws or out of sight and just keep any essentials to hand.
5. See The Light
Although it may be out of your hands, if you can choose a space to work in, try to pick one with as much natural light as possible it only takes a little natural light to elevate your mood.
And letting in natural light usually means you’ll have a view of the outside world and taking a look outside every now and then can help to refocus the mind.