Working from home can be an absolute delight. You’re flexible and you don’t have to ask anyone permission to take a break, have some coffee with a friend and do shopping when the caffeine kicks in.
But it can be an utter disaster that kills your productivity too, when you’re working from a house full of memories and distractions. It’s a place we associate with free time and it’s easy for you to become your own worst enemy. How do you keep your work life separated from your home life and how do you stay focused and productive? Here is a rundown of five things you should keep in mind.
> In need of some home office decorating tips & tricks? Check out this story
1. Clean house policy
As tempting as it might be, you can’t vacuum the floor, do the dishes, do laundry and clean up your living room during work hours. It works counter productive. Try and maintain a clean house policy, so you won’t feel tempted to clear up your mess. That said, It’s okay to clean during breaks (I would prefer doing something different, though). Read more about the best methods for breaks below.
2. Take regular breaks
Walk breaks are crucial. Research shows that talking with colleagues during walks increases your productivity. That said, you don’t have any direct colleagues when you work from home. A great time management method is the Pomodori Technique: set a timer for 25 minutes and take a five-minute break. Do a set of four ‘Pomodoris’, and have a longer break. There’s so much you can do in the five minutes in between!
3. Set up a specific place
Keep your work life separated from your home life and set up an office in a specific place. Working from a specific place only for work helps you psychologically. There’s always a spot:, even in a small apartment (I have a small office in my bedroom – no pun intended). Invest in a comfy chair, laptop stand, mouse, and keyboard. It doesn’t have to require a splurge.
4. Set goals
For the sake of your mental health, create a daily work schedule. Whether you start from 7 AM or 11 AM, try and set work hours for yourself and create boundaries. When you start, make a list of your to-do’s for that day. Didn’t make it to the end of the list? It’s okay. There’s a new day tomorrow.
5. Change of scenery
Sometimes, inspiration requires a change of scenery. Treat yourself to an office-away-from-home every now and then. Just because you can. All you need is good wifi, even better coffee and some comfy seats. Don’t forget to save your coffee receipts for taxes (tax deductions make life better – install the free app Scanbot and you’ll never loose those receipts again). We’ve listed our favorite work-friendly cafes and bars across Amsterdam here.
And whatever you do, do it well and protect your weekends!