You might be new at this thing people call “working from home”.
You might be struggling to find a way to make this “working from home” work.
It feels weird. It feels different. It might even feel a bit uncomfortable.
But, in the end, it looks like remote work will become a REAL thing after all the mess humanity has been through in the past few weeks.
See, remote work will save both parties (employers and employees) time and money.
No more commute and no more cubicles.
Just each person doing their job from their homes.
And I can tell you it’s an awesome experience once you get used to it.
For the last couple of years, I’ve worked remotely on different kinds of projects. From creating sales funnels to managing product launches, from creating websites to offering 1-on-1 consultation.
And I’ve picked up some tips on how to make this “working from home” experience work best for me.
So today, I’m sharing my top 7 tips for not going insane while working from home.
1. Don’t work in your bedroom
Picture the following scenario.
You’re working with a bed behind you.
After a while, your bed starts whispering in your ears, “I’m here waiting for you. I’m super comfy. Sheets are ready. Pillows are as fluffy as they’ll ever be. The temperature is chilly – just as you like it. Take a quick nap… you deserve it!”
Back when I started working from home, I made the huge mistake of trying to work inside my bedroom.
Every time I came back from eating or fetching a glass of water, I was tempted to take a quick “power nap.” It was annoying, and, honestly, I did take too many power naps for a while.
Suddenly, I noticed my productivity dropped like a rock, and I had to drag myself to get things done. This lead to having tons of to-dos stacked up inside Todoist…
“I have fix this,” I said to myself.
And I did.
I decided to set my workspace outside of my bedroom.
Result: My productivity went back to its normal levels.
See, your environment influences you in ways that you cannot imagine.
Your bedroom, like or not, is a temple of resting and having sex. That’s it. That’s the association your brain has made.
Get your work outside the bedroom, be it in the living room or a spare room you might have.
This workspace must be comfortable enough so you focus, and work for longer hours – your bedroom is not that place.
2. Schedule your time like a boss
Perform a quick brainstorm of the things that you usually do during the day.
Those things go from washing the dishes to cleaning your home. From preparing your food to making sure your kids do their homework.
Just write down everything you can think of.
Now schedule all of those actions at specific times.
I suggest you schedule the hard stuff and the deep thinking for earlier in the morning. And to leave the rest of your tasks for when you feel mentally and physically tired.
Also, make sure to plan ahead your meals.
Pro tip: cook the meals in bulk (this is an awesome productivity hack).
And plan your day the night before.
This will give you a headstart every morning.
3. Don’t stay in your pajamas
It might sound weird to read this, but…
DON’T STAY IN YOUR PAJAMAS.
Make an effort to dress well.
Two reasons for this:
- You might have meeting lates in the day
- As stated before, your environment influences your mood – that includes your clothes
About that last point…
See, your brain associates pajamas with sleep. So, like it or not, working on pajamas could reduce your productivity.
Don’t debate me. Debate the scientist from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Their study suggests that people perform better when their clothing has a “symbolic meaning” to them.
For example, the attention of doctors increased when they were wearing a lab coat.
In your case, your working clothes already have a “symbolic meaning” to you – GET TO WORK!.
Guess what’s the symbolic meaning of the pajamas…
So use this knowledge to your advantage by using your work clothes while working from home.
4. Cook, eat the food, and clean the dishes right after you’re done
Your dishes will start pilling up sooner rather than later.
Don’t let this happen to you.
How? Eat, then clean what you used.
Simple, but effective!
Now, if you decided on cooking your meals in bulk, all you’ll have to do is reheat your food, eat it, then clean those dishes – less cleaning for you as you won’t be cooking often.
Why do I advise you to do this?
Sooner or later, that stack of dishes will become a burden, and you’ll start putting off cleaning it.
This will become a huge distractor.
By cleaning the dishes, you eliminate that pesky task from breathing down your neck.
5. Systemize your process
Everything you do can be done better and faster. Right?
Start documenting your workflows by writing down all the steps you take to complete the different processes of your business.
By doing this, you’ll begin to notice all the superfluous actions you take to move from point A to point Z. Once you detect these actions, remove them or substitute them with more efficient ones.
With time, your system will become more polished and you’ll discover that it takes you less time to complete your work.
If you’re struggling to document the steps of your workflows, brainstorm all the actions you take to complete your projects while disregarding the quality of what you’re writing. Your focus should be to achieve the maximum quantity ideas in the least amount of time – that’s the purpose of a brainstorm.
Later on, you can start moving things around and finding ways to make your things simpler, faster to execute and more efficient.
I bet you’ll be surprised to know exactly how you create things.
Wanna simplify the brainstorming phase? Use LucidCharts or Diagrams to start drawing your workflows.
6. Use the right tools for your system
We live in the future!
We have apps that help us communicate in real-time with whoever we want at the time we choose.
If you need to organize your projects, take a look at:
If you need to schedule meetings, here’s what you need:
- Calendly (I use this)
- Book Like A Boss
If you struggle with getting things done, block social media and news site using:
- Self-control App for Mac (I use this one)
- Cold-turkey for Windows and Mac
Learn how to take screenshots of desktop and add notes to them.
Learn how to record your screen and edit the video – perfect for creating simple tutorials and explaining yourself through video. Apps like Camtasia and Screenflow will help you with this.
If you’re looking for Video Conference solutions, these are some of the apps I’ve used:
- Whereby (my personal favorite)
- Google Hangouts
7. Take breaks – longer than usual
Working from home could become cumbersome for some people.
Most of the time, you’ll be by yourself and you’ll get bored of having nearly zero human interaction – besides the time you spend with your family and clients.
After a while, you’ll find yourself daydreaming and having to choose between working or hopping into your bed to take a nap.
Or maybe you’ll turn to the refrigerator every 5 minutes trying to find something new to eat – which I bet you won’t, because food doesn’t magically appear inside your refrigerator.
So I advise you to take longer breaks than usual.
Take your time to enjoy your home-cooked food.
Take your time to meditate.
Take your time to digest any new information you’re reading.
Take longer breaks.
And use the extra energy to put in the work.
Let me know which tip you liked the most and feel free to share this article with someone you think might need it.