This post is brought to you by Kate Mackay from Invigorate Wellness
Working at home can be convenient, fun and support you in living a flexible lifestyle. But, it’s not always a dream. There’s still the matter of getting motivated and stuck into your work, deciding where in the house you will set up shop (if you don’t have an office) and then there’s the potential boredom and / or loneliness that creep in from having a one-woman show.
Here are three scenarios that perhaps you can relate to, and strategies to help you work around these situations and get you more motivated and productive than before.
SCENARIO 1: Your Business and Home Life are Jumbled Together
You might be thinking: “My house feels messy; the lines between work and home are blurred. Where and how do I draw the line or create structure or boundaries?”
Working at home can be exhausting if you don’t set up any structures, rules or boundaries to help you achieve balance in your life. When you don’t know how or when to effectively stop working this can harm your family relationships. Not having a system to manage your time can make you feel like you’re always lagging behind in your work or feel plain out of control.
While we could continue to break this example down deeper and really explore the area, here is one strategy to help you create boundaries and structures to separate work from everything else:
Strategy: Segregate rooms in your home and use rooms only according to their purposes
How to implement:
- Decide on your core place of work in the house. If you don’t have an office or study, choose a location that has a table and chair. If possible, a room with a door or that is separated from the rest of the house.
- Avoid the lounge room; your back needs the support of a table and chair (sorry comfy couch!) and the TV might get a little too tempting. Avoid blurring the lines of work and rest.
- Do your absolute best to keep the bedroom free from work. You want to create a sense of complete rest in the rooms not used for work.
- If you are fortunate enough to have an office or study, set up a section of the area to motivate and inspire you into action. Get creative and consider making a vision board or put up a few inspiring pictures or quotes.
- Inform your family / those you live with about your strategy to segregate your work from home life. Explain utilising one key area of the house for work. Sharing your goals can boost your chances of success and can provide support in implementing changes.
SCENARIO 2: Work / Life Balance has gone out the Window
You might be thinking: “I don’t have specific work hours, so I feel guilty when I’m not working. I feel like I should be working all the time.”
It can be a confusing feeling. Perhaps you’ve had a day where you felt you weren’t very productive, so you decide to continue working that evening. You may not have created a specific start or end time for work. And, to make it worse, you end up thinking about work and wishing you were home working when you do get out to spend time with family or friends.
Strategy: Set your work hours and create a general schedule (if you don’t have one)
How to implement:
- Realistically, what hours are the best and most conducive for you to work? Are you working around crèche / school hours? What is achievable?
- Factor in your other responsibilities. Consider housework, errands, children’s activities and other commitments. This is about being real about what is possible.
- Keep in mind that QUALITY is more important than QUANTITY. Keep your work hours productive, rather than trying to reach a number of hours per week.
- Note down your “must do” tasks for each week and work them into a generic schedule that you can work along to. This gives you a chance to be absorbed in one task at a time and avoid multi-tasking or wondering which task should come next.
SCENARIO 3: You’re Feeling Bored and Isolated Working from Home
You might be thinking: “I’m sick of being at home all day!”
Working at home has a lot of perks, but also has its downsides. Maybe you’re used to being around people and now you spend a lot of time at home alone. Maybe you’re starting to feel isolated and lose motivation, which can impact on your productivity levels. It’s time to bring a sense of balance and creativity.
Strategy: Schedule regular escapes to change up your work environment
How to implement:
- Consider how often you’d like to change up. Dedicate one day a week to working outside the house.
- Know another friend who works from home? Why not plan days to work at your place or theirs? You’ll have company for the day and someone to bounce ideas off.
- Hunt for your best local café that caters for business owners like yourself. Look for a place with good Wi-Fi, good power outlets for charging your electronics and a relaxed atmosphere that will let you work away in peace for a few hours without the pressure of having to buy 10 coffees.
- Consider checking out some co-working spaces nearby. These spaces can be affordable, sociable spots to connect with other business owners and get you into a new environment that could spur on creativity and ideas.
Working from home can be fun and productive when you have some good systems in place to keep you motivated. Have a great, productive day and get in touch if you’ve found these tips useful! I’d love to hear your work from home success stories!
Kate Mackay is a health & wellness coach at Invigorate Wellness with a passion for helping business women & entrepreneurs get energised and productive in their businesses & lives through building healthy lifestyle habits.
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