The opportunity to work from home can be a dream come true: no time spent commuting, no sitting in traffic, and the flexibility to work wherever and maybe even whenever you want. However, some people find it difficult to maintain a high level of productivity while working at home, and others find that the isolation causes depression, which is bad for both their personal and professional life. The following tips are proven to help people who work from home maintain their sanity, their happiness, and their productivity.
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1. Get Up and Get Dressed
It might seem like fun to work in your pajamas, but the reality is that people are more productive and have higher self-esteem when they don professional clothing. Research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology indicates that wearing a lab coat or a doctor’s coat increases sustained and selective attention. They call this “enclothed cognition.” Dressing for work, even if you work at home, increases your attention to the tasks at hand, your efficiency and your productivity.
In addition, you will likely feel better and ready to face your day if you rise, shower, and dress in the morning. Staying in jammies all day is a great thing to do now and then on a day of rest, but is not conducive to being productive.
2. Have a Separate Office Space
Students are often advised not to study in bed, because we associate bed with sleep. Therefore, when we are in bed studying, our minds think we should go to sleep. This causes some students to get less done if they study in bed.
To be productive while working at home, it is best to have a dedicated office or office space. If it is not a separate room, it could be the corner or area of a bigger room. When you are in your work area, you are working. When you are not in your work area, you are doing something else. If you live with people other than young children, they should understand that when you are doing your work, they should only interrupt you if it is important.
3. Create a Schedule
When you have flexibility, you can set your own schedule. This is different than having the flexibility to do things whenever you want. For example, if you are a parent of school-age children, you likely want to set your working hours while the kids are in school. Whatever schedule works for you, do your best to stick to it. You will find you are more productive when you set up a structure for yourself.
It may help you to keep track of what you do all day for a couple of weeks. Be honest; for example, if you get a personal phone call and end up talking for half an hour, write that down. The insights gained from examination of your daily activities may help you refine your schedule.
And don’t forget to see people and get some sunshine when you are not working! In the end, focusing on work during work time and play during play time will keep you sane and healthy. Sounds easier than it is, but worth all the effort.
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