Over this past year of freelancing I’ve found it’s all too easy to create a never ending to-do list, work late into the night (no, I’m not doing that right now…) and do all the things, all the time. It’s also easy to stay in your pjs all day, get sucked into Netflix and lose your motivation for days on end.
So here are my top 10 tips to keep from losing your mind when you work from home.
1. Create a schedule. It doesn’t have to be 9 to 5/40 hrs a week, but get to bed and wake up at a consistent time and make sure your schedule includes a couple days off!
3. Take an afternoon vacation when you just don’t feel like working – take a bath, go to the park, treat yourself to dessert. You have the ability to create your own schedule, so take advantage of it!
4. Say no to things you just don’t want to do – no excuse needed. People sometimes think since you work at home you have all the time in the world…nope, still have a full-time job.
5. Hire people to do the things you hate, but can’t avoid. For me, it’s cutting the lawn. Not work related at all, but it’s one thing I never have to worry about doing. For work stuff, a virtual assistant might be a good idea.
6. Have a space that is just for working. Lots of times I work from my couch or deck, but I’ve found if I really need to get down to business and am procrastinating I need to be in my office, at my desk. (Where I’m currently writing this from) It’s also nice to have a few workspace options at home if I’m feeling restless or unmotivated.
7. Work outside the house once or twice a week or start your day with a brunch/brainstorm session.
8. Get dressed or at least shower. I don’t always follow this one if I’m not planning to leave the house, but if I’m feeling stuck or lazy it helps to get ready even if I’m headed right back to my desk.
9. Process things in bulk. Go through your email three times a day, fill in spread sheets twice a week, fill orders once a day. This will keep your head clear instead of constantly attending to whatever is popping up.
10. Be done when you’re done. When you work for yourself there is generally a slight panic at the end of the day that you should keep working because there’s always more to do. Decide at the beginning of the week what needs to be accomplished and then plan your days. When you’ve accomplished all the tasks for a day, close up shop. Hard to do, but a habit well worth forming.