July 20, 2017
How To Bring Rhythm Into Your Home Office Environment
Working remotely or having a home office seems natural for most independent contractors and freelancers. It easily cuts down on operating costs related to your business and eliminates the annoyances of commuting to work or office drama.
Of course, working from home does present its own challenges. As a business owner or freelancer, the more time and effort you put into your business the better chance you have of growing your brand and expanding your portfolio. However, there’s no physical boss looking over your shoulders and making sure you’re completing your work or scolding you for showing up late. It’s up to you to be accountable for the time you dedicate to your business.
Here are five tips that introduce rhythm into your home-office setting and ensure you stay focused and motivated throughout the workweek:
1) Set Your Alarm to A.M.
One of the great advantages about working from home is creating your own work schedule. However, sleeping in until 10 a.m. or later can potentially throw your timetable off and cause you to work more (or less) than the standard eight-hour workday. Of course, some designers, writers, or other creative entrepreneurs work better at night—everyone is different—but if you’re contracting work for businesses that operate from 9 to 5, it’s better to make yourself available during those hours incase they need to touch base on a project or perhaps they need additional work completed.
2) Dress for the Office
You may feel more comfortable in sweatpants and a t-shirt when working from home, but you run the risk of letting that “comfortable” and “relaxed” feeling influence your “at-work” mindset. Dressing for the office doesn’t mean wearing a suit and tie; it means making the switch from pajamas to daytime clothing. When you dress for the day, you’re telling your brain it’s time to get up and get to work—not to relax and watch music videos all day. Remember, you’re “going” to the office—it just happens to be located a few feet away from your bed.
3) Keep an Agenda
Creating a “to do” list sounds old fashion, but it’s a simple way to keep you organized with ongoing projects, client meetings, and deadlines. Having an online calendar is useful, but sometimes using a notebook or printed calendar allows you to physically cross off each item, giving you a feeling of accomplishment. In addition, if you plan out your week, you can integrate your own business goals when free time is available. Let’s say one week you have less client work than usual. Instead of working shorter days, why not plan to work on improving your own brand, such as updating your website portfolio, learning new tricks of the trade, or contacting potential clients for future projects.
4) Create a Work Station
Whether you like to work at a desk in a study room or the kitchen table so you’re closer to the fridge, find a working station that best suits your needs and keeps your mind from wandering. This isn’t to say that you can’t move to the couch or pack up your laptop and head to the library or nearby coffee shop. It only means that you must create one designated area in your home or apartment that is solely for work purposes.
5) Schedule in Breaks
If you’re staring at a computer screen for most of your day, it’s beneficial to step away for a short time and allow yourself a fresh perspective when you return to work. Make sure you give yourself time to go outside or stand up and stretch for 15 minutes. This will help you circulate more oxygen to your brain and keep you in a healthy state of mind for the remainder of the day.
Try incorporating one or all of these tips into your home office environment and share your experiences with us on social media! Remember to stay tuned for more tips from Clokendagger.