Working from home sounds like a dream, right? While it has its perks, it can be hard to stay focused and productive. When I began my real estate career, my biggest learning curve was managing my time at home. I struggled to stay on task; household chores, the latest episode of my favourite Netflix show, picking up the kids, dishes and laundry piling up etc. So, to take control, I sat down and created a plan. I would like to share it with you.
Making the Perfect Home Office
Ideally, this would be a designated room. If you don’t have an unused room, a quiet nook is second-best; ideally something with natural light.
Staple home office components and tools:
- Work station/desk
- Comfortable office chair
- Storage for work-related materials –ensure privacy and security are considered for personal and confidential corporate or client data
- Blue light glasses –your eyes will thank you!
Those Who Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
Planning your day ahead of time is essential to your productivity and success. Going into the day without a schedule is sure to result in a lack of productivity and lots of thumb-twiddling. Write out your day’s to-do list the night before. Whether in a notepad or using one of many online tools, there are plenty of options to suit your style.
Lunch Time at the Home Office
Make your lunch the night before. If you were at an office you wouldn’t take 20-minutes out of your day and make lunch, so don’t do it at home. Make sure your meals are light. If you’re eating steak and mashed potatoes second half of the day is likely to be spent in an extended nap.
If you are in the same boat as me and have your kids home for the summer, distractions are inevitable. With the right planning, we can lower the number of times this happens. Just like for yourself, make their lunch the night before and have readymade and accessible snacks for them to grab. Create a schedule for them, schedule play time, screen time, arts & crafts, etc. and have everything easily accessible.
Whenever I make or receive a work call, I get up and walk around while on the phone. This helps to wake you up and get moving while staying productive. When you can, take a field trip. Go to a local coffee shop, grab a coffee and set up your laptop. This will break up the monotony of the work week.
How to Dress in Your Home Office
Dress for success! Have a morning routine; get dressed, do your hair, treat it the same as if you were leaving the house. If you’re working in your pj’s, you won’t take yourself seriously, if you look good, you feel good!
Lastly, only do work activities during the work day. The dishes and laundry can wait. Would you run upstairs to throw in a load of laundry at the office? No, so treat your home office as you would your workplace. A simple task may only take a few minutes, but add up all these simple tasks over a week’s period and you have lost half of a day!
Schedules will become your lifeline when working from home. Come up with a plan that works for you, and you will see your productivity skyrocket!