For the last 3 years I’ve worked full-time remote from home in my lovely Cloffice. I find working from home to be a relatively rewarding experience and I find that I am still able to get a lot done (even with 4 home-schooled kids around).
Along the way I’ve learned some life hacks to working better with a 15 second commute.
- Work when you’re effective One of the biggest benefits of working from home is that you have a lot more control over your hours. If you work best at 5am, you don’t have to wake up at 3:30 to get ready and get going. If you work best at 9pm, you can still have a life and not be looked down upon for not being in your office chair from 9-5. Figure out when you work best and then work those hours.
- Have lunch away from your desk (with your family if you have one) I have lunch with my kids nearly every day. Sometimes I have meetings during that time and have to eat at my desk, but those are the exception and not the rule.
- Get dressed, have a shower. There’s some powerful psychology at work when you dress well even though you could be on an important conference call in Pajama bottoms. Showering and getting dressed does some positive things for your psyche and cues you in for the day.
- Let your family interrupt you (but have an indicator for when they should try not to) You are working from your home. Your family is there and loves you (much more than your coworkers, in all likelihood) – spend time with them. When your kids ask you for 5 minutes of your time… give it. When your spouse needs something done, do it. Enjoy that time. But also, when you need focused time, have a signal that is clear to them (a closed door, headphones on, a sign on your wall, etc) that they can see and not be rejected by you. Let them see that you need time to focus and then make the call to determine how important what they need is. This requires some mutual cooperation, but can be very rewarding if you can strike the balance.
- Don’t read e-mail first. It’s tempting to read your e-mail first to slide into the day… but if you can resist it, start with a difficult task and move on from there. E-mail will still be there, but if every day is eaten up by the tyrrany of the urgent, you’ll never get anything done.