Working from home sounds like a dream. But, if you can believe it, it isn’t always as wonderful as it would seem. Working from home presents a slough of challenges, from motivation to relationship problems. Some days you feel like you’re on top of the world, and other days, you feel like you’re in the rocking chair of insanity. After working from home through three Pacific Northwest winters, here are a few things I recommend:
- Keep hours – As a business owner, your work hours don’t have to be “normal people” work hours, but you must have some parameters for when you will work. Better yet, have some hours that you won’t work. If you don’t set up hours for your week, you’ll end up working all the time - at half your effectiveness. Work into the night as your mind allows, but be sure to set some time on Monday mornings to not open your computer. Maybe you don’t open emails past 7pm. Whatever it is, stick to it.
- Exercise -- Exercise isn’t for everyone, but if you work from home, you’re going to need to accept exercise (in one form or another) as one of your tools for sanity. Exercise increases energy, confidence, motivation and, most importantly, it forces you to take a break and to think about things (even work) in a different environment. That, in and of itself, is worth the walk. Michael Kitces walks on a treadmill while he works. Enough said.
- Go somewhere – Closely tied to the above point, going somewhere, even for a walk around the block, is a must on a daily basis. Can you believe I have to write that? Well, I said it. Go somewhere. Everyday. Stepping outside your house changes your mood and energy, and allows for life’s synchronicity to shine. It allows you to refocus, and you’ll derive inspiration from the surrounding people and space. Even if you leave the house to work somewhere else for an hour or two, try to do it every day.
- Stay Social - If you have colleagues, utilize technology to your benefit. At XYPN, we use Slack and Sococo to bridge the gaps in distance. Co-working spaces are becoming more and more popular as working from home becomes more common. But outside of work, make an effort to spend time with your family, friends and tribe. Setting hours will allow you to ensure this part of your life. It’s amazing how quickly this can become a low priority when you’re working from home.
- Embrace your space: Not everyone has an actual office at home, but making your space into a conducive work environment is key. I built my dream desk that is large enough for me to spread out on, and is deep enough for me to extend my feet under. It has paid dividends. Invest in a nice monitor to expand your screen, and buy a comfortable office chair. If you’re working from home, you certainly don’t want to be staring at a paint color that makes you nauseous. Embrace your space!
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do to ensure working from home remains a luxury and not a hinderance. Every day is a new opportunity to determine what works for you, and like most anything, finding out what doesn’t work, will often be the most telling.
About The Author
Maddy Roche is the Director of Getting Shit Done at XYPN, and has been getting shit done since she joined the team in May of 2014 when the Network was made up of our first 30 founding members. Since then, Maddy has worked with and welcomed each of the Network’s 400+ members, and helps all of them take advantage of XYPN membership. Maddy is responsible for member benefits and services, including management of vendor partnerships and member rollouts and initiatives. She manages XYPN’s Compliance Team and has a blast working on the XYPN annual conference.
Maddy lives in Issaquah, WA, where she spends her days listening to the rain at coffee shops and running on trails.