When I started working from home back in April 2015, it was to my surprise the amount of adjusting and self-discipline that would be required of me to make this a successful venture. Working from my home office has always been a dream of mine; to have the flexibility and freedom to come and go as I please, make time for appointments, grocery runs, gym sessions, lunch dates, still while being able to crush it at my job.
I work in marketing for an exclusive drug and alcohol rehab center. You’ve probably seen the commercials on TV. We are the leading treatment center across the country and you better believe we take a lot of pride in that. My work is orchestrated through a series of my own life experiences, the ability to be creative, write relative content to reach out to those who need help, or those who been to rehab. I act as an online marketing guru who serves as the Social Media Manager of the organization. My job is a dream and I love it.
One of the greatest luxuries of working from home is that you don’t necessary have to be at home. Typically, a job that allows you to work remote also means that all you need is a laptop, cell phone, and a solid Wi-Fi connection. Which is amazing, but like I mentioned before it takes a great deal of discipline to stay on task and focus on everything you need to get done from one day to the next so that you never fall behind.
Not having the distractions that most people face in an office type setting creates room to breathe, think, and master your craft. This is an extraordinary thing. It is also quite beneficial to your employer because you are not taking up space in the office, causing a distraction, sitting around gossiping with others, using the printer ink, drinking their coffee, or bugging your boss on a daily basis. The likelihood of you being more productive is almost guaranteed. So yes, there are many benefits on both ends of the spectrum for all parties who agree to this lifestyle-changing agreement.
Over the last several months I have learned what it takes to be successful in not only this position, but in any position that allows you the freedom to work from home. Here are a few tips that can help you run a successful operation using techniques that I use myself.
- Get an early start. Wake up between 6 AM – 7 AM in order to get the most out of your day and be as productive as possible.
- Create a well-lit office space, preferably near a window to see out and catch a drift of fresh air.
- Mix up your routine so that everyday does not feel the same.
- Make time in the middle of your day or first thing in the morning to hit the gym for one hour.
- Keep a post-it note by your computer as a to-do list for each day.
- Avoid driving between 7-9 AM and 3-5 PM, because these are when office commuters are driving and it’s the absolute worst! You will learn this more as you attempt to go anywhere during these hours.
- Check your emails after you’ve made coffee. Go through each email and respond to the ones that require your immediate attention. Then put your phone away from two hours and hammer out 2-3 tasks before lunch.
- Eat all three meals. It’s so easy to get wrapped into your job even while your at home and forget to eat. Get up in the morning and make breakfast and coffee. It’s important to take care of your health- mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
- Don’t lock yourself up inside all day. It’s important to get at least 20 minutes of sunlight everyday. Don’t ask me all the reasons why, just trust me on this one.
- Stay connected to your boss and others withing the organization you work for. The whole “out of sight out of mind” thing is real. People tend to forget about you when you aren’t around or communicate when them. Touch base once a day. Provide updates and deliver some type of communication so that you don’t become invisible.
- Take time to learn new skills by reading books and watch tutorial videos online such as the ones provided through Lynda.com
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