Remote work has been a thing for a while now – even before the pandemic. But since the pandemic started, more and more people have been forced into working remotely. It takes some getting used to, but it can be done.
Personally, I don’t mind working remotely. If I’m being honest it’s all I know. All my full-time work experience has been remote, even before the pandemic. I’ve always been able to work wherever I wanted to. From home, school or a coffee shop if I needed a change.
But remote work isn’t as simple as it seems. Working from your house? How hard could it be right? But it isn’t that easy to effectively separate your work life from your home life when they share the same space.
You can get lost in it, but I can help you with that. I started off with a few rules to separate my work life from my home life even though they’re under the same roof.
Effectively working remotely means not working where you sleep
Just like studying in bed is a bad idea, so is working in bed.
Try to stay out of your room if you can – especially your bed. Find a space outside of your room that will be your designated work area. Even if that space is in your room, it shouldn’t be your bed. Try getting a desk and chair. This makes it easier to keep your house and room a safe space that’s for you.
Having a work space allows you to leave work in that space. Work shouldn’t exist outside of that space. Your house is sacred, and when you take work into every corner of it, it can no longer feel like home. Leave work in its own space. Once you’ve left your ‘office’, you’re at home now so you can just exist and relax.
Stick to the work schedule you have and don’t go into your ‘me time’
It’s really easy to lose track of time when working at home.
You may have started working at 9AM, and before you know it, it’s 9PM and you’re still tapping away on your laptop. Yeah, don’t do that.
You’re at home and don’t have to leave a physical office to beat the traffic to get home. So, you may not remember to stop working sometimes. This means you need a work schedule.
Decide on the time you need to start working and when you need to stop. Set alarms for both times. When the last alarm hits, shut your computer down and walk away from your work space. Don’t go past the schedule. You have a life, remember?
Don’t be consumed by the work. Not all your time should go to your job.
Don’t overdo it – take a break
Another thing you should remember is you shouldn’t work your entire schedule non-stop.
Take a break.
Get up. Stretch your legs. Take a nap. Get something to eat. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, you should step away and do something else.
You aren’t a robot. You need a break to rest or you’ll become miserable. Even if you enjoy the work you do, you need to step away from your work space and give your eyes, hands or both a rest.
It may just refresh your mind to start again with a fresh perspective. And it will do you some good. Trust me.
Take note of everything you have to do for the day
Another huge issue with working at home is having trouble keeping yourself accountable. With no one over your shoulder you might lose track or forget a task you were working on.
Make a list.
Do it on paper, your phone’s notes app, make an online todo list, or set reminders.
Making note of what you need to accomplish each day, or week, will help you hold yourself accountable so you aren’t left playing catch up. Use as much detail as you need to remember your task. Do whatever helps.
Try to accomplish all you need to when you need to. That way you have enough time to tackle your next cycle of tasks.
Sleep is important
Always get enough rest.
You need all the sleep you can get. Overworking yourself into the night or even watching Netflix until 3 am is never a great idea when you have work the next morning.
Your body and mind need rest. Without it you aren’t much use to yourself or your employers.
Get a good night’s sleep. Take naps in the day if you can. Whatever you need to, but shut your eyes for a bit and recharge.
Working remotely takes getting used to. It’s not for everyone but you can try to navigate around the issues you have until the circumstances change. Make the best of what you have to work with. Be kind to yourself, and don’t let work take over your home.
Keep your safe space, safe.