Working from home is one of the perks enjoyed by many in the IT field. All you need is your computer, a little space cleared out for you at home, and youíre good to go! ÖOr so the popular (mis)conception goes. Working from home can quickly turn into a disastrous venture with piles of papers everywhere, kids screaming in the background, and dissatisfied clients if one is not careful. So how does a work-from-home professional ensure that things are in order and efficiency is at its maximum? Itís easy with these three steps!
Step #1: Make sure your home office has a door. Itís tempting to try and allocate yourself a small space on the landing, or under the stairs. But having a door can be psychologically beneficial, as well as create a sound barrier for you from the rest of the household. When you close your door, you know itís time for business. Your mind will automatically, with time, click over into work mode in your office. Itís easier to get distracted when there is no such boundary Ė and it also makes it easier for people to interrupt you.
Step #2: Organize your desk space. While this might seem easier said than done, itís really not that challenging a task once you prioritize your belongings. If you use it everyday, it should be on your desk top. If you donít, it should be in a drawer. Things that might belong on your desk include: a desk calendar, a pen stand with pens and pencils, Post-It notes and a stapler. Things that probably belong in your drawer include: miscellaneous notebooks, file folders and reference materials.
Step #3: Learn to say no. It can be tempting, especially when starting out, to accept projects on top of projects. You might think, ďThereís no commute for me to worry about, I can work on this through the night if need be.Ē But resist the temptation! You need to give yourself breaks so that you donít burn out. Additionally, if you overextend yourself, youíll find that you run the risk of missing deadlines, producing slipshod work and generally compromising on quality. Always, always know your limit Ė and stick to it.
These steps are not hard to follow, and yet they can be quite challenging to implement. But once you get into the routine of working from home, youíll find that itís easier to think of yourself as ďbeing at workĒ even when youíre really still in your own house. The most important thing to remember is that you ARE a working professional, even though you may be working in your pajamas.