If you work from home, chances are you do so for one or more specific reasons. Perhaps you’ve got kids at home, need to be able to make your own schedule, like traveling or you hate an office environment. Whatever your reason for working from home, you could find the reason you love the job might be what’s putting it in jeopardy. And that is your inconsistent work schedule.
Reasons You Need a Schedule to Succeed
The whole point of working from home is flexibility. But if you’re so flexible you go for three-hour lunch dates instead of turning your work in on time, you could find yourself applying for a job as a barista at your favorite café instead of freelancing from there.
To help the free-spirited types who struggle with discipline a bit, here are some tested tips for creating a healthy, happy work schedule for working from home.
Have a Set Wake Time
It doesn’t have to be six a.m., or even eight a.m., but you do need a set wake time for your work days. Maybe try a 10 o’clock alarm for a 12 o’clock start time. This gives you two hours to eat, shower, fiddle around on social media, check email, or possibly make a quick trip for coffee to get your day going right.
Having this wake time helps keep your body in a set rhythm that improves your sleep, your focus during work hours, and generally improves your life overall.
Use an Alarm to Keep on Task
Use that lovely alarm function on your phone to keep you to your tasks throughout the day. If you’ve got a single project you’re working on, break the day up into several small increments to give your body and mind a brief break from work to help regain focus. If you have several small projects, the regular alarm beeps every so often can help to motivate you to work efficiently.
For example, if you are a copywriter, you might have four articles due in a day. Most articles are broken up into sections, and that means you’ve got natural breaks built in. If your article has five sections, you can set an alarm per section, or an alarm per article, if you can focus well long enough to write an entire article without needing a break.
When the alarm goes off, shift your position, stand up, move around, or otherwise change what you’ve been doing while focused on the work at hand. This can help keep your focus sharper for work, as well as give your body a break from the deadly sitting position.
Dress for the Office
If you aren’t physically active at your job all day, you’ll want to consider dressing in work clothes, rather than pajamas or boxers. Dressing for work can help your brain decide it’s at work, rather than in relaxation mode. And that may mean you’re more productive and efficient.
Dress for a Workout
An alternative for those who want to keep active all day while working is to dress in workout clothes when you first get up. Make sure you’re wearing clothing suitable for all-day wear. Avoid things like tight shorts, sports bras that are too small, or anything damp. These can all cause potential health issues or discomfort.
Take a jog, walk, or biking break over your lunch period. Then you can quickly grab a shower afterward. At this point, you’ll probably want to dress into office clothes to finish out your workday.
Get Up and Move
To keep your body going and your mind focused, a great option is combining two of the above tips: dress for a workout and then do that workout.
Try setting an alarm for several increments throughout your workday. When your alarm goes off every 20 to 40 minutes, get up and do some basic bodyweight reps. Try things like push-ups, chair dips, squats, lunges, side lunges, crunches, or leg raises. If you have dumbbells, toss some light-weight dumbbells into the mix for a strengthening boost.
Be sure to only do enough reps to fill about two to three minutes of time before getting back to work. It may add approximately 10 to 15 minutes of physical activity to your workday, but it will vastly improve your energy, focus and physical health.
A Healthy Work-From-Home Schedule Isn’t Hard
No matter what kind of work you do from home, there are simple ways to improve your day, your schedule, and your lifestyle. Add some activity and short mental breaks into your day. Dress for the job, or your workout, and keep to a set schedule, whatever schedule you like, to keep your assignments flowing and submitted on time.