How to Work From Home and Stay Sane and Productive

Many people dream of working from home, but once you achieve this goal, you’ll encounter a new set of challenges. Although working from home is preferable in many ways to having to go out to an office or other workplace, there are some pitfalls to avoid, and this article takes a look at three solutions to the most common.1. Have a dedicated work areaFirst of all, it can be very helpful to have a dedicated area in which you work (as opposed to just slouching on the sofa with your laptop). When working from home, it’s all too easy to let work take over the rest of your life, and having a dedicated work area helps to prevent this from happening.A separate home office is ideal, but even if this isn’t possible, try to set aside a table or desk that you can work at. By doing this you can stay organised more easily because all of your work-related items will be in the one place. Sitting upright at your desk will help you to maintain a good posture (assuming that your chair is at the right height), which will in turn help you to remain alert and avoid backache.Having a separate area for work also helps you to get into the right kind of productive mindset when you begin working, and conversely, to leave behind work-related concerns at the end of the day.2. Make sure family members respect what you’re doingA second problem often encountered by those who work from home is that family members and other people they have regular contact with simply do not respect the fact that they are working. For some reason, many people seem to think that just because you’re home during the day, you’re available to stop for a chat at any time, or to run errands for them.So to avoid intrusions on your time and the resulting negative effects on your productivity, it’s important to ensure that the people around you know that when you’re working, you’re not to be disturbed. This starts by putting a value on your own time, as people will usually treat you according to how you treat yourself. If they see that you’re serious about what you’re doing, they will in turn take you more seriously. And if they don’t, a serious talk is in order!3. Carve out time for yourselfThirdly, it can be helpful to have set work hours, and to be religious about setting aside time to yourself, for your family (if applicable), and for non-work-related activities every day.If you’re self-employed and working from home, it can be especially difficult to switch off from work, particularly if you’re not sure where next month’s money will be coming from yet. But working around the clock too often will just lead to burnout, and will make you less productive too. So to reduce your stress levels and increase your productivity, it helps not to work too many hours, and to maintain a good work-life balance.

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