Beautifully Organised: How to work from home effectively

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to work from home effectively

Working from home is high on the wish list for a lot of Mums I speak with!

It makes sense to me.. 

Working from home can give you more work / life balance. You can spend more time with your family, you don’t have to commute to work, and you may not have to spend so much time and effort on hair, makeup and clothing! 

Just between you and me, if I’m running low on time but have a video meeting, I’ll put a lot of effort into my outfit from the waist up and then just wear pj pants on the bottom ;)

Did you know?

Working from home also means you can save money on parking, petrol and insurance. Youi car & home insurance offers reduced rates for those who work from home and if you're not driving to work every day you won't need as much fuel, or have to pay for parking - love that!

So yes! I see plenty of benefits working from home. I’ve been doing it myself for a long time now and love it. If there’s any chance you can find a way to work from home, whether you’re running your own business or working for an employer, I highly recommend giving it a go.

But if you’re lucky enough to swing such an arrangement, be careful! There are a few hurdles that show up when you first start working from home and I’ve experienced a lot of them myself.

So today I thought I’d share my tips on how to work from home effectively!

Tip #1: Set up a proper work space. 

Now, you don’t have to have a dedicated office (I don’t), but you do need somewhere designated for when you need to sit down and focus on your work. 

Somewhere you can access everything you need easily (and put it away again easily). 

Thanks to cloud storage, you don’t need big filing cabinets anymore, so you’ll find you don’t need as much space as you think!

Tip #2: Set a basic guideline for how you’ll manage your time. 

Yes, you can be more flexible with your day and spend a bit more time with the kids, do some housework, etc.. but don’t get too easily distracted! 

Use your time productively by creating a simple plan of when you’ll be working, when you’ll be playing, and when you’ll be taking care your home. 

If your work allows it, build your daily work plan around when you’re usually most productive and use the rest of the day for family and life stuff.

Did you know? 
Different people are their most productive at different times of the day. If you’re an early bird, doing an hour of work in the morning before the family gets up might be the time you can get most of your work done. If you’re a night owl (like me), you might find inspiration strikes at 8pm and you get more done in that last couple of hours before bed.

Tip #3: Use simple systems to put some of your work on autopilot. 

You can’t avoid every distraction when you work from home - the kids might need you, there’ll be knocking on the door, and you’ll be stopping starting around school drop off & pick up, grocery runs, and other errands. 

The simplest way to keep your work flowing even when you’re stopping and starting is to have simple systems in place to deal with common requests. 

Batch processing is a great example. Try setting particular times of day just for checking email, listening to voicemail, returning phone calls, posting mail, etc. You’ll get into a rhythm, the time will fly and your To Do list will almost disappear!

Also, if you tend to get emailed the same question over and over again from different people, it’s handy to have a template response ready to go (or a FAQ page if you’re running an online business), so you can save time by not needing to type out the same lengthy response repeatedly.

Did you know? 
Gmail has a ‘canned responses’ feature built in, that lets you save a bunch of template email responses and open them up whenever you need them! I bet other email systems have them too - comment below if you know of another one.

Tip #4: Give yourself an incentive to keep working. 

Even when Ellen is on TV. Especially when someone sends you a cute cat video on YouTube to watch. Once you go down that rabbit hole, you’re pretty much done for the day!

Keep it nice and easy - for every # of hours you work, or # of tasks you compete, you get a little reward. 

Maybe it’s a little break - a cup of tea, a walk outside, time to read a magazine. 
Basically, when you’ve done the work, then you can watch a bit of TV or YouTube (ahem, I know a great channel for busy mums) if that’s what makes your day! 

Just remember, the power comes with using this time as a reward, not using it to procrastinate.

So those are my top tips on how to work from home effectively!

If you found any of them helpful, please share this post with anyone else you think will benefit from it, and if you have any other tips to share, please comment below and let me know!

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Credits: Big thanks to Youi insurance for partnering with me on this post! If you’d like to know more about Youi car and home insurance offers, you can head over here to check them out.

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