I run my online shop Ginger Pickle from home, and over the past 3 years I’ve learned a lot, I’ve discovered what works for me and what doesn’t work, let me share my top tips for working from home!
1. As tempting as it is and as cosy as they are, try to get out of those PJ’s! It sounds silly but the temptation is there when working from home. I guarantee many of you have done this at some point (yes, I am guilty of this too!) If you stay in your pj’s you will not be in the right frame of mind for working, trust me I’ve done this a few times and even when you don’t have to leave the house it’s important to get up and get dressed. You will feel a MILLION times better and more motivated and ready to work. Otherwise you may end up feeling lethargic all day, you’ll be too lazy to work on tasks that are of high value, and you will stick to working on things within your comfort zone.
2. Try to work to a to-do list or plan. Everyone has their own ways of working but if you don’t have a clear list of tasks you need to work on or a goal you need to achieve then you won’t have a clue where you’re at or where you’re going. You need to have a plan in place or a ‘to-do’ list that you work through each day. I like to write my to-do list in the mornings of everything I want to achieve that day, and tick it off as I go. Most things don’t get checked off but that’s ok because you can carry that along to the next day.
I find it handy to write a daily to-do list, a monthly to-do list which will include things like ‘finish christmas designs ‘ and also a to-do l
ist of things I want to do for the year which will include bigger projects such as ‘re-do all my product photography’.
If you have a big project include that in your monthly or yearly ‘to-do’ list and write down all the different tasks you need to do in order to complete that project in your daily ‘to-do’ list. E.g working on your new website is the big project, the daily tasks would be adding products, editing descriptions, editing the layout etc. Try to get into the habit of doing this so you have a clear path, a clear view of the direction you’re going. It’s also satisfying ticking off jobs on your list and have it visible where you can see it everyday.
3. Follow the 45/15 rule… a great tip which I read from Grow Your Handmade Business book! When you work from home, there are a ton of things that are there to distract you from your work, seriously I’ve found myself looking at my phone every 10 minutes. Avoid getting sucked into the temptation of watching tv, going on social media, doing housework, answering personal calls or socialising with your flatmate. The amount of work you can get done without all of these distractions is incredible.
So here’s how it works….set a timer on your phone for 45 minutes and during that time you won’t look at your phone or go on twitter or do anything other than working on the task at hand. And then after the 45 minutes is up you can set the timer again and have a 15 minute break! Your work output will dramatically increase, it has really helped me!
4. Don’t loose focus. It’s hard to stay focused and on track when you don’t have a boss or supervisor there breathing down your neck every 10 minutes. Nobody is there to give you into trouble, or shout at you for being late, or for not meeting deadlines or not meeting targets. Sounds bliss? Yes it is, but it is vitally important you stay on track and don’t loose sight of your end goal, otherwise you are just winging it basically. Some people need a kick up the bum, some need a boost or a little nudge so to keep focused just keep thinking about your goal. The task you need to do could be editing product photographs of your new jewellery range…it’s the most boring task ever and you hate doing it, but if you keep thinking about the end goal which is having beautiful photographs ready for the launch of your new collection then it keeps you motivated to stay on track and complete the task. Always have an end goal with every project you work on and keep the goal/target visible so you can see them everyday.
5. Be flexible, have fun & enjoy the other things in life! I know what I’ve said above seems a bit strict, but if you get the work done then you can have fun and reward yourself! The great thing about working from home is the fact that you can adjust your working day if things pop up. Sometimes my boyfriend gets 4 days off work in a row (lucky sod), it’s a gloriously sunny day outside and he wants to do something fun. How can I resist?! I can’t most times so I get all the important tasks out the way in the morning by following my to-do list and being super productive and then take the afternoon off and go out and enjoy the sun.
It’s pretty important to get out of the house when you work from home. I’ve seen me not leave the house, other than to go the post office….not fun! Sometimes when things get so busy you forget to enjoy yourself and enjoy life and be spontaneous. It’s really important to not neglect the other parts of your life, like friends, family relationships and just general ‘you time’, but trust me it’s so easy to do so be careful.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips for working from home. I hope you enjoyed the post and would love your input. What do you find the hardest when working from home, and please share your top tips too!