For some people, working from home is a dream. For others, there are too many distractions and they like the idea of reporting to an office every single day. For the purposes of this article, let’s focus in on the folks who have remote jobs.
Being a remote worker comes with advantages and disadvantages, just like any other job. In terms of perks, a remote worker can typically make up his/her own schedule and can also work anywhere he/she wants. In terms of negatives, being a remote worker can get very lonely and communication with fellow employees and/or your boss can take a hit from time to time.
One of the biggest problems for most remote workers is the concept that is separating work and home life from one another. If you are struggling with this problem, whether you are an entrepreneur, business owner or whoever it might be, we are here to help you. In fact, we will be providing you with four ingredients that will help you separate work and home life when you have a remote job.
How To Separate Work And Home Life When You Have A Remote Job
- Get Very Detailed With Your Schedule
- Have A Designated Workspace
- Really Stress To People When You Work
- Don’t Let The Distractions Win
Get Very Detailed With Your Schedule
When you work from home and have the ability to make up your own schedule, it is very easy to push things off until the last minute, which is why you not only have to make a schedule, but get very detailed with it as well.
Not only do you have to schedule in work blocks (whether they are two, four or six hours), but you also have to schedule in breaks, lunch, errands and everything in between. While some people might just create to-do lists, you will greatly benefit yourself if you account for every hour in the day. The key is to give every minute and hour a purpose. Therefore, schedule in breaks, work tasks, going to the gym, picking the kids up from school — you name it. You have to master the art that is making a schedule. If you can do that, then showing up to work every morning (whether it is in your PJs or a suit) will not be an issue.
It’s very easy to get distracted when you work from home, but more from that later.
The key is to treat your remote job like an office job. After all, it is a job in every sense of the word. Therefore, if your planner says you need to answer emails from 12 to 1 p.m., then that should be your only concern during that time. It might be easy to move things around during the day because things pop up (such as your friends wanting to go to lunch or see a movie), but you need to make a schedule and then stick to it — no matter what!
“So many people are insanely busy nowadays, and it’s easy to say, ‘Ah, I’ll workout tomorrow.’ But you have to set aside a time and stick to that schedule.” – Derek Jeter
Have A Designated Workspace
When you first start working remotely, it is very easy to work on the couch or in bed. That is just one of the perks of the job — you can work wherever you want. However, if you plan on being as productive and successful as possible, then you need to create a designated workspace.
Not only should this workspace be equipped with all of the office supplies that you need and desire, but it should be a place that you actually enjoy working at. Put up all the pictures you want and decorate it however you would like. The office manager cannot come into your home and tell you to take something down.
The point of having a designated workspace is to get into the correct mindset when it is time to work. That’s why you also shouldn’t be doing things like eating or watching Netflix at your workspace. This designated area should be for work and nothing else. If you start doing other things at it, such as watching your favorite shows on Hulu, then you are more likely to repeat that bad habit in the future, which will lead to you wasting time, not being as productive and possibly missing deadlines in an extreme case. It’s okay to watch TV, but just don’t do it at your designated workspace, or while on the job, of course.
The key is for your mind to associate your workspace with work, not entertainment.
Really Stress To People When You Work
When you work from home, friends and family tend to think you are available 24/7. However, if you are a remote worker, you know that is not the case. Sure, you might not have a boss looking over your shoulder, but you might still have to be at your computer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or you might just have important deadlines to meet throughout the day. That is why you need to really stress to people when you work.
There are many remote workers who work six or seven days instead of five. The point of this is work-life balance, and to also get more out of every single day. No matter when you work, you have to really stress to people that you are working and that you cannot be bothered. You wouldn’t bother them at their jobs, right?
Even if your hours are non-traditional (for example, you work three hours at night) and your roommates’ are not, you need to tell your roommates that you cannot be bothered from 6 to 9 p.m., and then actually get to work during that time.
Everyone thinks remote workers have it easier than non-remote workers, but that isn’t always the case. You still have a job to do. Not to mention, your boss might be more strict because he/she can’t actually see what you are doing at all hours of the day.
If your friends, or whoever it might be, can’t respect your work hours and your career in general, then it might be time to find new friends.
Don’t Let The Distractions Win
When you are a remote worker, it is so easy to get distracted, and that is especially the case if you can make up your own schedule. We are here to tell you this: Don’t let the distractions win.
If you have to work from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on a Saturday yet your friends are begging you to go hiking, don’t give in. Work your three hours and then enjoy the rest of the day after that. Let’s talk about more common distractions, though, because most people do tend to work Monday through Friday.
Common distractions can be the TV, outside calling your name during the summer, the couch, Facebook and the list truly goes on and on. If you are a remote worker, you have to stick to a schedule. Just think of it this way: If you get to make up your own schedule, then you can do all of your work first thing in the morning — which also builds great habits — and then have the rest of the day to do whatever you want.
Don’t let small or big distractions win. Get motivated and only focus on work when it is, in fact, time to work. The distractions can wait, although that might be easier said than done in the beginning.
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston S. Churchill
Bonus: Remember To Embrace The Remote Life
If you have a remote job, then it’s okay to embrace that fact. If you want to work at a coffee shop, then work at a coffee shop. If you want to work at night instead of during the day, then do just that. If you want to take Fridays off, then adjust your schedule accordingly so you can.
The key, once again, is to create a schedule and stick to it. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be at your desk 24/7. As long as you account for everything and don’t let the distractions win, then you can — and should — work at a coffee shop.
There are many perks that come with being a remote worker, and you should embrace them whenever you can.
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