During my full-time job, I was so fascinated by the idea of working from home that all I wanted was to quit my job and enjoy the creative freedom of being my own boss. But unfortunately, quitting my job was impossible at that time. There were some freelancers in my network who used to tweet about the perks of working from home and what I wanted was to be like them but I never got the courage to take the leap.
The COVID19 break put the things into my favor and I got the opportunity to explore how work from home feels like.
Despite the disadvantages of working from home, I love the idea of not dressing up for the office, waiting for the van to come and greeting my colleagues for a good day since I’m an introvert.
At my home, it was all about me, working in my loungewear on my bed and eating whenever I want.
My family was also happy to see me at home and they never hesitate to disturb me in the office hours. But that was the biggest challenge because if my family keep me distracted how will I wind up my work?
In the first three days of my work from home, my hours were extended because I was continuously dragged to laziness, Netflix and other recreational activities.
But in the next few days, I decided to overcome my routine to complete my work in office hours.
And I successfully overcome the work from home challenges by coming up with solutions.
I’d love to share these solutions with you.
Challenge#1: Your Family Thinks You’re Available
The biggest disadvantage of work from home is that your family thinks you’re available. Your mother can come up to you anytime to discuss important things, your children can rush to you, “Mamma, I found you.” and they can also depend on you for the home chores. Now, it’s a challenging situation where you can’t afford to disappoint your family and you also need to complete your work in the office timings. So, here’s what you can do about it.
- Sit with your family and explain to them that due to COVID19 outbreak, your company has switched to remote work. But they will continuously monitor the team through ZOOM or SKYPE and they will take work updates. So, if you don’t meet their expectations, it might affect your performance or the company can consider that you misuse the work from home policy. Be open to all the issues and explain the consequences to make them understand better.
- Ask your family to think that you’re in the office and you’re not available for anything even if someone urge to meet you.
- Set a dedicated workspace that is at distance from the home events which means whatever happens in your home, it shouldn’t disturb your peace.
- You’ll also have the urge to join your family happenings but you have to resist it and motivate yourself by winding up your work so you can join them soon.
To sum it up, pretend that you’re in the office and let your family think the same.
Challenge#2: You’re too Close to Food
I can resist my urge of eating when I’m in the office because there’s no cafe around and also I have to wait for the lunch hours to eat anything. But at home, everything is available and your refrigerator also send you the vibes to open it. But if you listen to the food-callings you can gain weight by eating more than usual. Also, the mini-breaks in between tempt you to eat chocolates and anything that’s available.
Make yourself understand the disadvantages of overeating. How will it gain your weight? And how you’ll feel when you won’t fit in your old clothes?
- Set meal timings as you do in the office. After breakfast, eat only during lunch hours and if you crave snacks, replace it with fruits so you will have healthy snacking.
- Our families are also very generous. Even if you avoid them, they’ll keep sending you the food so you can enjoy your work at home. You need to make them understand and ask them that you’ll join the lunchtime yourself. You should also commit to yourself for not eating excess food and stick to your commitment.
- Drink a lot of water because it will keep your appetite filled and make your waiting time easier. You can later reward yourself with a snack when you’re done with the task.
- Sit at distance with your refrigerator because if it will be near you’ll end up opening it often.
It’s easy to work in the office because your boss keeps a keen eye on you and also when your colleagues are working, it builds the pressure to work and work more. But at your home, no one is with you to share the environment and when you work from your bed you become so lazy that after short intervals you end up laying on your bed watching Netflix. As a result, it extends your work hours and slows down your productivity.
- Never Choose your bed to work: It’s not appropriate to work from your bed because the coziness will invite you to lay down and sleep. So, choose a dedicated workspace which is not your bed so you don’t feel lazy.
- Set Strict Deadlines: Use the Kanban board technique to see the tasks you need to overcome. Start your day by setting deadlines for each task and give your best to reach that deadline. Know that if you miss the deadline, you’ll have to pay the cost by giving up your leisure hours activities.Kanban board is an effective method of drawing your tasks which lets you know your to-do lists, tasks in progress and tasks that you have accomplished. By visualizing your tasks, you’ll have a clear picture of the tasks lying ahead.
- Reward yourself after meeting the deadlines and by taking short breaks in the form of a power nap, looking over your social media, and watching videos.
- Chat with your Colleagues: Your colleagues will be having the same feelings as yours. So to make your home look like an office, chat with them, brainstorm ideas and include them together in meeting the deadlines. This will reduce the work stress.
Challenge#4: Social Media Distractions
Social media is the easiest distraction tool to interrupt your work. Attention-grabbing Facebook feeds, catchy Instagram photos, WhatsApp stories and your friends texting you every time makes the work from home challenging. But the good thing is that you can also overcome this challenge, here’s how:
- Pomodoro Technique: It’s one of the best and easiest productivity methods to implement. Pick your most important task of the day, divide it into chunks. Again, pick the first chunk, name it and set the Pomodoro (timer) to 25 minutes. Unplug your devices, focus on your task until the Pomodoro rings and then take a short break. In between the break, you can scroll your social media, take a power nap and meet your family. By using this method, you will increase your focus and make your tasks accomplishable by removing distractions.
- Bribe Yourself: Promise yourself that you’ll watch your favorite show when your work is done. This will push you to complete the task on time and limit all the distractions.
Bonus Tip: Make the Most of Your Mornings
Wake up early, have your breakfast and utilize your mornings to eat the frog first. It’s because morning hours are the most productive hours and you also feel fresh at this time. So, dedicate this time to the biggest task of the day and you’ll have less to do for the remaining day.
And One Smart Tip
Now when you’re working from home, you must be saving a lot of time. You can utilize this time to work on your passion, side hustle or innovative ideas to come out with something you’d be proud of. Like it?
Well, that’s how I overcome my work from home challenges. I hope you found these tips useful to implement. I’d also love to know the other tips you tried to make work from home productive?
I prefer books and diaries more than phones and Facebook. Soulfully connected to Pakistan. And I passionately believe that I can change the world through blogging.