10 Must-Follow Rules to Get More Done When Working from Home

Working from home can seem like a dream come true. You get great perks like no commute and no dress code. It’s important, however, to set boundaries between work and home life and to establish firm routines to keep you motivated.

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Create a work-zone/office

01_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/Dean-MitchellWhether you have a dedicated office or a small table for your work, make sure that this zone is for work only. It will make it much easier to leave work at the end of the day and not let it trickle into your home life. Pick a spot that’s away from most of the commotion in the house or consider making space in part of your garage or quiet corner of the basement just for your office. Also try these time management tips to get the most out of your day.

Work regular hours

02_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/mapodileMake sure that you maintain your normal business hours, whatever they may be. Think of yourself as “on the clock” during those hours. Plan to arrive at work and leave work during your same, regular hours. This will allow you to set boundaries between work and home. Be more productive in the first hour of your work by trying these tricks.

Check in with work—frequently

03_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/gpointstudioYou won’t see your boss or co-workers as often, so it’s important to check in frequently. Send an extra email to confirm receipt of materials, call up a co-worker to check in on a project, and make it clear that you’re accessible and available throughout the day.

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Take a lunch break

04_Successfuly_work_from_home_istock/izusekOr any break! Take a few minutes out of your day and relax. Go out to lunch, order in, or heat up leftovers from last night. Give yourself time to recharge before you head back to work—the rest of your day will go much smoother. Make a healthy salad to give yourself a mid-day energy boost.

Don’t clean

05_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/cyano66Resist the temptation to straighten up or take on large projects around the house while you’re working from home. Keep your normal cleaning schedule. Since you shouldn't be cleaning during the week, to keep you focused on work, clean your whole house in one day over the weekend.

Keep errands to a minimum

06_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/GeorgeRudyIt’s tempting to run errands during office hours to avoid the weekend rush, but don’t go overboard. Working from home means that you may get an unexpected email or call about a situation that you have to attend to immediately. Try to keep errands to your appointed lunch hour or simply alert your team that you’ll be out this afternoon and working later in the evening to compensate for lost time.

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Keep a routine

07_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/SpaulnResist the temptation to stop your morning dressing and breakfast routine or evening wind-down and dinnertime. Keep things consistent, just like they were when you were commuting to the office, and you’ll keep your sanity in check. Can't seem to come up with a routine? Try these daily routines of geniuses.

Aim to leave the house at least once per day

08_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/_filadendronWith the ease of online shopping, grocery delivery, food delivery, and even services to stop by and walk your dog, it can become pretty easy to stay home all day. Take a short walk around the block, go out for a cup of coffee, or go for a drive.

Don’t volunteer too much

09_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/SelectStockAlthough you’re home throughout the day, avoid volunteering to watch kids or pets for friends and family. This nice gesture can soon prove to be too much as you really need to focus on work during your set work hours. Take advantage of the minutes or hours that you’re not commuting and offer to help out during that time.

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Stay professional

010_Successfuly_work_from_homeistock/kupicooJust because your home office doesn’t have a dress code doesn’t mean that you can wear your pajamas or nothing at all to business meetings. If you’re clean and dressed, you’ll conduct calls much more professionally and have better results. Avoid the temptation to be relaxed with your communications just because you’re in your fuzzy bunny slippers. This infographic is the ultimate guide to help you dress for work.

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