Ah, the work from home life. Full of freedom, quiet and endless cups of tea, right? Well, depending on your tea tolerance, two out of three isn’t bad.
Needless to say, if you’ve been working from home for any amount of time, you’ll know, freedom isn’t exactly how you’d describe it. No matter if you’re employed or self-employed, working from home still means you’ll be working to deadlines, setting schedules and have at least some sort of responsibility.
This doesn’t mean to say that the work from home life sucks, far from it. But to make sure you’re working from home effectively (especially as an introvert), you’ll want to follow these 5 foundational tips for how to work from home effectively.
How to work from home effectively
1. Set your working hours
You have the pleasure of working from home, so you also have the pleasure of setting your own working hours.
Unless you’re working for a company, your hours are yours to give and so can be tailored to your lifestyle.
Find you work better in the early hours? Set your working hours from 6 am – 3 pm. Or, do you work better in the evening, perhaps 3 pm – 9 pm works better. Your hours can even be adapted depending on the day of the week to suit your schedule.
The golden rule when setting your working hours is to make sure when you’re working, you’re at your most productive. Using these hours as boundaries for your clients or customers can also be useful. Let them know when they can contact you, or when you’re free to reply.
By setting your working hours, you’ll be free to live a working life tailored to you.
2. Create a working space – or three
Working from home inevitably means you’ll be distracted. Dirty dishes, unclean floors, scattered toys and belongings will all get in the way of your focus and productivity.
To combat this assault on the senses (something which is key for introverts), make sure you have an allocated space for work you can keep clear and free from distractions.
Better yet, have several working spots in your home for different tasks. For example, if you’ve got admin work to do, you could do this work in your kitchen, or office. Or, for creative tasks, do these in a location that inspires you.
3. Get organised
A lot of work from home strategies revolve around specific productivity tips, but here at Limit Breaker, we know everyone learns differently. That’s why we’re not going to tell you how to organise your day.
What we will tell you, however, is you need to find an organisation or productivity method that suits you. This might mean you experiment for a while with a few techniques, but here are a few things to bear in mind. Your chosen method should be:
- Simple and straightforward
- Easy to pick up and keep up
- Doesn’t take time away from actual work
- Aids in your focus and productivity
- Doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted before you even start
- Works across multiple platforms if you require it to
Got any preferred productivity methods? Leave them in the comments and let’s share.
4. Set your preferred method of communication
As introverts, we’re very sensitive to how we communicate with others. Some introverts are fine with phone calls, others not. Some introverts prefer to talk over Slack, or Skype, or just email.
Whatever way you prefer to communicate with clients or peers, set it and tell them. The easiest way to do this is to say something along the lines of: ‘The fastest way to reach me is via (insert communication method here)’.
By doing it this way, you’re letting people know if they want to reach you fast, this is how to do it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
5. Book in time to be around others
It’s a common misconception that introverts like to be alone 100% of the time. In fact, introverts crave genuine communication with others and sometimes, we can’t get that when working from home.
Your social metre needs topping up every now and then to give you better quality of life. So if you’re in need of some ideas, here are a few:
- Spend a day working in a coffee shop – sometimes just being in the presence of other people is enough to give you a boost.
- Plan a lunch date with a work from home friend – book some time to talk with someone that truly understands what it’s like to work from home.
- Look into casual networking events near you – I know, networking, ugh. But some networking events can be casual meetups with likeminded people. Opt for ones that aren’t necessarily for finding customers/clients, instead, find ones which could potentially help you make a few friends.
- Meet up with friends – this one’s simple. Contact some friends and organise to meet up after work or during the day (if they can) and allow yourself to enjoy the company of others instead of working all the time.
Contrary to popular belief, working from home is not easy. The solitude and distractions can leave you lonely, unproductive and frustrated. But by following the above tips, you can set a foundation of good habits to take you forward and enjoy the beauty of working from home.
Do you have any tips for how to work from home effectively? Leave them in the comments and let’s share.
Featured image by Kyle Gregory Devaras