12 Rules When Working from Home
1. Plan your day the night before
When you work remotely, you don't have a boss to tell you what to do. That can be a good thing, but if you let yourself go, you will end up wasting a ton of time switching between your "manager hat" and your "worker hat." When you plan your day, the night before, you can wake up and hit the ground running.
2. Stick to a proven morning routine
There are countless ways to be productive when you wake up, and everyone is different. When you first start, try different routines. When you finally pinpoint the one that works for you, make it part of your everyday schedule and make sure to stick to it for at least 8 to 12 weeks until it becomes a habit.
3. Get dressed right away
I know It's easy to let yourself go when you work from home. Unfortunately, when you don't dress appropriately, you don't act with the same level of confidence and commitment that you have when you are dressed for success. That doesn't mean that you have to wear a suit, but you can definitely put on a pair of chinos and a shirt. That way, you tell your subconscious that you are not watching Netflix on your couch, but you are ready to tackle the day and make things happen.
4. Work out in the morning
Most people leave their workout routines for the afternoon, but working out in the morning has some amazing upsides. First off, it releases BDNF (a chemical that increases concentration and memory). Also, it's an excellent way to get out of the house before starting a full day in your home office. Physical exercise is also a great way to increase your energy levels. If you combine a workout session with a cold shower, you will have high amounts of energy, focus and confidence throughout the day.
5. Avoid carbs at lunch
We have all been there. You eat a huge meal, and after an hour you can't keep your eyes open. When you work from home, it's very easy just to let yourself go and fall asleep for a couple of hours. While napping has it's time and place (30-minute power naps are perfect for re-gaining clarity and energy), you still want to avoid eating processed carbs during the day so you can count on a sustained energy level throughout the day. Eggs, spinach, cheese, carrots, lettuce, chickpeas, tuna and chicken, are just a few things you can regularly enjoy without compromising your energy levels.
6. Put your phone on airplane mode
Know your limits. If you find yourself on Facebook or Instagram every 10 minutes, maybe it's time you put your phone on airplane mode, and you hide it under a couch cushion. The harder it is for you to retrieve it, the more time you will have to snap out of it and stop yourself from getting distracted. Make it a habit while you work, and you will be able to do so much more with the time you have.
7. Try the Pomodoro technique
By now, you may already know what the Pomodoro technique is. But for those who don't, the Pomodoro technique is a time management system that allows you to work for 25-minute slots and have a break for 5 minutes. The cycle lasts a total of 30 minutes, and it repeats itself four times. At the end of the fourth cycle, you can take a longer 15-minute break. This system is great because it allows you to postpone any distraction to your break slots. If you feel the urge to check your texts, that's ok! Just wait until the end of the 25-minute work slot!
8. Get out of your house after work
When you work from home, it's easy to stay indoors for days. For that reason, make sure to plan daily activities and explore the world after you are done! Even if it's just to go grocery shopping or a walk at the mall. Reset your mind and be active. You will appreciate your home a lot more, and you won't feel as lonely when you are working by yourself for hours on end.
9. Work in a designated area
By now, you probably noticed that it's all about creating healthy boundaries. If you want to stay productive, make sure to associate one place in your home to concentration and hard work. Do not work in your bedroom because that will create lots of gray areas when it comes to falling asleep at night. Your mind will associate work to your bed, and you won't be able to sleep as fast. On the other hand, if you always
10. Journal and be honest with yourself
You need a feedback loop. If you don't have a manager to tell you how you are doing, just journal! Write down what you did right and what you should work on. Honesty is essential here because it's all about getting better. The more you can find things to work on, the faster you will optimize your work-from-home experience and become a pro at it!
11. Use a happy light to wake up
If you wake up tired or if you can't get outside in the morning, consider getting a "Happy Light" for light therapy. A Happy Light is a lamp that emulates the brightness of the outdoors. It helps you wake up and keeps your energy levels high. It's also good for after lunch, so you don't doze off. You can buy it on Amazon and use it anywhere you want since it's a portable table lamp.
12. Use browser blockers if you get distracted
If you get distracted too often, download a browser blocker for your computer. There are plenty of free options out there, and you can set them up to restrict access to specific sites (i.e. Facebook) or the entire browser. Studies have shown that by eliminating the opportunity of getting distracted, your brain starts focusing on the task at hand. You could use your willpower, or you can simply bypass it by changing the environment around you.
Deniero is an e-commerce and digital marketing entrepreneur, content creator and speaker. Follow him on Instagram @denierob and subscribe to his podcast Up Your Game.