We’ve all been in the same boat at one point or another—lugging home the laptop to work from home over the weekend to make the upcoming week less stressful. And we do it with good intentions, but like all good intentions, there’s rarely a backbone to support them.
Here’s how events usually unfold: Friday night you rest. I mean, you already filled your “work quota” for that day anyway, right? Saturday morning you sleep in, since you never get that luxury during the week. Saturday afternoon becomes your “me time,” because you need to recharge. Saturday night you spend with friends. You haven’t seen them in a week! How could you say no? Sunday morning you sleep some more. Humans are chronically sleep deprived, might as well try to remedy that. And Sunday afternoon you finally decide to take a look at that leftover work because your work laptop has been staring you down from the kitchen counter where you left it Friday evening.
So you sit. You stare. You write a word. You erase it. You write it again. You erase it again. You get up… you never come back.
Monday morning finds you right where you left off on Friday, and we get it. Working from home is a nearly impossible task. Distractions are everywhere, and they’ll always look more appealing than leftover work. However, there are a couple things you can do to help keep you focused and efficient when you’re working from home. Check ‘em out.
Handle those distractions!
First of all, you need to handle those distractions before they handle you. Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self. If friends and family distract you the most, you need to sit them down and set limits. Let them know that between 9:00 and 11:00 on Saturday, you’ll be working and cannot be disturbed.
Sadly, you’re not the boss of them, so they may or may not respect your time. So take it a step further and leave your phone on silent in the bedroom as you work in the kitchen. That way, even if you’re still getting texts from your best friend to come to lunch, you won’t see it until you’re done with work.
Develop and stick to a schedule.
If working from home is something you foresee doing often, it would behoove you to set a schedule for yourself. For example, every Saturday afternoon from 2:00PM to 5:00PM is your work time. Scheduling will help keep those pesky friends and family away from you during those hours, and you’ll also create a habit for yourself, which will make it easier to get into the work mindset each time.
Use the right tools and tweak your surroundings.
How do you expect to get any work done if you don’t have the right tools? Give yourself the hardware and software you need to complete work like you would when you’re actually at work. Applications like Office 365, Slack, and Dropbox have made this much easier. Access documents from anywhere, interact with coworkers, and work inside applications you’re familiar with.
With that being said, if your home is messy, poorly lit, and lacking the proper flow, odds are you’re going to have major trouble focusing. So do yourself a favor and pave the way for a more ideal workspace by cleaning up, organizing your work space, and getting some better lighting.