Seven Tips for Working at Home

Two days a week I have the pleasure of working at home. I love it. I pour over my seminary studies and sermon writing between the two. If you are looking to make the transition to a home office, or you have the joy of home-work from time to time, here are seven things to consider as you awake from slumber.

photo by: greenhouseds

 

Eat a good breakfast

Most important meal of the day, don’t be a jabroni — or eat like one. No pop tarts, Otis Spunkmeyer, or a couple of slices of cheese crammed meat lovers diabetes buster pizza. Scramble eggs, have a smoothie, or my favorite — steel cut oatmeal, fresh strawberries/blueberries/banana, and honey. Yum.

Your body needs the right fuel to get going. Sugary delights will only tempt you take a free nap on your bed — fight the beast.

Do your routine

Whatever your usual routine is before you head the office, do it. Pray, Bible, journal, shave, shower, hopefully brush your teeth — do it all. Keep the rhythms.

You should do what you always do because you still are going to work, it just happens to be a few feet away. Doing this will help get your mind in the right place. Productivity…activate!

Get dressed — for real

Working from home is awesome, but sitting around in your jammies — I think not. You don’t have to put on a three piece suit—be comfortable, but still dress like you are doing something. You aren’t lounging around watching Pawn Stars. You are serving the masses, writing the next great book, chipping away at projects, studying for the saints, etc.

I put on jeans, a nice shirt, I fix my hair, I even put shoes on.  Why? Because I am working.

Again, this is about getting in the right frame of mind. You are home alright, but you are working. Dress like it.

Turn off social media/email

No brainer right? Wrong.

Tweets and Likes and Email will lure you away from your precious projects. Pull a Gandalf, “You shall not pass!” Setup a time to go and check what you need. I turn my email off, and turn it back on in 2 hour intervals, just to see if I must respond to anyone.

If you are on a mac, downland the free app Self Control. It will block whatever sites you tell it to, for whatever time you tell it to. Enjoy the embargo.

Get some good tunes

Crank up the jams. You are at home, so play that funky music. You don’t have to worry about distracting or “invading the space of a co-worker.” Truth be told, you can put on you Justin Bieber and not worry what anyone will think.

Make a playlists of songs that you will listen to but not get sucked into.  If The Macarena forces you to get up and dance, by all means, don’t put it on your playlists. Get some jazz, classical, instrumental (Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, All the Bright Lights), and work away.

Take real breaks

When you are at the office people will come in and talk with you, at home, you might be confined to solitude. So take a couple of 5 minute breaks throughout the day to walk around, get the mail, walk down the street and back. Basically, make sure to keep your blood flowing. Get out the chair and walk around.

Also, take a real lunch break. I generally take a 30 minute lunch break. I make my sandwich, cut up my fruit, pour some CrystalLight, and watch something on the DVR.

Working from home is a perk. Enjoy some Parks and Rec, Downton Abbey, or Local News. Shudder.

Let the family “interrupt” you

This is important.

You are home, so be home. If you have young kids they are going to come crashing through your workspace. Know that going in. And it’s ok. Really. It. is. O.K. You will only have a three year old for a year. Enjoy it. Of course, you still need to set boundaries. And this is why you should be hyper-productive at home. Your kids are more important than any tweet. You aren’t being interrupted, you’re being reminded of your parenthood.

Let your spouse know of any time constraints you have, that way she can help wrangle the little tikes, soldiers, and princess that are running through the halls. But if you are summoned to a tea party, grab your hat and take your seat. Stay up late or get up early to make up for it — if you need to.  It’s worth it.

  1. This is awesome. It makes me look forward to working from home whenever Jackie and I start having kids.

  2. Love it. Just wanted to say hi Jeff. Hi.

    Great suggestions. And thanks for the music recommendations as well. 🙂

    1. Hey Jason! Good to hear from you.

      Love me some “All The Bright Lights.” Movie soundtracks are perfect study music too. Hans Zimmerman is the king of soundtracks.

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