One of the perks of side projects or entrepreneurship is that you can work from the comfort of your home. Comfy pyjamas, a nice cup of tea, eating the food you like – who would argue against that? But working from home comes with its own challenges, especially if you don’t live alone. Here are five simple tips you can apply today to make the experience of working from home as enjoyable and productive as possible.

Start early

One of the biggest advantages of working from home is to avoid that soul-sucking commute which has been proven by research to negatively impact you, both physically and mentally. Use this advantage to the fullest by getting starting early – ideally picking the most challenging or least interesting tasks first.

Getting these out of the way will ensure you actually check them off your list, as the longer you wait and the more tired you get, the harder it becomes to tend to demanding tasks. It can be tempting when working from home to just take your time and go for these tasks when you feel ready, but overcoming the morning slugginess can do wonders when it comes to managing your productivity.

Take a break

When working in an office, you usually have set hours, as well as colleagues inviting you to take a break whether for coffee or for lunch. There are no such signals at home, and it can be easy to keep on working non-stop without realising it.

Put a timer on, or block time for breaks in your calendar. There won’t be anyone to interrupt you, so it’s up to you to make sure you take the necessary breaks to maintain your mental wellness. There are many tools you can use to help you take breaks. For example, I built a simple Chrome extension with ideas to take breaks when working.

Avoid distractions

Offices are notoriously bad for deep work. There is always a colleague with a good story to share, or one that is too loud on the phone. Some people don’t even get the universal headphones-on signal and will still tap on your shoulder for a quick question.

What about home? Well, distractions still exist there. It could be your dog, your kids, the TV, that new game you just installed. How to avoid these and focus on deep work instead?

One of the best ways is to create separate spaces for work and personal stuff. Some people have enough space to use different rooms, but if that’s not the case, it can be as simple as different sides of the same table. It’s all about tricking your brain into thinking that some activities can only be performed in specific spots.

Prep your meals

Many people who work from home report eating better and healthier. But cooking a nice meal can take a long time. Try to prepare as much as possible the night before, so having lunch the day after is a breeze. This includes having food in the fridge and at least a vague idea of what you will be cooking.

That slow-roast turkey is better kept for dinner, especially if you will be having food on your own. Keep it simple, but still delicious and nutritious. Nowadays, it is a luxury to know what goes into your plate.

Get out of the house

Working from home implies that you are, well, working from home. But it does not have to be this way. When you are working remotely, most managers do not care if you are sitting in your kitchen or at a local cafe or the library, as long as you are getting the job done.

Staying inside all the time can have a negative impact on your mental wellness. Make sure to get out of the house and work outside as well as interact with other people. There are many coworking space that offer day passes as well as access to community events.

But, if you want to stay inside, that’s fine too. Most importantly – enjoy! It is a rare privilege to be able to use your expertise without having to put jeans on.

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