Working from home can be one of the best things ever – or a total productivity vacuum. Use these tips to make the most of working from home.
Being a real estate professional has a pretty big perk: you can work from almost anywhere! The freedom that comes with this business means you can call home your “office” on snowy days as everyone else slips and slides to their offices.
Of course, this sounds great in theory, but how many times have you tried to “work from home” and ended up getting almost nothing done? (No judgement. We’ve been there more than we’d like to admit.)
Use these 5 little tricks to be as productive as possible working from home:
Get dressed (and shower, etc.)
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s true enough for us to repeat. Complete your morning routine just as you would if you were going to the office. Maybe you don’t need a shirt and tie for working from home, but still put on clothes that don’t start with the word “sweat.” We even suggest putting on real shoes. You’ll feel more “put together” and be less likely to spend the morning watching tv on the couch. (P.S. the shoes will keep you from loafing on the couch because, well, who puts their shoes on the couch?)
Create a dedicated workspace
Again, this is an often-repeated tip, but that’s for several great reasons.
First of all, you’ll get that wonderful home office tax deduction.
Second, your whole home won’t feel like the office. People who frequently work from home have trouble connecting and disconnecting from work. A desk in your bedroom, for example, could literally cause you to have trouble sleeping as you begin to associate that space with work.
Third, your family will know when you’re working and when you’re available. If you’re trying to work from the kitchen table, you’re open to a world of distractions as spouses and children come and go. We’ve even heard some diehard work-from-homers put door hangers on their home office door with office hours and color codes for when they can be disturbed.
Clean the house BEFORE you begin working from home
If you know you might be working from home in the next few days, use your days off to clean the house. For starters, you’ll work better in an “office” that is clean and uncluttered.
More importantly, we’ve learned firsthand that when you’re working from home you’ll convince yourself that cleaning your bedroom is still being productive so it’s ok to close the laptop to do a load of laundry. Next thing you know, you’ve reorganized your closet and accomplished zero real work.
Mix up your locations throughout the day
Just like 8 hours at the office, 8 hours in your home office can get a little mundane. The key is to plan where you’ll work for the day. If you have a showing at 9am, maybe work from a coffeeshop near the listing until lunch then return home for the remainder of the day. You get the idea… It’ll also help you combat the shame sometimes felt with “not leaving the house all day.”
Create a daily schedule
The flexibility of working from home is also its biggest threat to productivity. When working from home, set a daily schedule just as you might at the office. Just as you would at the office, take breaks throughout the day whether they be after a goal is accomplished or after a certain number of hours.
One twist we’ll add here is to make a schedule that’ll keep you plugged into the world. Working from home can sometimes feel very isolating, so make sure your daily schedule includes something social- lunch with clients/friends/coworkers, coffee break with others, etc..
Of course, only you know how you work best, so if you’re someone that can rock the day in your pajamas from your bed, go for it. (Winston Churchill spent most of his day working from bed.) For the rest of us, experiment with different techniques and evaluate yourself at the end of the day.