From an outsider looking in, those who work from home seemingly have it all- the amount of times people have said to me "Working from home? You must love it! You can sit in your pyjamas without a scrap of makeup on and work whilst snacking all day!"
And whilst I am not adverse to the occasional day of sitting in my snoopy pj's and munching on rather copious amounts of cereal, working from home requires a significant amount of discipline and motivation in forms that are not necessarily found in a place of work.
Set an alarm for a normal waking up time. Waking up swaddled in your sumptuously soft duvet, the groggy morning haze streaming through the window and the world waking up around you, makes it hard to get up.; The thought of knowing there will be no serious repercussions from an extra hour shut-eye, makes it ever harder. This is why it is so important to establish a regular routine- similarly to what you would do it you were leaving the house for an external place of work. I usually set mine for 8 o clock. Also be sure to set a time for you to start work- I set mine for 9am, though sometimes start earlier depending on if I am ready or not.
Dress for success. It has been proven than your attire greatly influences your mind-set, and if you're dressed and ready to face the world, your brain and motivation will be too. However, if you stay in your slouchy clothes in bed and just work with your laptop on your lap, your brain associates the setting with sleeping and resting, therefore reducing your productivity rather significantly.
Allow yourself set breaks. Allow yourself down time. Don't view it as 'you're at home therefore don't deserve down-time' allocate times to make yourself a cup of tea and give yourself time off for lunch. Tell yourself what time you will go on or off the break though, otherwise you could find yourself distracted with a television programme or activity and let the time get away with you. If you arrange a set time before you relax, you will know what time to get back and work and have a chance to mentally prepare for this.
Talk to people. Whilst this may seem a little silly, working from home on your own can be lonely. Without co-workers and other members of the public you meet throughout your day, the pretence of only corresponding via email can get rather tedious. Call a friend up on your lunch break or phone up clients instead of emailing- more efficient and you get a bit of a break from the sound of your own thoughts.
Set a time to finish. Working from home can make it easy to carry on late into the evening, saying you'll just do 'one more thing.' Yet you do need down time too. Set a time to finish (I normally finish working on Seen in the City at about 6.30pm).
Working from home and for yourself can be both a blessing and a curse, but when conducted efficiently it is one of the best things you can do. What are your thoughts on working from home?