In my survey on the problems of all remote workers, 53.6% of respondents said “self-discipline”. And so far members and friends ask me how I force myself to work from home when there are so many distractions and a warm blanket with a tablet and YouTube.
There are several rules that must be observed when working from home. Here they are:
- The workplace and places of recreation should be separated. You can’t eat at your desk or perform work in the kitchen while eating a sandwich. Ideally, this should be a separate room with a separate desk, or in extreme cases — coworking (far — because every day to work from it is expensive and I’m uncomfortable).
- You should know clearly what tasks you have scheduled for this week and today.
- It is important to develop independence and take responsibility for work: nobody will control and look at the monitor, so work on results, not on time. Do not expect that you will be given the job — invent them for themselves.
- Productive work is not 8 hours without raising his head, and the maximum result with minimal investments.
Now more about how to organize it all on the remote.
The separation of work and leisure.
Most likely, you don’t have a spare room that can be folded under the Cabinet. Otherwise, you would have already worked there and not read this article.
So you have two options: to rent a bigger apartment or to arrange a separate working space. With the first option everything is clear, let’s talk about the second.
Workstation is a large table where you work, where you can put the computer and all the necessary items. I have it on the calendar, Notepad for detailing tasks, a mug of water and a laptop.
On the table there should be nothing distracting: put things children and relatives to another place, warn that your Desk has not been touched and not filled up with unnecessary items.
Pick a comfortable chair. Believe me, if you feel uncomfortable to sit and in a few hours starts to ache, you immediately begin to procrastinate: settles on the couch to relax, run for a moment in the social network and will be gone for a few hours there.
The table needs to be easy access. Don’t put it so had to squeeze between him and the Cabinet, plunging a stomach — most likely, it will be another obstacle to your productive work.
Put it next to a few dirty fruits, nuts and a glass of water, not to run to the kitchen for a snack and not disappear there for half an hour with coffee.
I have my planning system. I set some big goals for the next six months, determine what needs to be done to achieve them overall, and then write out each task in detail. For this, I have a separate notebook where I look several times a week to check in with your plan.
And in the diary, I divide the page into several parts and write down tasks for each day by category: client projects one of the tasks on my goals and projects in the second, meetings and calls in the third. So I have time to work on their own and clients’ objectives and don’t lose them in the scheduler.
Tasks for the day I’m recording from the evening to the morning to know exactly where to begin. Do not leave the planning in the morning: the vaguer your idea of what you need to do today, the harder it is to force yourself to start. It’s hard to do something without knowing what you do.
If you can not get to begin the task, you have defined it too broadly. Try to break it up in stages, starting with the most simple, down to “open application” and “meet the client “OK”. I prescribe to the scheduler task to write someone, to go through the mail, even submit meter readings. So I don’t have anything to keep in mind, and the omission of small but important things provides me with dopamine.
Independence and discipline
I’ve never worked in an office for longer than two weeks, but I suppose that a discipline problem occurs because of a habit. The house is clearly associated with recreation and the office — work, so the brain switches rapidly from one to another. And when you start to work from home all the time I want to relax and sleep, because the brain screams “NOW you CAN!”.
Allow yourself to rest. A few weeks or even a couple of months work as necessary. Sleep until noon, eat at your desk, work in the kitchen — break all these rules. Experience the freedom and thrill that you now manage my time and work. Take a trip somewhere for a few days, services day to take a walk, lie in wait in the bar on Tuesday evening.
This stage in the life of a new freelancer very important, otherwise the point in working from home will not be simple. You should feel that you are free and independently come to the need to set things up. You may be comfortable to work in such a chaotic format, and maybe you are a night owl and most productive at night — then no advice you do not need.
But if you feel that you are hard, not enough “kick” and order in your life, you will begin to this order gradually to come. So it was with me, although I still sometimes break the rules freelance to feel within.
Take advice on the organization of the workplace, clearly plan tasks for the next month, week or tomorrow. And begin to gradually cultivate independence: if a task is closed, take it to the authorities or to the customer and proceed to the next; if something is unclear — ask questions and Google; make a list of the skills you need to master for higher wages and demand and find a few courses or open classes on YouTube for him. Take life into your own hands.
Productivity is not what it seems
Productivity is not an unknown beast waiting to be tamed. I don’t score all-day work: I sleep late, spend much time for family and themselves, often go out and see friends. I manage and lead their projects, and to work with customers and travel. I have enough money for themselves (rent apartment, food, and entertainment), the monthly assistance to parents and savings. It’s not because I’m a robot, or has found some gold mine: I constantly monitor the in-demand skills and master them, improve their skills and the cost of an hour of their work. So I manage to work less and get more. It makes no sense to sit 8 hours over a shallow and low-paid work, if I can learn a little bit, to take a more complex and expensive project and get the same time 3-4 times more money.
Besides, during the holidays and switching to another activity, the brain processes the information and gives great ideas. That’s why the coolest ideas come in the shower or on a walk when you can’t instantly fall for their implementation. If your job a little bit associated with creativity and solution to various problems, procrastination is all you need.
And last: who wants to achieve the goal, looking for opportunities, who does not want — looks for obstacles. If you see negativity and barriers to distance and freelance in everything and at the same time have never googled how to jump over these barriers, then the problem is not a priority for you now. Set it aside and come back when you are mentally and physically ready.
If you have already switched to work from home and read the article to the end, then you have one last breakthrough left until the moment when the deletion becomes the best work format in the world.