There are countless articles about what it takes to work successfully from home. This post is not meant to add to that list. Rather, these are my initial observations after making a change from 20 years of getting in a car and "going to work" to going into an extra bedroom in my house for a new role at work:
1. A sense of humor goes a long way. When it's time to begin work and head into my home office, I laugh and tell the family, "I'm off to work; see you all later!" This little gesture lets them know that what I'm about to do is serious and is just as important as if I were getting into my car to go to an office.
2. A workspace you love is important. I love my office. There are pictures of my family, lights that make the space feel warm and because I got to choose the layout, it's pretty much "just right".
3. Tracking your hours (or minutes) of "deep work" is essential. Since there are fewer distractions, deep work, to quote the book by the same name by Cal Newport, is more readily available. I have found that writing down all time slots that I'm working makes a big difference. That way, I know at the end of the day exactly how much real work I got done.
4. Theming your days is important. I did this back when I drove to a workplace and it's never been more valuable than now. This means that I'll spend chunks of Monday doing content creation, and then everyday afterwards has its own theme. Very helpful.
5. Sometimes you just need to change things up. My friend Gene, who has worked remotely for almost twenty years, does this well. He'll break up his day from his home office to a co-working space that's nearby. I'm learning to do this as well.
Download The Free Daily Planning Sheet
This is the planning page we suggest using every day.
So far, so good. I would say that the benefits far outweigh the the negatives. I'm still learning and can't wait to become really good at working from home.