Tips and tricks for working at home by Henriette, Virtual Assistant

5 Top Things to help with a holistic approach to balance home and work when working from home

I am very fortunate to be able to work from home the last few years, but I can honestly say that there were a few challenges that I had to face. I had to learn a few new habits, and today I would like to share them with you and of course how to face these challenges and what they were for me.

So here are my top 4 tips

Having a separate work station

Well, one of the biggest reasons for me was the distractions, they were endless when I was sitting at the dining room, or even the lounge. I had to get my own office space!

  • It improves productivity

Having a “work” desk already gives you the resources you need to start working, you already have the desk set in a working order. Whereas when you use your dining room table you will need to clean it every time you need to eat and so forth, your “office” supplies needs to be re-arrange or moved every time. By having a set working desk, everything is set and ready for you to just sit down and start.

  • Comfortable environment

If you have a comfortable office space, it will help you to focus longer on working. A good example would be, if you used to work on your bed or even on the couch you won’t be able to work 8+ hours without getting up every half an hour because your legs are feeling asleep, or you back is aching. So what you need to do first is ensure that you have a extremely comfy desk chair (within your budget of course).

  • Maintain discipline

Having your separate office space removes all other distractions, for example, you can set rules to your family; when you are in your office you are not to be bothered, there should be boundaries. By having these boundaries you know that when you are in your office you need to work, and only focus on work.

Being disciplined with your working hours and personal hours

One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make is to think that you are home so you have time do to all those household chores, or time to have coffee with a friend…well that is a huge mistake.  Why? Because if you don’t have a routine or a rule (not doing anything personal until work is done) you will end up not getting all your work done, or you will need to rush.

You don’t necessarily have to schedule it, but if I noticed that if I schedule a more or less time to do these things it works best. By doing this you will also automatically be more disciplined.

Leaving room in your day to be able to handle a crisis for both personal and work related

Number three, yes it is best to schedule and be strict to when you work you work, when you “play” you “play” but you also need to be flexible for those unexpected things; such as a family crisis, or a client needing something quite urgent. Something that helped me with this is, I set up my smartphone with all my work email account and to all my working files so that if this happens and I may not have my laptop with me I have limited access to my work. Also I make sure my clients know my situation, for example, all my clients know I have a newborn. They know this so that if something comes up with the baby they will understand and it won’t be “out of the blue”.

Planning your day ahead

Have you ever read “The four hour work week” ; if not this is a “FANTASTIC” book (I will share the details below). Anyway in this book Tim speaks about making your To Do List for the next day at the end of the day is very helpful.

I can promise you by making a list from most important to less, will already safe you time in the morning. Why? Because if you are all set and ready to work you can literally just begin. You don’t need to still figure where to start or what to do just follow the list, and try to be strict working from the most important down and finishing one task at a time.

***The 4-Hour work week – By Tim Ferris