Work, laundry, work, play with kids, work, work out …
If you're a freelancer or digital business owner, working from home some- to all of the time, this is likely your reality. There are so many amazing perks to working from home, starting with that whole "no commute" thing. However, finding the balance between work life and home life all in the same place can be a challenge if you're not mindful of possible distractions.
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It's one of the many things Lightpost tackles in its free career-based plans to help people just getting started. Make the most of your foray into working for yourself with the custom guides. And make the most of your work-from-home (or home-as-work) days with these tips:
Rather than setting up camp at the kitchen table or on the sofa, designate space for yourself to concentrate on work. You won't have to move your work supplies when you're finished with them — plus we all know how easy it is for things to get lost or cleaned up never to be seen again. Desk, chair, boom. You're in business.
Make sure everyone's on the same page.
When it's work time, it's work time. Make sure your kids or spouse know that just because you are home does not mean you're available. As you're setting up your work space, explain that this is your "office" and you need peace and quiet to do work.
Decorate your space.
Make your work space a place you want to spend your day. You don't have to go all-out DIY or spend $100 on desk tchotchkes, but we would recommend incorporating a couple things that make you happy into your work space. That could be everything from family photos to your favorite books. Pinterest is a rabbit hole for ideas, from basic to advanced.
Alternate tip: Take a lunch break. We've all been guilty of the sad desk lunch — an uninspiring meal grazed at absently while staring at a computer screen doing work. When your home is also your office, you have the luxury of, first-off, your own kitchen, but also ingredients to prepare yourself something fresh and take a real step away from a work environment.
Look away from your screen.
Unglue yourself… with the help of apps. Awareness is a free desktop app (Mac and Windows) that lets you set a timer to remind yourself to take regular computer breaks. Set how much work time you want and how much break time you want, and wait for the chime of Awareness' Tibetan singing bowl. If you're nervous about how much eye-time your computer gets, the app ProtectYourVision goes a step further by blacking out your screen when it's time for your eyes to take a break.
Track your steps.
From taking public transportation to walking from a parking garage to walking to a faraway office for a meeting, it's surprising how much activity you get by simply getting to work and going about your day. When you work from home, why lose those bursts of activity? Once an hour while you're resting your eyes, step outside for a couple minutes and walk a bit. Use a fitness tracker like Fitbit (or the Health tracker on your iPhone) to make sure you're getting your 10,000 steps a day.
Dress for success — even if you're just heading to the next room! Take off those slippers and put on some real pants once in a while. It'll make you more productive — we promise.
Lightpost is the USA TODAY Network's guide to navigating big life moments, like changing careers, starting a business and becoming a freelancer. Start your free custom plan today.