2-Step Strategy To Achieve Work From Home Success.
What if I have told you that working from home can be harmful to your physical and mental health? It can ruin your family life. It not only can destroy your social life but also can kill your productivity.
Many people experience different physical and mental health issues including mood swings, high level of stress, anxiety, insomnia, body-ache, back pain, weight gain and loss of appetite or overeating. Working over and feel burn out or couldn't find a motivation to start their working day is another issue.
All these conditions can make you less productive that ultimately affects your per hour worth and blocks all the way to a career progression.
Surely I am not making these things up, I am just telling you a universal truth and what I have been told by the majority of my self-employed clients who wanted help to improve their financial and social conditions.
What if I also told you that working from home can be an absolutely amazing and outstanding experience? You might be thinking I have lost my mind, on one hand, I am telling you that working from home causes many issues and on the other, I am calling working from home the best thing ever happens in anyone's life.
Over the last fifteen years, I have been successfully working from home and I am positive about that if you follow two simple strategies, you too can achieve a lifestyle you always desired for.
First of all, you have to promise me that from now on you will be following my strategies to achieve unlimited freedom and success. In return, I guarantee you an increased level of productivity, balanced work and family life, happiness and financial freedom.
I follow a simple principle:
‘What you can do matters more than where you are. If you have the tools and resources to stay connected to your world you still can make a big difference.’
Most people who have discovered the secret of Working From Home or WFH, say they will never consider going back to the workplace again. However, they also acknowledge that freedom and flexibility come with many challenges.
I believe the benefits and challenges all revolve around a single word— freedom. Every positive component of liberty that accompanies WFH also has engulfed complications. For example, when working from home, you have the freedom to establish your schedule. This freedom can be challenging because there is a possibility that your performance is not as satisfying as it should be, or as your employer expects, simply because of the unlimited freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Whether you like to play, relax or work, it is in your control. Challenges are inevitable because WFH does not come with the traditional workplace cultural reinforcement that is essential for a smooth mental transition. You can enjoy a less stressful morning and evening because there is no daily commute involved. Yet that lack of daily commute can cause the mental transition into work mode to be harder. This transition is the crucial factor that keeps you working till late and finding the motivation to start your day.
NO ONE LIKES BOUNDARIES, BUT EVERYONE FOLLOWS THEM, RIGHT!
Working from home also depends on the cooperation of other members of your household as you. They are your loved ones, and you care about them more than anything else. Mostly, when people are working from home, their families, especially children, do not understand the fact that being at home does not mean that they are always available. Similarly, you might want to spend more time with them, and never find the motivation to start working. This is the point where working from home meets its most significant challenge. Freedom without boundaries can be a source of continual distractions, and it will have an extremely negative impact on your per hour productivity, and that will also affect your finance.
Creating boundaries is the only solution for every challenge stemming from unrestrained freedom. If this sounds restrictive to you than you have not yet realised that the beauty of these boundaries is that you are the creator of them. Neither reading this nor I, at any point, are going to tell you when you should start working and when you should end your working day. Instead, we both will explore the opportunities to achieve high productivity from your working from home day. But, in the end, you are in control, and you will need to think about these boundaries and how to implement them. I would recommend that you create these boundaries like the highway rules. You might be thinking, why should these boundaries be like the rules of the road? Following road rules allow drivers to reach their destination safely, and in the same way, boundaries for working from home will help you to stay focused and productive. It will also help you to avoid the pitfalls of indefinite freedom.
I am not going to tell you what to do, because you are in the best position to know how to help yourself and stay productive. You are entirely independent to create these boundaries, and I will guide you throughout the process. Rest assured, all those boundaries that you are going to set, and every system that you will put in place is your choice.
The first step towards a successful working from home is:
CREATING A PRODUCTIVE WORKPLACE
The home is the central point of peace and power for most of us. When it comes to working from home, your Workspace should be a powerful tool for you to utilise. It should have a physical and mental boundary that creates an invisible but significant barrier between your working and personal life. I believe that everything should have a home.
The best way to explain what I mean by this is with an anecdote: Let us assume, we live in a place that we call home. Our clothes stay in closets, drawers, suitcases or perhaps elsewhere. This storage place is a home for all your outfits.
Similarly, work- and work-related items should have a home, somewhere where your files and stationery should live. So, when you need, let’s say a paperclip or a highlighter, you can easily find them by visiting their home. It will save you a lot of time and effort, and most importantly it will reduce your stress.
HOW TO CREATE A PRODUCTIVE WORKSPACE?
Ideally, if you have a spare room in your home, you should allocate it to your work. It should be a room with a door that you can close; will help you to shut out non-work-related distractions and sends a message both to you and to other members of your household— “I am working”.
But what if you don't have one? or you can't afford to invest in your Workspace? Well, by making some minor changes you will still be able to get better results. I recommend that you should immediately consider improving your work environment. The first step you should take is to divide your home into two vital areas:
1. THE WORKING AREA –WORKSPACE
2. YOUR PERSONAL AREA –YOU-SPACE
As discussed previously, everything should be homed somewhere which could be called it's ‘Home’. By accommodating your work in a place where everything relates to it, and keeping everything else out of that place, can create a boundary between your work and personal life.
One of my friends’ sister, who makes handmade jewellery, started working from home. She wanted to set her workshop in her basement but clearing up the entire basement required a lot of time that she simply did not have. The solution was to clear up a corner for her workbench and place dividers around her Workspace.
What is I have no space for work at all? What if I work from my bed or on a Couch?
These are some common questions people normally ask me during workshops. I understand why people often end up working in their beds or in front of their TVs while having family members sitting next to them, but they must realise that this is directly harming their productivity. I recommend that you change this habit as soon as possible before it's too late to change.
Working in bed negatively impacts your natural sleep cycles and sitting on a couch for long periods of time is not good for your posture. It also can cause various pains and strains mostly in the neck, back and even knees which can put you at greater risk of further injuries. If that wasn’t enough, working from your bed or couch will make the transition between working time and your time much more difficult. I strongly urge that you should do your health a favour by getting yourself a simple desk and a comfy chair.
Nowadays, you can find a decent desk and various other office supplies on Facebook Marketplace where local people sell and sometimes give these away free of charge.
For more tips to improve your productivity while working from home, please read 'WFH During the Pandemic and Beyond,' available as an Ebook and paperback.