Out of Office: Tried-and-True Tips For Working From Home

My pre-home office days, circa 2016.

I’ve worked from home for the past 6+ years and would like to pass along some tried-and-true advice for those of you who find yourselves out of the office for the foreseeable future:

1. Get dressed. While the thought of working in your pajamas all day sounds wonderful, I’ve found that getting dressed as if I were going into the office helps shift my mindset into work mode and doesn’t leave me feeling like I should be lounging around the house all day.

2. Establish a work station. Much like getting dressed can put you in work mode, having a designated work station that’s for, you know, work, can help minimize distractions and keep you focused on what you need to do. Avoid sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch with your laptop if you can help it. That is where you eat and relax. It shouldn’t be where you work.

3. Set a schedule and stick to it. Know when your day is going to start, when you will break for lunch, and when it will end. Otherwise, it can be real easy to want to work at random hours, skip lunch, finish up work after dinner because you didn’t manage your time well, etc. There’s literally nowhere else to go, and not much else to do, so set your hours and stick to them!

4. Move! Set a timer and get up from your desk every 30-60 minutes to get outside and walk around the block, stretch in your living room, knock out some pushups, whatever you need to do to get yourself out from in front of your computer screen for 5-10 minutes at a time.

5. Phone a friend. The freedom and flexibility of working from home is great but it can also be isolating if you’re not careful. Pick up the phone to check in on on your colleagues, FaceTime your friends at lunch, and make sure you stay connected with others while you’re isolated at home.

These 10 tips from writer Austin Kleon are pretty solid, too.

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