Working From Home? Have a Routine!

Women working at her dining room table.

Our brains are required to manage thousands of pieces of information. Having a routine allows your brain to go on autopilot for some of the thought processes around what has to get done next. In a business of our own, or when working at home for our jobs, our routine is changed and we now are required to consciously think about “what should I do next”. This is time-consuming and can overwhelm people to the point of procrastination (where you work on non-essential tasks) or paralysis (where you stop working completely). Here are a few things you can do to get into your routine.

 While working at home for a short term (like during this Covid-19 pandemic)

1.     Define a workspace at home that you will use. Try not to use a common space, like the kitchen table, where your family needs to be regularly. Convert a corner in another room to be your new workspace.

2.     Use as much of your routine from work as you can to stay on track at home.

3.     Let your family know what your routine is so they will know when they can interrupt you and when they should let you work.

This change of environment will feel a little like starting a new job. You will need a couple of days to get settled and then the productivity will come back when you have your new routine to follow.

 When working at home full-time

1.     Have a business work location in your home, preferably with a door.

2.     Define your working parameters and make it a routine. (start and stop times, break times, project/admin/networking blocks, email, etc.)

3.     Stick to your times as much as possible. For instance, wake up the same time every morning to start your workday.

Being a business owner or an employee that works at home fulltime, you will have a lot of moving parts that require a lot of your attention. Having routines will allow you to spend less time on the less important tasks and open up more time for the money-making work.

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