Working From Home: My Rules.

This is the first time I've had a job where I am regularly working from home. It's the "norm." At least for now.

I've had full time jobs where I work a day "here and there" from home. And when I was consulting, that was a different ball game. I was working from home... But that was all on me. I was responsible for doing everything, including chasing payments. So work was all I was focused on.

With my new job, though, I am trying to establish rules for how I work in the same space in which I live. And while it's still early days, I think I have put together a game plan...
  1. Go to the gym every morning. It's so much easier, I am finding, to actually fit in my gym time when working from home. I actually go at the same time I would go if I was working in an office - 6:30am.
  2. No work email before 8:30am. This is so different than how I usually work. In the past, I would check and respond to emails anytime of day. Even in the middle of the night, when I got up to go to the bathroom. I'll confess, I do check them on my phone. But I won't respond until 8:30am.
  3. No work email after 6pm. This goes with the previous point. My work day has to have an end if I'm working in my living space.
  4. Go for a mid-day walk. Usually to the beach. But sometimes it could be a bike ride in the neighborhood.
  5. Lunch away from desk. Either outside in my garden, or on my walk. My favorite is walking to the strip here in Encinitas, and getting a burrito from Raul's.
  6. Try to work away from home in the afternoon. There are a few options for coffee shops in my area. Starbucks is my "go-to" because I know it has reliable WiFi. Spending two hours working around other people is good. I'm attempting to explore other coffee shops in the area.
  7. No TV. I don't watch much TV as it is. But it is off by 9am when I am working from home. 
The one thing I am surprised by is that I don't have an urge to take a nap mid-afternoon. At least so far. Not that I would. But I certainly could take a 15 minute sleeping break if I wanted to.

These were ones suggested by various friends that I think are fantastic:

  1. Dress like you're going into the office. I agree with this one and am surprised I overlooked mentioning it myself! No yoga pants. No PJs. Today, for example, you will find me in jeans and a cute top. My hair is fixed. I actually have a little bit of make-up on as well. This is almost what I would look like if I was going into the office. Only I'd add super cute shoes.
  2. Have a maximum productivity soundtrack. Another great one. My favorite is to turn on the "Classical for Studying" station on Pandora. I do need to pick up a speaker for better sound play here in my "office."
  3. Have a designated workspace. I wrote about mine last week. But this is essential too. Right now, however, I do eat at the same table in which I work. But when I find a more permanent place here in SD, I will have a separate desk set up.