Working from home is a wonderful form of freedom and I prefer it to having an office job, but there are challenges. When I first began freelancing, I suddenly had a lot of unstructured time on my hands and little training for such luxury. If you are anything like I am, you go between the extremes of intense focus and total distractibility. Unfortunately, the latter became the norm while the former was the exception.
How can we structure our time and be success self-starters?
Set a regular sleeping and waking routine.
Biorhythms make a big difference in energy and mental stability, overall. Our bodies adjust to our nightly and morning routines and can utilize rest times more effectively when we stay balanced and consistent.
Exercise and meditate in the morning.
Get your body and mind working early and energetically for improved longevity throughout the day. Whether you are walking the dog for 30 minutes, stretching, or doing strength exercises, give your body a challenge. We can also use exercise as a meditative practice or establish time to be alone and quiet, praying or clearing our heads before starting our work day.
Set bite-sized assignments for yourself.
Overwhelming tasks call for procrastination, which means the task list grows and grows until we are binge-working to make a deadline. I write an article or section of my book and then take an outdoors break to revamp my brain and give my eyes a break. In terms of time, 45 minutes is a good target for focus time.
Take an outdoors break when you complete an assignment.
Going outside for some sun and fresh air helps our mental state and signals a transition. The sunlight provides biological boosts and wakes us up, while leaving our caves helps us reset our minds.
If you have pets, take advantage of their companionship.
Spending time and affection on my cat and dog lowers my blood pressure, as clinically proven, and helps me relax when I need a break. They never complain.
Keep to normal “work hours”.
Do not make working from home into working around the clock. We get to be our own bosses to increase freedom and flexibility, not to chain ourselves to our computers, etc. Set boundaries for when you are in “work” mode and “life” mode, refraining from answering work emails or calls “after hours”. This suggestion includes variation and modifications for emergency, but we can end up losing the benefits of setting our schedules if we are always in work mode.
Lay off the sugar.
Processed sugar, which appears on most ingredient lists in one form or another, is unhelpful, to put it mildly. Aside from metabolic catastrophe, sugar spikes our energy before crashing it, leaving us more tired and lethargic than before. It is also incredibly addictive, which means that we need more and more to achieve a baseline effect. As someone who abstains from most processed sugars, I can attest to the benefits, both in energy levels and weight loss.
In short, take advantage of the privilege to work from home and make it work for you.