In our last post I explained about How to Write a Press Release for Backlinks and Traffic and today I’m going to explain Work At Home Strategies. Whether you are self employed, run an online business or work for a company, working from home can become very difficult, very quickly. Within a few months you may find yourself unmotivated to work, stressed and less healthier than usual due to various factors of the home environment.
Most people think of working at home as a great luxury but they have probably not experienced the disadvantages of working at home such as weight gain from reduced physical activity, a reduced social life due to lack of work colleagues and the constant pressure to work because your office is in your home. The net result of all of these factors usually causes a reduction in productivity and motivation. Fortunately there are some ways to mitigate and even reduce these hazards, here are some suggestions:
1. Pay attention to desk and chair ergonomics
The way you sit at your desk can have a huge impact on your productivity. In order to work more efficiently it is important that you are comfortable and you are not putting any unneeded pressure on body parts such as your back. As you will probably already know, back problems are a common problem for office workers due to the hours they spend sitting at their desk.
If you are going to take working at home seriously, you will need to invest in a proper ergonomic chair. These may be a little more expensive but the benefits that you receive from them will far outweigh the costs in the long term. Two brands that produce high quality office chairs are Herman Miller and Steel case. If you are budget conscious, you can buy a used chair by searching local classified ads or eBay. Buying a second hand chair will usually allow you to get around 60% off the retail price however you will need to ensure that the chair is still in good condition.
2. Develop A Schedule
Patterns remove stress from the chaos of working at home. A good way to stay organized with work and keep your body feeling fresh is to schedule your week and months in advance by using a calendar such as Google Calender. Assign your goals and deadlines using the calendar to receive automatic alerts and reminders on your phone. Remember to also account for days off and social activities such as meeting family and friends. Your calendar should not be a huge todo list.
3. Use A “To-Do” List System
Daily to-do lists are the most effective way to organize your daily tasks. Plan your tasks the day before and make sure to break each task down into smaller parts. You may also want to assign a time slot of each major activity. A good way to ensure things are completed in time is to put the most important things at the top of your list so that you are forced to complete them first as there will be days you will not complete everything on it (in this case you would simply move it to the following day). A recommended web based application to create to-do lists is workflowy.
One of the main problems with working at home is that your daily physical activity is greatly reduced. The exercise you normally get from that brisk walk to your office or the commute to meet clients will no longer be applicable. Instead, you will wake up, possibly have breakfast and then walk a few yards to begin your work the day.
This lack of activity can cause you to gain weight without noticing and also make you look and feel less healthy. Sedentary lifestyles also increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Furthermore, A healthy body and mind makes you mo`re motivated to work so it’s important to compensate for this loss of physical activity with some weekly exercise. An easy way to get some exercise is to join the local gym, buy some home gym equipment or play some sports with friends.
5. Reduce repetitive eye-strain
Eye strain is a common enemy, not only for people who work at home, but for anyone with a job that requires a lot of screen watching. Eye strain usually manifests itself as a numbing pain behind one or both eyes. You may also notice red marks on your eye balls and the skin around the eye may appear darkened. Apart from being an annoying temporary condition, it is a real dampener for productivity. If you are suffering from pain in your eyes, you probably will not want to work.
Eye strain usually dissipates within a few days but there are two things that you can do to reduce it significantly. The first thing you can do is to simply take more breaks. You don’t want to be staring at your computer for hours on end. Optometrists recommend looking away from the screen for a few seconds at every 45 minute interval.
The second thing you can do is to make use of a program called F.lux. This is a program which is compatible with PCs, Macs and other apple devices. You can download it free and it changes the color of your screen to match the time of day. Basically, you will notice it will add a slight orange glow to your screen which will become less noticeable over time. By using Flux, you will probably find that eye strain becomes a rare event and your eyes do not feel tired as much as they used to.
Working at home has it advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately these disadvantages can be greatly reduced by employing some of the techniques shared in this article.
Do you have a productivity or motivational tip? Please feel free to share your tips and views in the comment box below.