I have been working from home as a medical coder for over 10 years. I know, a long time. And during that time I have noticed a few things that help keep my mind from wandering. Most days they help, but every now and then I still long for a day crashed out on the couch with a pint of ice cream!
- Make your own space – even if its the end of the dining room table, it’s yours for work. Get something that makes the space ‘yours’. A cute mouse pad, fun pens, even fun colored note pads.
- When you are done, you are done – no checking emails or that last detail, pretend your workstation isn’t even there. If anything throw a sheet over it. Also, don’t sit at when you are off. I know it sounds crazy, but it will help mentally that that’s your ‘work space’.
- Change work times/days to meet your needs – Work mornings but you are not a morning person? Or maybe need to work your spouses day off to cover child care? Ask your manager, what are they gonna say – No!?! Maybe a yes, if you give good valid reasons. If you don’t try you’ll never know.
- Put away distractions – turn off the tv, put away hobbies, stuff the laundry back in the dryer, log out of social media. Do whatever you have to do to clear out anything that can keep you preoccupied and away from work. Literally, unless somethings on fire, let it go.
- Take breaks – go outside, walk around, stretch, move, get away from the screen and the constant bombardment. Give yourself a mental time-out. Also, more than likely you are not moving as much as you would in office, weight gain happens which takes me to…
- Watch what you eat, and when – it’s so easy to overeat at home. Especially if you are bored in a meeting or love food like me.
- Keep an open line of communication with bosses/coworkers – it is harder then you think even with all the ways to stay connected.
- No soliciting sign – you can be guaranteed that when you have a big deadline with no time to waste you will have everybody knocking at your door.
- Dress for work – I work in jeans and a t-shirt most days. I’m comfortable in it and its my ‘work attire’. I have known others that they get fully dressed in business attire, make-up, and hair. Everything as if they are going into the office. That’s how they keep themselves on task. Everyone is different, do what will help you.
- Get out when done – Isolation, or at least the feeling of being isolated is a real thing and when left unchecked can lead to depression. So to counteract it get out of the house! Go meet friends, join a club, church, gym, take classes (with other people around). Human contact is an amazing thing, just talking to another person face to face can help. Honestly, I don’t know how many poor grocery store workers I have cornered and talked their ear off just because I was so happy to see and talk to some one.