Work in a Space That's Distinct from the Rest of Your Home
I find working from home a lot less distracting than working in an office, and that’s in large part due to the fact that I have a dedicated workspace that’s separated from the rest of my house. This is especially important for me because my husband works three days a week as a nurse and is off (and at home) for the other two days. When he’s home, he knows that if the door to my office is shut, I’m “at work” and shouldn’t be disturbed. Having a dedicated space for work also makes it far easier to unplug at the end of the day. If I worked from my couch, I’d be much more tempted to let work time bleed into my evenings.
Mind Your Appearance (And Not Just for Video Calls)
I have a confession — when I started working remotely there were days where I never got out of my pajamas. Of course, if I had a video call with someone, I’d get dressed, put on my makeup, and do my hair. But if I didn’t? I wondered, “Why bother?”
There are a couple of reasons my approach was flawed. First, unexpected meetings can pop up at any time, and I hated the feeling of scrambling to make myself presentable. But more importantly, many studies show that the clothes you wear can affect your mental and physical performance, and I’ve found this to be true for myself. Wearing pajamas all day left me feeling lethargic and made me more likely to hop back into bed during my lunch break.
“A paper in August 2015 in Social Psychological and Personality Science asked subjects to change into formal or casual clothing before cognitive tests,” according to an article in Scientific American Mind. “Wearing formal business attire increased abstract thinking—an important aspect of creativity and long-term strategizing. The experiments suggest the effect is related to feelings of power.”
I’m not saying you need to wear a power suit, but acknowledge the effect that your appearance has on your own mental state and adjust accordingly.
Take Advantage of Being Remote — Travel!
One of my favorite things about working remotely is the ability to travel and work at the same time. Since going remote, my husband and I have been able to take more trips, visit my in-laws more often, and see out-of-town friends more regularly. These trips always leave me feeling refreshed even though I work my normal hours. If you’ve got the travel bug (like I do), here’s a blog post with tips on how to work effectively while traveling.
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