3 ways to… handle working from home

Sarah Farley offers three ways to overcome distractions and find your motivation when working from home.

A lot of people tell me that if they worked from home they’d probably sit in their pyjamas and drink tea in front of the telly all day. And some days that’s tempting. But when there’s work to be done you need to put down that biscuit, turn off the TV and get cracking. Here are three ways that may help you.

1. Get dressed and walk to work.

One of the things I miss about travelling to an office is the time it gives me to switch from ‘home’ mode to ‘work’ mode. So, I recently started walking to work. I grab a coffee or just walk around the block. But every time I step back into my flat I feel ready to crack on with the day’s to-do list.

It also means I have to get dressed. We’ve all had days where we’ve fallen out of bed and straight to our desk, but it’s hard to feel professional when you’re still in your pyjamas and fluffy slippers at lunchtime. Getting dressed helps me feel ready for work.

2. Set up a workspace away from your personal distractions.

If the TV is too much of a temptation either move the TV, or move yourself. If you can’t work when there’s a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, wash them and move on. If Twitter and Facebook take up half your day, go offline. And if you’re too weak to do that, there’s software that blocks the internet, like Freedom and Anti-Social – perfect for writers. Figure out what your biggest distraction is and get rid of it. And set up a space solely for work and away from anything that lures you from it. You’ll get more done that way.

3. Leave home.

I know, this contradicts the title of this article, but if you’re really struggling with working from home, then there’s a simple solution: work somewhere else. Find an alternative office: your local library or coffee shop is a good place to start. And don’t limit it to indoor spaces. I go to a nearby park whenever I need fresh air and inspiration. Or rent a desk at a creative agency. This will give you a place to meet clients and working with an agency could also bring you work.

Whatever you do, keep trying until you find something that works for you.


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