The flexibility of working remotely is blissful…that is, until your kid pops up during a video call and the laundry starts giving you the stare-down. Whether working from home is your norm or just a sometime thing, experts share their best strategies to eliminate distractions and be your most productive self. What commute?
Stick to a Schedule
One of the pitfalls of working from home: working too much. Create a set schedule of total working hours that match your typical workday. “When you have a structure, you become more efficient,” says Julie Morgenstern, an organizing expert and the author of Organizing from the Inside Out. Your start and stop times—and breaks—can be more fluid, but always finish at a designated time. “When there isn’t a specific cutoff time, it can be hard for people to step away from their work,” says Katharine Zaleski, cofounder and president of PowerToFly, a recruiting platform for remote and tech jobs for women.
Avoid the Couch...
With wireless, you can work anywhere—but just because you can doesn’t mean you should, says Morgenstern. “Designate a specific room or area so there’s a mental boundary between working and relaxing,” she suggests. If you don’t have a home office, figure out a space that has enough surface area for the nature of your work and that won’t lead to laptop neck and back strain. The dining room table is fine. Just make sure you clean up your work at the end of the day, with no stacks of papers around. “That way, work won’t bleed into family time,” says Morgenstern.
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