By Christy Nelson
Let’s face it, if you left your house every day for a job, you’ve had a schedule. If you’re working from home now, you need a schedule too. This doesn’t just mean “I work from X time to Y time” it means “here is my new routine.”
- Set a window for the time you plan to start work each day, such as “I will start work between 8 and 9 a.m.”
- Get dressed before that time. Did you work in your pajamas before this? No?. So don’t work in your pajamas now. It will help you get into work mode.
- Schedule your lunch time on your calendar.
- Plan in 10 min breaks to step away from your computer.
- Schedule a “done by” window, such as “At 4:30 I’ll begin to wrap up and by 5:15 I’ll turn off my PC.”
- Create a transition activity – if you commuted before, you had that time to transition from work-self to home-self. Do that now too. It can be reading for 10 min, walking around the block, playing with a pet: something to mark the end of work.
- Be flexible – Assess your new schedule and make adjustments as needed. This is especially true if you have kids at home. Maybe you need to have windows of not working during the day to just be with your kids. Maybe you need to trade off with a spouse/sig-other. Maybe you need to pick up your work hours in the evening or early morning.
- Communicate – Tell your boss/coworkers when you will be away from your PC and when you will be available.
Christy Nelson has 25 years’ experience in IT program and project management, leading globally distributed teams. She has been working from home since 1999 when you needed 2 phone lines to support a dial-up modem and a phone call at the same time. She works for one of the big 5 consulting companies.
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