One of the best things about homeworking is the flexibility it offers, yet it’s amazing how many homeworkers conform to a nine to five routine, even when they don’t have to.
The problem is that as a home worker, you’re generally working alone, so there’s less chance of interaction with colleagues that you’d have in a bigger office. You’re unlikely to run into anyone in your kitchen when you’re making a coffee, for instance.
In order to benefit from the freedom that homeworking offers, and to avoid getting cabin fever, it’s a good idea to shake up your usual routine every now and then by doing things slightly differently. Here’s how.
Schedule some exercise
Exercising has all kinds of benefits. Not only will it keep you bodily fit, but the endorphins produced from a run, a swim or an exercise class can improve your mood, and motivate to go back to your desk ready to get things done.
It’s easy to let exercise take second place when you have a lot to do, so schedule it in the same way you would a meeting, and don’t make any excuses to skip it. Taking yourself away from the office for an hour to do something physically demanding will prove very beneficial. If you choose to do a class or a session at the gym, you’ll also get the opportunity to socialise with others, which is a bonus.
Take a proper lunch break
It’s easy to just have a quick sandwich while you continue to work, but while you may not have time to cook a full meal, that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to eat one. Make use of food delivery services that can bring any type of cuisine to your door and be sure not to eat it in the office.
Take your food to the dining table and sit down to enjoy it. Eating mindfully, savouring each mouthful and thinking about the food you’re eating can actually help clear your head of work detail, and enable you to relax before you start work again back at your desk.
Work late or work early
You’re your own boss, so you can set your own routine. Of course, you have to be available to speak to clients during normal working hours most of the time, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in your office for set hours. Have a couple of days a week where you work early, or late, freeing up some more time for activities outside of work.
You might even choose to do something like volunteering at a local school, helping kids with reading one or two mornings a week. This will only take an hour of your time, but it’ll add a different dimension to your day, and it can be really rewarding to see how your reading buddy progresses over a period of time. On those days you can work later to make up for the time that you’ve missed.
These are just a couple of suggestions, of course. It doesn’t really matter how you break up your working day when you’re at home, and there will be times when you just have to work straight through to meet a deadline. The important thing is to add a little variety to your routine, to avoid feelings of boredom and isolation. And bear in mind when working from home gets you down that you’re in a position that most people stuck in a normal office environment would view as a dream opportunity. Make the most of it!