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The Mental Game of Working FromHome How to Make the Most of Work and Play
Working from home can be tricky, and not just because you can’t cut trees from home. A lot of administrative work goes into running a business, and those tasks have to be completed behind a desk somewhere. In the current state of the world, spare bedrooms, dining room tables, or basements, where I’ve found myself working, have become workplaces. But the struggle isn’t always the location; it’s often the mindset. I’ve been loving all the extra time I’ve been getting to spend at home with my family. I’ve had the privilege of working from home for several years now, so my day to day hasn’t changed much. But how my wife and two young kids spend their days has changed. They’ve been home a lot more than usual, and that means it’s that much harder to keep myself from leaving my desk and going upstairs to visit with them. But that’s the most important attribute needed to create a successful at-home work environment: mental discipline. Even though your home is filled with potential distractions, it’s necessary to find a way to focus on your work, just as you would in an office. Mental discipline is key, and there are several ways you can help yourself achieve it. First, find a space where you can separate yourself. Whether it’s a spare room or a quiet corner, designate space for your work and nothing else.
Once you’re settled, start working in designated time blocks. Create a list of tasks to complete every day, figure out how much time each task will take, and schedule accordingly. For every two hours of work, allot yourself a 15-minute break to step away, stretch your legs, or see what the family is up to. Then buckle down for another two-hour block. Think of your breaks as “rewards” for working through a block successfully. Breaking your day down like this can help you fight the temptation to walk away from your desk every time a distraction beckons you. The challenge we all face right now is keeping home life and work life discrete, even though the physical lines between the two are very blurred. They can be tough to separate, but if you do, you’ll find that each part of your life becomes that much more meaningful and productive because you can focus solely on one at a time. I’ve been loving the extra time I get to spend with my family after business is done for the day. We’ve been taking a lot of walks together, playing in the backyard, and getting the kids involved with various home projects we’ve been meaning to tackle for years. When it comes to business, the statistics as of late don’t lie: There’s been an uptick in traffic to online shopping sites, which means sales and
profits are moving in the same direction. This also bodes well for an essential business like yours during this time, so find ways to buckle down while you work from home and keep things on the upswing. Opportunity hasn’t stopped knocking yet. No matter what happens, as the years pass after a major event occurs, we look back with a perspective that we didn’t have when we were in the midst of it. That’s going to be the same for our current scenario. It may be one year from now, or it may be 30, but either way, this is going to be a time we all look back on and learn from. So do everything you can to make the most of it while you’re in it.
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