How to stay on top of your game while work­ing from home

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Success - By Syed Balkhi Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBegin­ner.

Not that long ago, work­ing from home was a rar­ity, but times cer­tainly have changed. Many companies quickly have re­al­ized that some work­ers en­joy hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to toil from home in their pa­ja­mas and have em­braced the idea.

If you're a mem­ber of the re­mote pop­u­la­tion, be­ing or­ga­nized and ef­fi­cient are im­por­tant for your men­tal well-be­ing and pro­duc­tiv­ity. Here a few things to work on while work­ing from home.

Com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­larly

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is ab­so­lutely vi­tal to any ca­reer. When you work from home, things are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. You're more likely to suf­fer from iso­la­tion.

The best way to fight back against so­cial iso­la­tion and in­crease your pro­duc­tiv­ity is by com­mu­ni­cat­ing reg­u­larly with your team. Reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion also fights any un­fair per­cep­tions that you are not do­ing your job or are not in­volved with what is hap­pen­ing at the of­fice. Be­ing part of a project also can help you feel as though you're part of the team and en­cour­age you to check in reg­u­larly with other mem­bers.

Sep­a­rate work from per­sonal time

Many of those who work from home face the prob­lem of al­ways be­ing in work mode. They of­ten are un­able to dis­con­nect from work when they clock out for the day.

You have to be will­ing to men­tally leave the of­fice. The first thing you can do is sep­a­rate from your work space. You should al­ways work in one place and have fun some­where else. When you put the two to­gether, the work­day can bleed over into your pri­vate time or you could have trou­ble fo­cus­ing on work.

An­other way is to turn off work no­ti­fi­ca­tions. You can po­litely let it be known that you are done for the day, wish the team good night and log out.

Man­age dis­trac­tions

You have to cut the dis­trac­tions from your day. Plan how much time you'll spend work­ing on a par­tic­u­lar project and then dive in. It's tempt­ing to stop to put in a load of laun­dry or take a walk or or­ga­nize your closet, but re­sist that urge un­less it's dur­ing the break time you give your­self.

So­cial me­dia can also lead you astray. The Google ex­ten­sion StayFo­cusd can help with this prob­lem. It al­lows you to add web­sites you want to re­strict, like Face­book, and limit your time on those sites to 10 min­utes.

Take breaks

Just be­cause you work from home, doesn't mean you shouldn't take a break. Be­sides los­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity, not tak­ing a break can have a harm­ful ef­fect on your health.

A pop­u­lar way to take breaks when you work from home is called the Po­modoro tech­nique. This method in­volves work­ing for 25 min­utes, then tak­ing a three- to five-minute break. You con­tinue this process for two hours, then take a longer 15-25 minute break. This tech­nique helps train your brain to fo­cus, gives you time for breaks and can make you a health­ier, more pro­duc­tive re­mote worker.

There's no doubt that the priv­i­lege of work­ing from home is some­thing to be ap­pre­ci­ated. But to be suc­cess­ful at it, you need to es­tab­lish your work space and have a plan of at­tack. Make sure that you're also tak­ing steps to re­main as phys­i­cally and men­tally healthy as pos­si­ble.

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