Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Working from Home: A newbie's perspective

Now that my master's courses are over I'm working full time on preparing my thesis … at home. Let's say that working full time from home has been an interesting experience and while I haven't managed to iron out all the problems yet I have picked up some important pointers.

- Take evenings and weekends off. Yes, my first pointer of of working at home is to not work! The point is two fold, it will make you more focused and productive during the time you are suppose to be working and it will help to prevent burn out.

- Be accountable to others. Of course, I am naturally accountable to my thesis supervisors when it comes to making deadlines but I also call or get a call from my Mom first thing in the morning to make sure I get out of bed at the proper time. (Thanks Mom!) Otherwise it's easy to get lax and let your standards slip.

- Keep a regular schedules. Wake up and go to bed at roughly the same time every day. It can be any time you want, just keep it regular so you don't get too much or too little. Same goes for food. Three healthy meals a day at regular intervals is important to prevent you from constantly snacking or skipping important meals.

- Have a designated work space. If I have a pile of articles to read I might curl up on the couch with my cat but for typing it's nice to have a proper desk, not to mention place to spread out your work without interfering with the rest of the house and which will allow you to shut out distractions.

- Get out of the house regularly. This means going outside at least once a day and breathing the fresh air. You also need to make sure that you take time to interact with other human beings, doubly as important if you live alone like me. Socialization is important.

Finally, figure out what works for you, you're not going to get it right the first time so feel free to experiment. Personally, I find it impossible to take my day's work seriously until I've made my bed. Don't ask me why, especially since I don't usually make my bed on days I work in the office or am going to class.

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