1. Structure Your Workdays
Traditional workspaces tend to provide plenty of structure, starting with your commute. Working from home puts pressure on you to create a routine and lend some structure to your days. It’s a significant bit of extra overhead, but establishing a solid routine can help you stay on top of the demands of a new job.
The recent graduates we interviewed suggested these tips for building a productive routine.
Don’t neglect your commute. A little stretch of time between home and work can help ease the transition each morning and put you in the right frame of mind for your job. A mock commute can involve a walk around the block, a bit of time with your earbuds or a good book, or anything else that’s not specific to home but that isn’t at all work. You can even lie in every once in a while and call it your resting commute. Don’t forget to do the same at the end of the day: put on your coat and gather your belongings, just as you would in a traditional workplace.
Dress for work and maintain a designated work area. These might seem obvious, but maintaining the line between work and home can be difficult over time. Give yourself the freedom to be Work You when you’re on the clock and Home You when you’re at your leisure.
Schedule your days firmly. Set aside two meeting-free hours a day (at the same time, if possible). Block out 15 minutes before and after meetings to prepare and digest. Speaking of digestion, give yourself a full hour for lunch, at the same time each day (and don’t make it a working lunch if at all possible!)
Pepper your workdays with personal projects. This might seem a bit counterintuitive, but five minutes of intense exercise here and ten minutes of hobby time there can keep you engaged, sharp, and productive. Adding a bit of personal time to your workday can also help you divide each day into segments devoted to specific tasks.
Get a mentor’s advice. An established mentor really knows their way around how to structure their workdays. Use their expertise to really get a plan in place, it’s always suggested to have multiple meetings over time to really reap the benefits of having them at your side.