Hello. My name’s Jeff, and I work from home. Sometimes that means on my couch, sometimes it means in my minivan. Whatever it means, this is how I make it work wherever I am:
1. Establish your morning routine: Alarm, shower, real clothes, decent breakfast. Dress semi-professionally. Don’t go all crazy with work pants, but sweats don’t exactly make you feel productive.
2. Find a dedicated workspace in your home. This might be an office or a desk. It might be 1,000 square feet or 30. Just as your bedroom should be a space that makes your brain think rest, your office space should make you clock into the work mindset.
3. No TV. But background music is good. (Personally, I can’t work with anything with words, so I’ll put on a jazz station and zone out.)
4. Get a coffee shop rewards card. Obviously.
5. Cut out your social media distractions. Yeah, I don’t do this either. But you’re already surrounded by enough other things to do; minimize them if you can.
6. Take two walks a day. I read this somewhere and dismissed it as nonsense; then I tried it. Now every day at 2:30 p.m., I take laps around the neighborhood—turns out fresh air actually does clear your mind from staring at a computer for hours on end. Who knew? (Well, everybody, but you get my point.)
7. Hang out with others. If your city has a shared-workspace situation, check it out. If not, and you know other people in a WFH arrangement, meet them for coffee.
8. Fold your laundry during particularly long conference calls. That’s just obvious.
Related: The Truth About Working From Home
This article appears in the April 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Jeff Vrabel is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as GQ, Men's Health, Time, Billboard and the official Bruce Springsteen site, because though he's had many bosses, there is only one boss. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two sons—the older just stole bacon off your plate and the younger was personally approved by Springsteen (long story). He can be reached at the cleverly named JeffVrabel.com.