• Serena McGowan

How to Work in Any Environment

I’ve always wanted to work from home. I love the job I have right now, but it would be even better to do what I love all from home. Just imagine being able to do what you love in the comfort of your own home! Sounds good to me. These are some of the things I like to do in order to be productive.

Currently, I’m living half the dream, if that makes sense. Yes, I go to work and put in my time for that job, but I get to run my web design business from wherever I desire. Most of the time I am home because home means secure and stable Wifi, endless amounts of coffee and snacks, and pajamas. I do love working from coffee shops though. The vibe of the coffee shop drives my creativity and allows me to think outside the box. It also forces me to work under a time constraint. At home, there is no restrictive time limit.

When I work from home, I still like to keep myself on a loose schedule. The best way for me to do that is by time batching. I set alarms and write down how much time I’m going to spend on a particular assignment, writing prompt, or whatever I happen to be working on. This helps me stay on track in order to complete everything I want done in one day. Either the night before or morning of, I write out everything I would like to do that day with approximate times for each thing. If I want to fit in the gym before going to work, I’ll write what time I would like to get up, set those alarms in my phone, and then write how long I can be in the gym before having to come home and get ready for my day. This also helps me stay organized throughout the day so that I don’t overbook myself.

When you work from home, it’s very easy to neglect responsibilities when a friend or family member asks you to go out with them while you’re supposed to be working. If you can rearrange your day without any conflicts, feel free to do just that. If you’re coming up on a deadline and need to get whatever it is that you’re working on done by a particular time, don’t say yes without getting what you’re working on done. Double booking yourself is a lose-lose situation for everyone. You don’t get your work done and the person or group of people you’re supposed to hang out with now has to deal with you being stressed. And on top of all that, your work still isn’t done.

Another thing I love to do wherever I’m working is listen to music that isn’t distracting. I love podcasts and all different types of music, but sometimes the words can be distracting. I do my best work listening to Lo-fi, classical and instrumental music. I find already made playlists on Spotify and just let that play for hours while I write or edit. I find that my brain is “awakened” by music without vocals.

Working from home isn’t for everyone. You have to be disciplined in order to be successful. However, it can be manageable by taking proactive steps such as having a specific space or location, time batching, and making sure you have an awesome playlist to keep you going.