Leaving work for the day...when work is at home
One of the biggest challenges home workers face is “leaving” work at the end of the day. It’s easy to get carried away with work, especially when your desk is right in the next room. In order to unplug completely, so you “come home from work” and unwind properly, it’s best to set up a log off routine.
Check in with the client
Try moving client catch ups to the end of the day. Let them know what you’ve been working on, ask you about the project’s progress, or whatever other updates you may have. It can only improve the impression they have of you and shows how reliable you are.
Reach inbox zero
Clean out your inbox at the end of every day. Place important emails into their designated folders, mark any important ones so that you can reply to them the following morning and the rest should go to junk. A clean inbox will definitely boost the feeling that the workday has really ended and you’ll know exactly where to pick up from the next day.
Make time for evaluating
A good way to end the day is by evaluating your day. Evaluate what you’ve managed to finish, what remains a work in progress, and how good your focus was for the day. What were the distractions and what could you put in place for the next time they arise.
Note which tasks took more effort than others, you’ll be able to change your schedule for the next day. It’s a great learning opportunity on how to improve your workflow and remote work habits. It's sometimes more productive to tackle the trickier tasks first.
Create a schedule for tomorrow
After evaluating performance and your to-do list, setting a schedule or a task list for the next day comes almost naturally. It becomes easier to draft out your workload once you start figuring out what times of day you are most productive and how to ensure you’re not disturbed (putting the phone on silent, and a “do not disturb” sign at the door!).
Try to do this at the same time every day
Last, but not least, these steps should be done at the same time (or as close to it) every day. If you have the tendency to forget about time as you work, you could set an alarm to go off an hour before the day ends. That should give you enough time to finish off certain tasks, and get the small things out of the way.
Take note, however, that even though you feel like you can keep working and aren’t tired, do finish up at the appropriate time. While you can give yourself some overtime and work for another hour or so, try to keep to the schedule. It’s important to respect your boundaries, or else an hour once a week becomes an hour two to three times a week, and before you know it, your working 6 days a week.