Working from home has been gaining popularity lately. It seems like more and more people are trying to find ways to escape their 9-5 and work from home. And it’s a wonderful opportunity – especially if you have children that you get to spend your days with!
But at the same time, it takes an incredible amount of self-discipline and time management skills. There’s no one there to make sure you stay focused and get your work done. There’s no one to hold you accountable for things. You have to be the boss and the employee.
I recently decided to make the transition from my full-time job at a daycare to freelance writing/blogging from home and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. I’ve discovered some tips for making sure that I’m productive and stay on task with my work, so I thought I’d share them with you!
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Here are some tips to help you stay more productive when working from home:
1. Wake up early
Wake up and start work early. A lot of people (but not everyone!) tend to be more productive during the early morning hours. If you get a head start on your day, you can be finished with your work earlier – or you can keep working and get even more done in a day.
Related reading: How to Become a Morning Person
2. Get dressed and ready for the day
I know it’s tempting, but no pajamas! I’m not saying you need to put on a blazer and slacks or anything, but put on actual clothes. It can be something comfy like jeans and a t-shirt or a comfortable dress. But getting ready like you would if you had any other job will put you in the work mindset instead of the relaxation mindset.
3. Keep a planner
Getting a planner (like this cute one!) can help you get way more stuff done. Fill in your calendar with all of your appointments, make yourself daily to-do lists, and keep all of your tasks organized. You could also use a phone app for this. Making sure everything is planned and everything that you need to remember is written down will save you time and help keep your head clear and focused.
Related reading: 5 Apps for Productivity and Time Management
4. Take breaks
Give yourself a break once in a while, like you would if you were at a traditional job. Step away from your computer (or whatever you use to work) and get some exercise, watch some TV, read a book, make some art, or get out of the house. Do whatever you need to do give yourself a break. If it’s warm outside, get some fresh air. You need to give yourself a break from your work in order to re-focus your mind and feel refreshed.
5. Act like you’re at work
Make yourself a work space – whether it’s an actual office or you’re just sitting at the dining room table. Just make sure your work space is clean and organized. This will help you feel more like you’re at a job. This is another thing that will also put you in the work mindset and keep you working instead of slacking off. You can also buy yourself some cute office supplies – like this adorable kitty tape dispenser or pretty motivational wall art like this! I can’t be the only one who gets excited about cute office supplies, right? 🙂
6. Set your work hours
Set yourself “office hours” – like no work after 5 pm or something. It will be so tempting to “just keep working a little bit longer” until you end up working all night long. But you can’t do that or you’ll get burnt out – plus your family probably wouldn’t like it too much. Setting yourself boundaries like regular work hours will help you to maintain a life outside of work and help you keep a routine, which is good for productivity.
7. Stay focused
Put your cell phone on silent. Turn off your notifications. Turn off the TV (unless you work better with that background noise). Get noise-cancelling headphones. Do whatever you gotta do to minimize any distractions that might interrupt your work. SelfControl is a wonderful app that allows you to block whatever websites you need to for a certain amount of time so that you don’t have a chance to “accidentally” get distracted by social media for 3 hours! 😉
8. Keep your house tidy
If your home is a mess, it’s safe to say that you’ll probably feel unmotivated and unproductive. Messes are distracting and can actually make your mind feel cluttered. So make sure that you set aside a chunk of time to straighten up your house regularly and make sure that it stays (mostly) clutter-free!
9. Keep healthy snacks nearby
Keep quick, healthy snacks around. You won’t have time to cook a meal every time you’re hungry. But you don’t want to feel hungry while you’re working and you don’t want to munch on junk all day either. Stock up on healthy snacks so you can fuel your body with more energy. Oh, and keep coffee nearby too. Coffee is good.
Question: Do you work from home? If you do, how do you stay productive?