The concept of working from home has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. It seems like more and more people are trying to find ways to escape their “9 to 5” and work from home. And for good reason! Working from home is a wonderful opportunity – especially if you have children, pets, or loved ones that you get to spend your day with!
But at the same time, it takes a lot of self-discipline and time management skills to work from home. There’s no one there to make sure you stay focused or get your work done. There’s no one to hold you accountable for things and there’s no one to answer to. You’re the boss and the employee!
My husband and I recently decided that it was time for me to make the transition from my (awesome) full-time job at a daycare and become a freelance writer/blogger working from home. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. I mean, I get to wear yoga pants and messy buns all day, plus I’ve learned a lot of awesome skills. I’ve also discovered some tips to make sure that I’m productive and focused on my work. Today I thought I’d share those tips with you!When you work at home, you have to be the boss and the employee. Click To Tweet
So without further ado, whether you work from home full-time or just have a side-hustle, here are some tips to help you stay more productive…
1.) Figure out when you’re the most productive.
This one isn’t really relevant for people who have a remote job with set hours. But if you’re a fellow blogger, freelancer, or you have the option of when to work, this is a big one. Figure out when you’re the most productive and try to get your work done at that time. I feel like I’m more “in the zone” during the early morning hours, so that’s when I try to get a lot of my work done that requires more brain power. But some people are night owls and they’re better at being focused and getting stuff done at night. So experiment if you need to and figure out what time of day is best for you to get your work done. This will make things so much easier!
2.) Get dressed and ready for the day.
Again, this tip might not be for everyone. If you can feel productive and focused in pajamas, more power to you! I just feel too cozy and lazy to get stuff done in PJ’s, though. So I make sure I’m showered and dressed every day. I’m not saying you have to dress up in slacks or anything. Like I said before, I wear yoga pants a lot – but yoga pants make me feel productive! Getting dressed and ready for the day helps put me in a work mindset instead of a relaxation mindset.
3.) Get yourself organized with a planner.
Getting a planner was a game changer for me. I don’t know how I got anything done without one, to be honest. Planners can help keep you organized, clear your mind, and get so much more stuff done. I really love The Happy Planner because it’s cute but also functional and not overly complicated. I fill in the calendar with all my important dates, make daily to-do lists, and keep all of my tasks organized. A bullet journal works super well for this too. If you’re not really a paper person though (why?!) there are also lots of apps for to-do lists.
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4.) Take regular breaks.
If you were at a “traditional” job, you’d have breaks or natural interruptions once in a while. So give yourself some breaks when you’re working from home too. Step away from your computer – or whatever you use to work – and do something to give your mind a break for a few minutes. Get some exercise, watch a video, read a chapter of a book, get some fresh air, or do something else that will refresh your mind. Taking breaks will help you come back re-focused and help you think clearer. Plus, it’ll help you avoid getting burned out.
5.) Create a designated workspace.
Creating a workspace – whether it’s an actual office, a desk in your bedroom, or just sitting at the dining room table – will help you get so much more done. Make sure the workspace is clean and organized, so you can really get into a work mindset, free of clutter and distractions. You could even buy yourself cute office supplies because I can’t be the only one who gets so excited about things like that, right? 😉
6.) Set designated 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. Trust me, I’ve been there. But if you continue doing that, you’ll just get burned out. Plus, your family or loved ones probably wouldn’t like that too much. Setting yourself boundaries like regular work hours can help you maintain a life outside of work, and help you keep up a routine – which is great for productivity.
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Another reason that having designated work hours is so important is that there are probably going to be some people in your life that don’t understand that you’re doing a job. When you’re heading out to work every day, they understand that you’re busy, but some people can’t wrap their mind around the fact that just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean you’re not working. So make sure your family and friends know that during these certain hours, you’re busy.
7.) Turn off any distractions (unless they work for you).
I’m someone who works better with a random TV show on in the background because it helps me work better for some reason, but not everyone is like that. So unless having the TV or music playing helps you work, turn it off. Also, put your cell phone on silent and put it face down, unless you’re expecting a call from someone important. Do whatever you gotta do to minimize any distractions that will turn a simple task into a time-consuming one. There are wonderful apps like StayFocused that allow you to block websites you need to for a certain amount of time. This will help you get your work done instead of “accidentally” getting distracted by Facebook for hours!
8.) Keep your house tidy.
When my home is a mess, my brain feels like a mess. I can’t be the only one! It’s actually been proven that messes make you feel unmotivated, plus they can be distracting. I make sure to take some time each day for chores. I straighten up the house, do laundry, wash dishes, etc. Don’t do this during your work hours though! Set aside time for a daily cleaning routine. This will help ensure that your house (and mind) are clutter-free!
9.) Keep easy and healthy snacks on hand.
You may be thinking, How does this help you be more productive? Lucky for you, I can tell you how! If you’re someone who doesn’t want to take the time to prepare a healthy snack every time you’re feeling hungry throughout the day, then keeping quick and healthy snacks in your house is a must. You don’t want to feel hungry while you’re working because that can slow you down, but you also don’t want to munch on junk food because that will make you feel like junk. So make sure you’re always stocked up with quick and healthy snacks so you can stay healthy and productive. Oh, and keep coffee nearby too! Coffee is always a good idea.
Do you work from home? If you do, how do you stay productive?