How to be Productive Working from Home

I felt compelled to write this post as many of you around the world have taken to your laptops at your kitchen tables right now while we practice #socialdistancing and try to maintain our productivity in our work. I have been working from home for three years now, and while working from home can be a blessing in regards to flexibility, I still have to make intentional moves to make it something that is successful for me. When I did not implement the tips I’ve provided below, I had little structure in my day, I was less productive, and it allowed for more distractions. Here are my tips for working from home!

Create a Routine

This is a must!  In my first few months working from home, I did this, and then I felt like, “Why do it, if no one sees me throughout the day, and if I can get my work done whenever and however I want?”  So, I would slip into the habit of working out whenever I could squeeze in the time, or I’d start my day with one thing, and the next day start it with another.  There was no consistency.  Take the time to create a routine that you stick to 80-90% of the time.  You will get more done, and feel more accomplished in your work.

Time Block

Time blocking is the process of scheduling out chunks of time in your schedule to get things done.  This can be as detailed as you’d like.  It is quite literally blocking out times designated to a specific task.  I’ve included a sample of what time blocking in day might look like.  This could be as detailed as scheduling a 30 minute time block for meals every three hours.  Usually, this includes blocking out time for the most important tasks, and then fitting in blocks of time for the smaller tasks.  It has helped me tremendously in my productivity.  With time blocking, I am not switching back and forth between tasks, but instead, focusing on one task at hand, and my concentration on finishing it is so much better!

Workout first thing in the morning (if possible).  I’ve made this my habit over the past year especially with kids.  I know that if I leave my workout up to whatever the day holds, that workout is not getting done.  However, if I do my workout first thing in the morning before my work day starts, it’s done and no one can take that time from me.  I finish feeling accomplished and energized to start the day.

Put Yourself Together

Get yourself dressed and ready in the morning. Not doing this action is a common pitfall us remote workers fall into.  The mentality is, “no one is going to see me today, so why waste time getting ready?”  You don’t have to apply falsies and curl your hair every morning (unless you want to!) to consider yourself ready and dressed every day.  But, I do encourage you to put yourself together to where you would feel a sense of pride in how you look each day.  It can make a difference in your work productivity and it helps your mood. 

Play music in the background while you work.  Pick music that brings you enjoyment and productivity.  It helps when you work at home by yourself, because in an office, you would have a lot of background noise.  My personal faves to listen to during the workday are: Jack Johnson, Hawaiian, and worship).

Take Breaks.  Don’t spend the entire day at your desk in the basement (or wherever you choose to work in your home).  Get up every hour or so and walk around, stretch, step outside, etc.  I usually take a half hour at lunch time to walk my dog, and that helps me reset before getting back into my work.

Make an effort to unplug.

Lastly,  put it away when the day is done. When working from home, your work lives with you.  It can be very hard for us to unplug from the work when it’s staring at your 24/7.  You will burn yourself out with this habit.  Instead, turn it off and put your work out of sight when the work day is done.  Spend time with your family, and enjoy your evenings.  Work will always be there the next day.

I hope this helped all you remote workers out there, or that it was helpful insight for anyone considering taking a job that entails working from home.  I know these tips have helped me tremendously to not only be more productive in work, but a happier person outside of work!  

What are your tips for working from home?  I’d love to hear them!  Post in the comments below.

xoxo,

Em

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