Staying Productive Working From Home
Being my own boss and working primarily from home the past few years has been a BIG learning curve! There’s been a lot of trial and error. A LOT. When you picture it in your head, it’s easy to see yourself sitting on the couch with your laptop, cuddling your dogs, and watching TV while the dryer gracefully tosses your laundry in the background. But, all that shit is incredibly distracting, so structure to your day and your habits is extremely important! I’m sharing a few tips on how I set myself up for productivity.
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Get up, get showered, and get READY.
Sure, yoga pants and a messy bun are super comfortable, but I really believe you are your environment. If you dress like a slob, you’ll probably do crap work. If you don’t wash your face, look presentable, or TRY just a little, you won’t try that hard to be successful. Walk, talk, and act like you want your work to be!
Avoid chores during the day.
When you work from home, you’ll suddenly LOVE doing chores, because it is a simple, mindless task that sounds a lot better than using your brain to bust out work. Set a time to do these, or pick things that can be multi-tasked. For example, I allow myself 30 minutes in the morning after breakfast to bust out chores. I’ll empty/load the dishwasher, wipe down surface, put jackets and blankets away, throw food in our slow cooker, or start laundry. Then, I can “multi-task” a few chores later in the day – transferring items quickly from the washer to dryer while files upload, checking in on dinner while I’m liking and commenting on Instagram posts, etc.
Do your 5-15 tasks first.
Create a list of things you need to get done in the day and put a little mark by the ones that will take you anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes to complete. Do those first! The sooner you can whittle down your list, the more you’ll feel productive and get into a good swing for the day. You might literally be able to do half your day’s work in the first hour or so if you focus!
TV is too distracting.
If you need background noise, opt to play a music channel like Pandora or Spotify. Thinking you can watch your favorite shows AND get work done is wrong.
Even though I have a dedicated office in my home where I spend most of my work time, sometimes I need a change of pace. This could mean working from the chaise lounge in the living room, at the dining room table, or getting out of the house and setting up shop at a local coffee spot for a few hours. I know that for me, a quick change of scenery can make all the difference in my focus.
Keep a notepad nearby.
I have a million thoughts, ideas, questions, and self-reminders running through my head each day. If I latch on to each of them, it usually results in me opening a ton of browser windows, getting up constantly, starting a new task before finishing the first one, etc. I write all of these down on my notepad and organize them into manageable tasks later. It helps just to get them out of my head and onto paper so that I can focus! You might want to use the notepad feature on your phone, but don’t! You’ll be too tempted to start opening apps or jumping on social media. Add these notes to your phone later!
Nothing eats up your day like running out multiple times to pick up food, grocery shop, or do a ton of cooking. This is another mindless task that seems a lot more interesting than using your brain. Pick 1-2 days each week where you devote an hour or two to meal prepping for the days ahead.
Learn to be flexible with your work hours.
If you know you are most productive in the morning, have your best workouts right after lunch, and get a second wind again in the evening, USE IT! No one says your work day has to be 9-5. Learn what times are best for you and commit to working during those hours.