Productivity tips for working from home
When I first started my online journey in 2011 I had a really hard time focusing on doing actual work.
Every time I would sit down at my computer I would get distracted by all the things I needed to do around my house or the massive pile of laundry that needed to be washed.
Not to mention, when I started I had two kids and a very limited amount of time to actually sit down and work.
It's hard when you work from home because the lines start to blur between your personal life and your work life. When I first started I was working from our couch and kind of just sat there with my computer at all times of the day.
It was not an ideal situation and I literally felt like I got nothing done.
For me, creating a routine and setting boundaries has helped to build my online business from home. I’ve learned a lot over the past couple of years about creating habits and learning about what works best for me.
Below you will find a list of productivity tips for working from home that will help you to create a balanced daily schedule.
#1 - Morning routine
I used to think that I didn’t need a morning routine since I was just working from home. I thought it was okay to just roll out of bed and do whatever I thought I should do that day.
I was wrong.
Having a morning routine is such an important part of being productive. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of the day, but it allows you to get ready for what is ahead.
Even though your morning will not be the same as mine, the important part is finding the best way to start your day. Here are a few tips I have found to be very helpful:
Wake up at the same time - you may need to set an alarm to get up at the same time every day, but it is important to plan the night before what time you will be getting up. You do not want to waste your day sleeping in.
Create good habits - try doing the same morning activities every day. This could be meditating, journaling, exercising, a particular skincare routine, reading, or anything that you enjoy doing. Create a routine that allows you to get prepared for the day.
Get dressed & ready - I know it is tempting to wear your pyjamas all day since you are working from home, but getting ready for the day makes a big difference. It allows you to separate your ‘bed time’ from your workday. When you wear your pyjamas during the day you are much more prone to slack off.
Having four kids definitely makes my morning routine a bit challenging. There are so many days when I wake up early to have my ‘me time’ before I get started and someone decides to wake up extra early that day.
Or, I don’t have enough time to get myself as ready as I would like because I have 4 other humans to get ready for the day first. It’s okay when that happens. I can just reset the next day and get back to my morning routine.
It’s not about perfection, but creating consistent habits.
#2 - Designated workspace
It is tough when you work from home because you literally can work in any spot in your house. I see a lot of people who work from home raving about how they love to work from their beds.
This is a big no for me.
I have tried working from my bed and I literally get nothing done. For me, when I am in my bed, my body immediately wants to rest and relax. And, I want to keep it that way. I don’t want it to be a ‘workzone.’
I have found that having a designated workspace helps me to be more productive.
When I first started my online journey I worked from a laptop on our couch. We did not have an office or even a desk in our home at that time.
I found myself constantly getting distracted because my couch was where I would normally watch tv, so it was hard to get motivated.
By creating a designated workspace I was able to get into ‘work mode.’ This doesn’t mean you have to have an office or even work in the same spot every day. But, try to designate certain areas of your home so that you can get into the right mindset when it is time to actually sit down and do work.
#3 - Be intentional with your time
When you work from home you are the only one in charge of your time and how you schedule your day. It’s up to you to make a plan and stick to it.
One of the best things I have learned from working from home is to be intentional with my time.
I used to just sit down and figure out what I wanted to work on that day. Not only did I waste time, but I would jump from task to task.
Now, I am much more intentional with how I plan my day and the activities that I work on.
Plan ahead - I always make sure that I have planned out my day and week ahead of time. I run my business in 90-day cycles and use the Sprint Method. This means I know exactly what tasks I need to be working on every single day. I like to use a daily planner and Asana to keep me on track. Both of these help me to be intentional with my time because I know what I need to be doing every time I sit down to work.
One task at a time - It can be very difficult staying focused when working from home because of all the distractions around your house. I have found that when I solely focus on one task at a time I am much more productive. Instead of trying to multi-task and complete several things at once, I do one task at a time before moving on. I normally have a limited amount of working hours so I need to stay as focused as possible. This means committing to a certain project or activity and seeing it all the way through. It can definitely be hard because I constantly want to switch gears to new things, but finishing a task before moving on has increased my productivity.
Knowing when I work best - I know that I work best first thing in the morning. I am recharged and ready to start the day at this time. I am much more creative in those first few hours, so I make sure that I do certain tasks in my business. For example, if I have to create new content that is always first on my list for the day. I’ve tried to write at night and it is very difficult for me. I’ve learned not to force myself to work when it isn’t a good time for me personally. Try to figure out when you work best so that you can be very intentional with that timeframe.
Set a timer - I love using Toggl to set a timer to track all of the tasks I do when I am working. Not only does it help me to actually see how much time it takes to complete a task, but it helps me to stay on track. When you are working from home you can easily get distracted and go down a rabbit hole searching the Internet.
Take breaks - Since I have 4 kids, I rarely have uninterrupted work time, but when I do I always make sure that I take breaks. Even if that means walking away for 15 minutes or eating my lunch away from my computer. It helps to get a clear head for when I do come back to work again. I recommend that you actually step away from your work area and be free from other distractions like your phone. Give yourself a few minutes to disconnect.
End your day - This might seem silly, but one of the best things I have done since I started my online business is to end my day. Having an ending ritual or routine helps me to separate my business day from my personal life. To be honest, this one is very tough for me. I am constantly thinking about what I want to do with my business, and it used to interfere with my personal life too much. Now, I make sure that I end my workday so that I am completely present during the time I am with my family.
I would love to hear any tips you have for staying motivated and getting work done from home in the comments below.
I hope these productivity tips for working from home help you to build a creative environment for yourself that allows you to find a balance between your work and personal life.