Working from home is awesome… most of the time.
There are lots of pros to having a home office as your primary workspace. You save money on gas, you can work in your pajamas, and you can out with your dog all day!
That being said, there are lots of downfalls as well. Sometimes, even with your canine company, it can get lonely. It can also be difficult to stay on task and stay motivated while you’re in the cozy walls of your own home.
With a little bit of focus and a little bit of diligence, you can ramp up that motivation and get ready for your work at home day!
In just five super easy steps, I’ll get you back on the road to productivity.
1. Treat working from home like you’re NOT working from home
If you’re serious about the work that you do, then you should be serious about this being your source of employment. This means that you need to treat your work from home day like a work from the office day. There are lots of fun things about working from home, but there’s also the most important side, the business side.
When you get up in the morning, get dressed for work.
Now, I know one of the pros of working from home is that you get to wear whatever you want. Hear me out on this one. It’s not like I want you to put on a suit and tie or anything.
I think we can all admit that it’s tough to get up and get moving in the morning, even when you only have to stumble to the living room. If you get up and take a quick shower, change into some (comfy) clothes that you didn’t sleep in, and get ready to face the day then you’re going to be more productive and you’re going to be more prepared to work.
You need to have the same focus and drive from your couch that you would in an office under a manager. Just because you make your own hours doesn’t mean that you can slack off. Slacking only equals less pay, and who wants that?
2. Schedule your workday
Yes. I love schedules, and it’s part of what’s made me successful in working from home.
My planner is essential to my work life and has definitely helped in all aspects of productivity. I have all of my deadlines written down, I have all of my necessary appointments easily accessible, and I also have a running list of the hours I put towards work.
I chart out everything, from when I start working, to when I take lunch, and to when I end the day. I also pencil in times for important chores around the house that I have to get done and when I want to take time to do some yoga or go for a jog. These little breaks throughout the day are as important as the work itself.
Scheduling your day helps keep your head clear and focused on being productive during your planned work hours.
3. Minimize distractions
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, focusing on the task at hand is way easier if you’re willing to put away distractions!
For me, this means that I frequently ditch my phone in another room. I’m addicted to my social media, and though that has a time and a place for many who work from home, you have to be able to set it aside to get the bulk of your work done.
Your distraction may be your TV or one of the millions of other things in your house much more fascinating than the boring work waiting on your desk. Turn off the television, settle into your chair, and concentrate.
If you’re seeking help with inspiration, check out this list of 2 super simple sources of inspiration.
4. Have a home office or quiet space
Not everyone can have a dedicated home office, I get that. In fact, most of the time, I rotate my workspace around the house so that I don’t get bored of staring at a white wall.
Sometimes I’ll work from the couch, our kitchen table, or even the patio. It really doesn’t matter if you have a home office or not, what matters is the quality of your chosen workspace.
Is it quiet? Is it calm? Is it comfortable?
If you’ve chosen the patio and the kids next door are screaming, it’s probably best to move. You need a space that is peaceful and noiseless so that you can be able to focus on your work.
If you’re uncomfortable where you’re sitting, it’s also time to move. Discomfort is a huge distraction AND a health concern. It will its toll the longer that you stay seated there.
Choose a place that is distraction free, calm, and settle in to get stuff done!
5. Know when to end the day
One of the hardest parts of working from home for me is knowing when to call it a day.
I continue to check my email, plan out blog posts or ideas for my Etsy shop long after I’ve scheduled my last hour for the day.
To avoid becoming burned out and exhausted, you need to be able to put away the emails and put away the work and kick up your feet. Realistically, you simply cannot be ‘on shift’ all day every day. It’s way too exhausting and you’re just asking for trouble keeping up productivity and motivation in the future.
Unfortunately for us work-at-homers, it’s not like office life where you can leave the office building and go home and there’s a clear delineation between the two. Instead, we live at home and we work from home, so we need to make that delineation ourselves.
Take time for a lunch break where you get to sit with your lunch and watch a little TV. When the workday that you’ve planned out has come to its end, know that you can close your laptop and relax. Plus, you get to skip out on the commute home!
Working from home can be wonderful, but it’s not as easy as lounging about in your PJs all day. I hope these five easy steps have helped you feel productive for your work at home life.
What tips and tricks do you use to stay on task from your living room?