I agree, working from home is great! You own your time, you avoid the commute, you save up on lunch money, and you get to stay in your jammies the entire day! We have to remember though that even when we’re in the comfort of our own homes (yes, let’s emphasize on comfort because we really don’t want to be too comfortable, lest we doze off instead of get stuff done), we still need to act like we’re actually going to work. Put your game face on every day and get into full “work mode.” Below, I’ve listed down some tips that can help you stay productive while working from home:
1 – Do a morning routine
Many entrepreneurs and freelancers swear by this. Although there’s a less likely chance you’d get late for work (because, really, all you have to do is open your eyes and your computer next), it’s highly suggested that on a regular workday, you wake up early. Get a cup of coffee, tea, or smoothie (whatever your thing is) and get pumped up – literally. Go for a short walk outside or do some cardio to start the day off. It’ll help get your blood running and wake your organs up!
Great resource to check out: Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. I have this on my Kindle and reading this (plus executing what I learned) has done amazing things for me!
2 – Go into full “work mode”
Okay, you can pass on taking that cold bath in the morning but it’s highly suggested (heehee). Freshen up and put on some work clothes and pretend like you’re going to an actual office. I used to put on my lipstick before beginning work to signal the people at home that I was about to start my work day. It was my war paint of sorts.
You know what they say, “Get dressed for success!”
3 – Have a designated work area
When I was working from home, people used to tell me how they envied me because I could work in bed all day. NOPE. This is a definite no-no! If you want to reach maximum productivity, find yourself a designated work area that’s quiet and conducive for work – not sleep or any other non-work-related activity. Stay as far away as possible from distractions!
4 – Plan your day the night before
I love lists! And listing down my to-dos is probably my favorite thing to do at night (or even throughout the day). Having a checklist of what you need to do helps in dictating the general direction of your day. I personally use Evernote (I would marry Evernote if it were a person!) to list down everything. It has cute little boxes that you can tick off once done (most satisfying feeling ever!) and it syncs to all your devices! Usually, I list down my tasks according to how urgent they are. I get rid of those first and then work on building a new list with easiest tasks at the top, and the more difficult ones down the bottom (I allot more time for them by getting rid of the little easy ones first).
5- Get enough sleep!
I’m not a sleep person, really. I can survive with 2-3 hours of sleep a night and can still function. The thing is, though, I’ve noticed some really weird changes in me. I’ve gained so much weight and my brain is all fuzzy. Arriane Serafico of Braver Goals explains it this way: when you don’t get enough sleep, your brain puts most of its effort on your thalamus, which is the part that’s in charge of keeping you awake. So since it’s working hard on keeping you awake, your brain slows down on other tasks – like visual processing, coming up with words, or computing numbers. Sucks, right?
Here’s an infographic for your reference:
Determine a sleeping and waking time so you can be an awesome, fully functional human being the entire day!
6 – Be mindful of your sugar intake
The sugar rush is a trap! You may get a surge of energy for a couple of minutes after consuming a huge amount of sugar, but it will definitely die down and leave you all groggy and tired. Find a healthy snack alternative or something else that will get you up and running the entire day – opt for fruits or nuts instead.
7 – Stay away from social media
Oops. I know! It’s so difficult! Nobody’s watching you, you have no restrictions on your computer – plus you actually work in social media! How the heck is it possible to avoid it? Set a time when you can browse non-work-related stuff. Block the sites from your computer if need be except during that allotted time. If you’re always distracted by cute cat videos, block YouTube too! I’m still battling with this, but we can do this together! Yes?
8 – Take breaks, go out!
Please do. It’s counterproductive to work yourself toward burnout. Not fun at all. Tendency is you’ll be so tired and you won’t be able to do anything more. So schedule in your breaks, say 30 minutes at a time for 4 or 5 times during the day. Take a breather, go out, get some sunlight, clear your mind. RESET yourself.
It may be going against your goal of wanting to stay home and work – but you may need to get up from your work desk once in a while, though, and go out to ensure that you are still a human being capable of social interaction. Don’t be a vampire, afraid of the sun (like I have been for years). Try going out once or twice a week and work at a coffee shop or a coworking space nearby. It’s going to help switch up the environment and offer some fresh insights as well. Been stuck on a project for weeks? Going through a writer’s block? Who knows, switching up your environment might get you out of that dump!
9 – Ditch multitasking
Chris Ducker, THE Virtual CEO and founder of Virtual Staff Finder, says that multitasking is a myth! What you’re actually doing is switchtasking – you know, switching from one task to another. It may appear to be more productive in the beginning, but over time, it’s going to take a toll on your brain. You see, if you keep switching tasks, your brain puts on more effort to focus and refocus and recondition itself to start a new task. The end result? Overload. Your brain can only handle too much.
10 – Know when to stop
As I’ve said, burnout is NO FUN AT ALL. Give yourself a break. More than that, give yourself some time to relax. Don’t push it. Working from home may make it difficult for you to stop thinking about tasks and to-dos because, let’s face it, having both in one place may blur the lines between work and home life. But please, be kind to yourself too. Determine a set time when you will stop working for the day. Spend time with your family and friends. Don’t miss out on life! Get a clear grasp on work-life balance, and for sure, you’ll get turn those productivity levels all the way up!
If you need the help of productivity tools to make your life less stressful and more fab, WordStream came up with a great list. Check it out here.
Also, the Zapier blog has the perfect list of to-do apps.
Let’s Be Friends!
Have any personal suggestions that you want to add to the list? Let me know! Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with me via my social media accounts.
Much love and encouragement to you all,