Over the years, I have done my fair share of working from home and working remotely, thanks to my major in college and the internships I have done. Some days went great and I loved the whole “I can actually do a conference call wearing my pajamas” idea. (While you can, I wouldn’t recommend it.) With that said, finding the motivation to actually get work done and be efficient with my time hasn’t always been so easy. With time and a lot of practice, I have found many tips that have helped me be my most productive self while working from my house. Here they are.
Start your day off in a productive manner
Trust me, I know how easy it is to snooze your alarm. Especially when you have no place to be other than staying home. But, sleeping half the day away and getting a late start is so detrimental to your work life. My biggest tip would be to wake up as early as possible. I’d recommend no later than 9 a.m. Make sure you make your bed and open any curtains you may have had shut the night prior. Eat a good breakfast and drink some water. Start your day off on the right foot and see just how much you accomplish.
Yes, get fully dressed
I cannot recommend this tip enough. Even if you are not going anywhere other than your couch or office chair, get dressed! My go to outfit is a pair of stretchy jeans, a simple top and a cardigan. By getting dressed in clothes other than sweats, you are telling your brain that it’s time to work and not to relax. This is so crucial if you want to have a productive and well-balanced work day.
Set a schedule and follow it to a T
My favorite thing to do is plan. I love using a planner and I love structuring my day around a solid routine. For a weekly plan, I love using Sunday’s to plan the upcoming work days. You can use a physical planner or Google Calendar (I use both) in order to write anything important down. Write down any virtual meetings, appointment reminders or due dates. Your future self will thank you.
Have a designated work space
One thing that I found would happen quite frequently was that I would work in my bedroom far too much, which just isn’t a good idea. Your bedroom should be a space merely for relaxation, sleep and recharging. In order to get into a “working” headspace, you need to have a room in which you can become creative. This can be an office, a kitchen island or an art room. Anywhere where you will focus on the work in front of you. Need to get out of the house for a change of pace? I love supporting local coffee shops or going to my local library.
Set out supplies you may need
Even though our laptops or desktops may be our primary tool, you should use other things as well. I love writing ideas or notes down in a notebook with any good gel pen. I have my physical calendar out, too. Other things you might want to think about using could vary. Here are some ideas: flashcards, sticky notes, highlighters, a timer and a good pair of headphones. All of these little things will come in handy.
Take a lot of short breaks
Studies show that taking shorter breaks at higher frequencies makes us more efficient. In 5-minute break intervals, do things that boost your productivity. Take a walk, stretch, read a chapter in a book or eat something healthy but filling. By taking shorter breaks, this will help prevent you from a burnout later on in the day.
Have a clean environment
Because your home is your office, make sure it’s a clean one. Sort your space by room. Clean any clutter off counters. Dust. Sweep your floors. Fold any throw blankets that may be on your couch. Generally, keep things organized. When your space is clear, your mind is clear. One thing that has helped me was either in the morning or at night is doing a “20 minute clean up.” You set a timer for 20 minutes and do a quick and simple clean of your house. It has made me keep my house really clean throughout my years of working from home.
End your day with one reward
After all of that productivity and hard work, don’t be afraid to treat yourself. This doesn’t have to be in a way that involves money. Bake a dessert, take a bath, do a lavish skin care routine, catch up on that show you’ve been loving or even just call a friend. Any small thing that would help you decompress from the busy day you had. You deserve it!
That’s it! I hope these tips help you stay productive and make the most of your day. Work hard and remember that you are capable of great things. Here’s to our most productive days yet.