How to stay productive while working from home

working from home

With this world wide epidemic of the Corona Virus happening people are learning what it looks like to work from home. A completely new concept to some and for others it’s normal life. I spend about 80% (rough estimate) working from home and over the last year i’ve been developing a system that works for me to get stuff done. It’s not perfect and i’m always growing and trying to learn new disciplines. I wanted to share a few ways I keep myself productive.

Starting the day right

This may look different for everyone, for me I can’t focus until a few things are done. First off, I have to feed the dogs or else ill never hear the end of it. Secondly, I have to make the bed. This sets my day up for success. Usually this follows with making breakfast and doing a little tidying up. Once this has happened I can begin work!

I usually bring water and a small snack besides me. I hold off on coffee until the afternoon when I really need it to get through the rest of the workday.

Have a workspace

Its important to find a place in your house or in my case, tiny apartment to get work done. A place that you will find the least distractions. I wish I could say that that place existed in my place. My husband and I live in a one bedroom apartment, and I refuse to spend my workday in bed. My workspace is our kitchen table, which we never eat at. I make sure its cleaned off, and I have exactly what I need for a few straight hours of focus.

I typically sit in the same spot everyday for work so my brain associates that spot with working. However some days I just need to get up and move my “workspace” for the day. Today i’m actually very productive from my couch, probably because its nice to switch things up a bit sometimes.

Exercise

For those of you who normally work in an office you may not have the time to workout durning your workday. I typically like to break up my work from home day with a workout. I usually find myself needing a break and also needing to get my mind off work for awhile. Over the last year I’ve made working out a big priority in my life and now I am finding it is a great way to decompress between working and take care of my mind and body.

Having A schedule

Working from home can be difficult. I can’t tell you how many times ive heard people say “well you can just work later.” Sure, I can work later, I make my own schedule, but if I make the choice to work later Im hurting my family time. My goal is to shut off work by dinner time. Some days I’m on a roll and need to get things done, so I may extend my work day passed dinner as long as it doesn’t interfere with time with my family.

While working from home may mean some flexibility I urge you to set a schedule ahead of time. Not doing so will lead to a lot of time wasted and later nights, trust me, I know this all too well.

Taking small breaks

Its important to find out when you need a short break. If you are in the middle of a project on a roll, it is not that time. If you are finding yourself day dreaming about being at the beach, it may be time to get up take a walk around your house, grab some coffee or do a small house chore. I typically try to allow myself mini breaks that I know wont get me too distracted.

I don’t know who told me about the 15 minute timer, but ive been implementing it into my daily life. If you haven’t heard of it, its when you set a timer for 15 minutes and you allow yourself that time to work on a task. For me its usually house chores. I allow 15 minute time blocks in my day to accomplish something. This way I know Im running against the clock.

Keeping it clean

This is something I am striving for. Each night I try to tidy up so I wake up and my morning is overwhelmed by a mess. Id love to say I have this one down, but in a small apartment it doesn’t take much to make a mess.

Every time I get up from my “workspace” I try to identify one thing I can pick up and put away. Im trying to constantly remind myself to make this a habit so at the end of the day It doesnt feel like I actually cleaned.

Just a reminder

Its ok when your day isn’t super productive, it happens. I try to take advantage of the days I am really feeling productive because I know there will be days that I am less motivated. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

April 7, 2020

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