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.
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.