5 Ways to Stay Productive When You Work From Home

People dream of working from home, but they may not realize how hard it can be to stay productive...

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5 Ways to Stay Productive When You Work From Home
5 Ways to Stay Productive When You Work From Home

Working from home may seem like a simple way to earn money and live your best life simultaneously, but it’s actually not for everyone. It can be really easy to get sidetracked and get off task, which ultimately leads to less productivity. It’s a common myth that working from home allows you to be laid back and carefree, but it can be difficult.  Especially if you’re the type of person who gets distracted very easily.

Sure, you may have a deadline to meet at work, but look at all of that laundry that needs to be folded and what about that stack of dishes? Or what about the plants that need water? Maybe you could check Facebook one more time, but first, maybe grab a quick snack… There are a lot of distractions calling your name and it’s perfectly normal to feel the need to answer every one of them when you’re supposed to be working in your office.

Working from home can be really fulfilling and you can be incredibly productive if you follow these simple, yet effective methods:

GET DRESSED

Yes, how basic, right? One of the biggest mistakes work at home’s make actually occurs at the beginning of their day. I’m not saying to put on a power suit or anything, but working in your pajamas is a no no. Working in the clothes you slept in will make you feel like you’re, well, doing jus that… Get up early enough in the morning so you don’t feel rushed. Allow enough time to put yourself together in a way that feels good for you. Wear something comfortable enough to work in, yet you could also leave the house and run some errands in as well.

SET YOUR HOURS

If you leave your work hours up for grabs and give yourself too much freedom (yes, that’s a thing), then you have nothing to look forward to. It also leaves room for a lot of wasted time, with no direction. Think about the hours that you’re most productive and have the least amount of distractions. Will that require you to maybe have to wake up earlier in the morning? Maybe. But, you will thank me when you’re done for the day at the same time, every day.

HAVE A DESIGNATED SPACE

While the laptop life is appealing, it’s actually not very ergonomically friendly. Sitting on the couch is not the best way to treat your body and can actually wreak havoc on your upper limbs and back, especially on a daily basis. Having a home office may not be possible for you due to space issues, but designating a corner in a spare bedroom (or maybe even your own bedroom or a room you know your work will be safe) also puts your brain into work mode and is so much more friendly on your posture.

And since you have already set your working hours, you’ll be able to easily step away and turn off the “work button.” Having a designated space also allows you to keep everything in a centralized space physically and mentally. We don’t want to think about work constantly, right? Ever hear the saying, “don’t take your work home with you?” This is the work from home’s version. Give yourself some space!

TAKE MICRO BREAKS

Mini breaks throughout the day are an absolute must. Taking a couple of minutes here and there actually feels better than the traditional two, fifteen minute breaks most people are used to. Get up out of your chair and do some stretches or breathing exercises. We sometimes breathe really shallow when we’re sitting in our chairs, so allow yourself to un-slouch your body and take some big, much needed,  deep, clarifying breaths. 

Go to the kitchen and slowly drink a glass of water and savor each drop. Take a step outside for a few minutes, breathe in the fresh air, and soak up some sun. Walk around the block if you have the time! The key here is action. Action will relieve stress and also gives the brain a much needed boost. 

Taking 5-10 mini breaks throughout an 8 hour work day will transform you physically and mentally. And by the way, scrolling through social media on your phone doesn’t count as a break. Wink, wink.

STAY ORGANIZED

Do yourself a favor and start organizing your life. Having all of your plans inside your brain can get overwhelming and can lead you to feeling scatterbrained and forgetful. Whether it’s personal or work, get it out of your head and onto paper. Go to Target if you have to (you have my permission) and buy yourself a shiny new planner that you’ll be excited to work with. Make it a part of your daily routine and find a way to keep it enjoyable for you. There are a lot of planner gurus out there that you can take advice from, but don’t discount yourself and what you already know. 

If you’re already a planner kind of person, then consider up-leveling yourself with a digital project management system. There are a ton of free and friendly options out there for you to choose from. Pick one and download it on your phone as well and if at all possible, have it open on your desktop so you can visualize what your work from home life looks like in the weeks ahead.

Being grateful that you are able to work from home and honoring the control it gives you will allow you to have a healthy, positive perspective. Take advantage of the beautiful freedom you have and create a fulfilling life that you love and deserve.

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