Working at home is amazing, but it is also full of distractions, and it is easy to get in a rut, and not get things accomplished. I figured since today was a Monday, I would share some of my favorite ways to stay focused, get things done, and start the week off on the right foot.
It’s a constant struggle, and something I am constantly working on improving. It does have its perks, yes! I can work at home in my pj’s if I prefer. I don’t have to get dressed. I can watch Netflix while I’m working. It’s pretty wonderful actually. However, since I don’t have to answer to anyone directly, it is easy for me to procrastinate, put things off, and not really be productive at all. I can be “working” all day and not really accomplishing much.
Here are a few of my favorite tips to be productive while working at home.
- Get dressed. I know I said this was a perk, but I feel like when I get dressed, brush my hair, and get ready for the day, I’m 10 times more likely to be productive. I think staying in my pj’s just relates too much to being lazy, and it typically means I will be lazy in my work. Maybe not all people are like this, but it definitely helps me.
- Have a designated workspace. I have an office, and it is great, but before I had my own office, I had a desk in my living room. I think having a place where work is done is important. When I sit down at my desk, I know it is time to work. While sometimes at night, I enjoy working from my laptop on the couch, I am more productive when I work in my office.
- Clean and organize your workspace. If my desk is a mess, it is hard for me to focus, and get much work done. My desk gets messy pretty easily. It has bills, paperwork, things I’m working on, usually a snack, and who knows what else! I encourage you to tidy up your space at the start of every day.
- Before working I like to freshen up my house. I know, I’m talking about being productive while working, not keeping a clean house. But for me… if I start the day with my bed made, the dishes done, laundry started, it helps me to be productive in my work as well. I think since we work at home when the house is cluttered and a mess, it is easy for us to not enjoy working from home. Or we will constantly be thinking, “I need to clean the house”. If my house is already clean before I start working, that is one less thing that clutters my mind.
- Create a list. Especially since today is a Monday, I like to start off by creating a list and a plan for what I need to do for the week. I enjoy crossing things off my list, so I typically like to write down everything. It also helps me stay on top of my priorities.
- Turn some music on or your favorite podcast. I like to work with something playing in the background. My favorite thing to listen to is podcasts. Here are a few of my personal favs.
- Take your job seriously. I think a lot of times other people don’t think we have a “real” job because we work at home. Yes, I work at home, and it is a very real job. Sometimes, I will over commit myself because my schedule is flexible, and because I can work whenever I want to. When I take my work seriously, others will as well.
- As best as possible, try to set office/work hours. When working at home, it is easy to work around the clock. For the sanity of you and everyone in your household, set some boundaries. Set a time when you plan to work, and when you are not going to work. For me, I work when the kids are in school. When they come home, I make a conscious effort to not be working. If I didn’t finish everything during the day, I will work again once they go to bed. That is what works for me personally. My typical workday is about 8 am – 3 pm. And then I work about 2 nights a week from 8 pm-11 pm.
- Turn off your notifications! This is huge for me. When I begin working, I will shut my notifications off, because I can focus on my work, and get so much more done without the distractions. You don’t need to see every Facebook notification. It will you distracted from work, and before you know it you will be browsing the internet for half an hour.
- Know when to step away. Sometimes I get in a productivity rut, and I just need to step away from the office for a bit. Set a timer, and take a break. My favorite way to increase productivity is to go outside. I like to take a walk, read my Bible on the porch, and sometimes I will even eat lunch outside to just get some fresh air.
I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity, so please share in the comments your favorite ways to be productive!