Work From Home and Keep Productive

How to Work From Home and Keep Productive

Adolfo Ferreira
5 min readJun 7, 2020


I’ve worked remotely from Barreiro (Portugal) to New York (US) for 3 years as a Designer at Blue Fountain Media (a digital agency). It was a new experience for me at the time, I must say. I’ve never worked from home before and not being surrounded by colleagues in that office environment was a new feeling for me. I suddenly got doubts and questions… A lot of questions. As with everything in life there are both the pros and cons or advantages but also disadvantages and these are the ones we need to be aware of.

When working remotely we easily become our worst and first enemy. No one is watching us. We don’t feel the pressure of being surrounded by our team members or the obligation of getting things done. We easily feel isolated and disconnected.

Truth to be told, I both enjoy working from home and from the office. However and if I got asked about my preference I got to be honest and say that being at the office would be my first choice.

We are living times where many of us have to work remotely and that could mean a new and scary experience for some and that is why we have to follow some rules or tips that allow us to keep productive and creative. So, I share the ones that work better for me.

01. Get Ready and Dress Up!

This may seem odd and basic. It may even sound not very relevant. However, it is something that is important and positive for me. It could be very tempting waking up 10 minutes before start working and even to keep our pijamas on all day. A false comfort feeling.

Personally, I think that it is important to keep a morning routine as if we had to get ready and go to the office. Setting up the alarm. Wake up by the same time and get ready. Shower up, get dressed and make breakfast. But, what should we do with the commute time? Well, I normally take that time to have coffee, read or scroll my social media feed.

According to Heather Yurovsky (Career Coach), getting dressed “(…) makes you feel human [and] confident and helps draw the line between being at work and being at home”. This will help us getting focused and separate the line between what is our work time from personal time. Also, our body will get used to each moment and action making it easy to wake up and get things done.

02. Respect Breaks and Take Full Lunch

We easily get distracted when working from home. However, it is really important to define, respect and enjoy our breaks. We can not allow the guilt we feel from working in the same place we sleep and feel comfortable to deprive us from taking and enjoy our breaks. We take the same breaks at the office, after all. It is also very important to enjoy our breaks and get out of the desk for a while rather than just watching funny videos from YouTube or just scrolling our Facebook feed (these are not really breaks).

Go out for a little walk whenever possible. This will help clear our minds and get new perspectives and ideas. If you share a house you can also talk with the person you share it with and discuss some ideas or just random talks.

It is also very important to take and respect our full lunch break. Whenever possible I enjoy having lunch with my girlfriend talking and sharing ideas and thoughts. Some other times, I just enjoy my lunch time catching up on some Netflix show or some talks on YouTube.

03. Keep a Dedicated Work Space

Might be one of the biggest challenges we face working remotely. It is really important to create a wall between our working space and leisure spaces.

So, for that to happen, it is necessary to set what would be our dedicated working space. Setting up a home office by dedicating a room for that purpose would be the ideal scenario. However, and if such a scenario is not a possibility, the most important thing is to set a dedicated space rather than cooping yourself up in your room or couch (spaces we already connect with our home life).

Setting up such a dedicated space will help us turn our work mode on and avoid certain distractions that will affect our concentration and productivity. It help us get into the right frame of mind. That is why jumping from the living room table to the bedroom and from the bedroom to the couch is something we have to avoid.

04. Avoid Social Media and News Distractions

News and Social Media easily become a distraction when we work from home.

Time really flies and we easily lose its notion while scrolling our Facebook feed or new Instagram stories and posts. It is because of its addictive nature that social networks can negatively impact our concentration and productivity. Especially when we work from home.

That is, after all, the goal of any social network platform. Its value is measured by the time each user spends on each platform… That is why we must avoid using them, as much as possible, while working. I’ve personally verified that signing off from all platforms and notifications that may cause me distractions (on both computer and iPhone) and set up a specific time for its usage would be the best option for me.

This may sound as such extreme measures, I can agree on that. However, it is impressive how fast I got results and improved both my productivity and concentration, believe me.

It is important to set our priorities and what really needs our attention. We must understand we are on our working mode and those funny Messenger clips we constantly got are not that urgent. Those can wait.

05. Socialize and Communicate with Colleagues

Feelings like solitude and isolation are quite common to feel when we work from home. We easily lose that social interaction we are accustomed to at the office that makes us feel included and helps us break the monotony and work routine.

That is why I think it is important to keep a daily communication with our colleagues either through conversation channels using tools like Slack (for example) or through video-calls to share ideas and thoughts or just to have a random and social chat. Take 15 or 20 minutes from your time and schedule a call with some colleagues just so you can chat about what are your weekend plans or any other non work related topics.

With all this said, I hope this was helpful and you enjoyed reading it. Let me know your tips and how we keep productive working from home.

Thanks for reading and leave a 👍🏻 please.

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