How To Be Productive When Working from Home

The hardest part of working from home is the fact that there is no boss or manager checking up on you.

That means it is entirely up to YOU to stay on task, get things done, be productive, wake up at a reasonable hour, and minimize distractions!

Here are some tips I have learned:

  • Take a shower. Get up, take a shower, get READY for your workday. Plus, it’s nice to be clean!
  • Get dressed in real clothes. It makes a difference. You know how PJs always make you feel at home and cozy? Or how a fancy dress and heels always make you feel powerful and vampy? Clothes can change our moods and attitudes, and while I don’t always follow this rule, I get more done when I do.
  • Leave the house now and then. Just do it. Go get coffee, run errands, take a long walk on a nice day, pet neighborhood dogs. Just get out and clear your head. Try to actually leave the house every day.
  • Have a routine. It’s important to have a relatively structured day and activities and tasks. Many people are routine-oriented and stick to habits once we form them. Having a good habit and schedule will be greatly beneficial!
  • Read the news and know what is going on in the world.
  • Start a blog so you can rant or rave or write (the 3 R’s of blogging) about anything you want.
  • Schedule yourself. Use a calendar to keep yourself to a schedule. 1 pm? Time to write Client A’s article. 3 pm? Time to be on Facebook for 20 minutes. 5 pm? Time to edit 10 pages of Client B’s book.
  • Keep an updated, accurate task list. Every single Monday morning, the first thing I do is re-write my new weekly task list. Some things I do every week, such as “Write Client A’s blog & post last week’s on the site.” and “Continue editing Client B’s book — deadline 11/3.” and “ Create newsletter for Client C.” And I write each client’s name and tasks in a simple handwritten list. It keeps me focused and on task and works for me. I also leave space, as I have weekly meetings with each and will add to and check things off my task list throughout the week. Do it physically or in Trello or Google Drive, but always have a currently-accurate to-do list.

Notes:

  • If you serenade your cat more than twice per day, it means you need to get out more.
  • Your parents will call you while they run errands and hearing your retired parents bicker and laugh about grocery shopping will make you smile.
  • Make plans and meet up with real-life friends!
  • Always be on the lookout for potential clients. I keep my business cards in my purse and hand them out when people ask what I do.
  • Schedule blocks of time to focus on specific tasks and turn off distractions. Close out of social media, turn off the classic rock, and focus.
  • Go to the gym. Get out of the house and feel good and lift heavy things!

Working from home is still work. It is a comfortable environment and one where all your favorite snacks live, which is great. But it can be easy to get distracted. For me, having a routine and keeping my schedule has been invaluable when it came to figuring out a way to be productive and still be at home all day.

Do you have any tips or tricks or notes for how you stay on task and productive?