Whether you’re freelancing or working for a company, working from home comes with a lot of advantages. But sometimes, all that freedom can make it harder to stay productive day after day. Here are some tips for maintaining productivity while you’re working at home!
1. Have A Morning Routine
Mentally preparing yourself is one of the most important things when it comes to being productive. If you work in an office, you have your commute to help you get focused for the day ahead. So when you’re working from home, make an effort to settle into a routine. You might consider doing a self-guided meditation, taking a walk, or reading a daily devotional after getting dressed but before starting work.
2. Designate A Space For Work
If you work in your bedroom, you may be tempted to sleep. And if you work in your living room, you might be tempted to watch TV or pick up a coffee-table book. When you designate a specific part of your home for work (even if it’s not technically a home office), you’ll have an easier time focusing and accomplishing your goals for the day.
It’s also a good idea to customize your at-home work environment, too. Whether it’s a motivational poster, a plant, or a photo of your family, having something that motivates and energizes you can make a big difference in your productivity.
3. Take Regular Exercise Breaks
You already know that exercise improves your physical health. But when you’re working from home, taking regular breaks to walk, go to the gym, or just go outside will do wonders for your mental clarity.
The timing of your breaks can also maximize your productivity throughout the workday. If you’re someone who often gets tired right after lunch, you might want to take a break to get outside then. Or if you have a number of small projects to accomplish, you might reward yourself with a short break after each one.
4. Set Regular Hours
Having regular hours can help you stay focused during the workday (and help you wind down when you’re done, too). This is especially true if you’re transitioning from an in-person work environment. Keep your lunch and your breaks at the same times if possible. The goal here is to take good habits from your in-person workplace and carry them over to your new work environment.
Similarly, keep an eye out for bad habits! If you sleep in regularly, it can be harder for you to have a normal and productive workday. If you tend to get carried away watching TV, don’t fall into a binge-watching session in the middle of the afternoon.
5. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries with both yourself and others is crucial to success. If you’re someone who tends to overly focus on your work, set a clear boundary between work and home life. For example, you might set a rule where you can’t do work activities after 5:00 p.m. each day.
Setting boundaries with others is also necessary. If you work with other remote coworkers and/or bosses, let them know that you don’t take work calls or respond to business e-mails after business hours. If your family or friends tend to text or otherwise contact you during the day, it can be helpful to tell them the hours you’ll be working and only reach out to them after work hours.
6. Get Dressed For The Day
For some people, getting to work in your pajamas is one of the draws of working from home! But especially if you have trouble shifting into your work mindset while you’re still at home, getting dressed into something you’d normally wear to the office can help you stay focused and accomplish what you need to. You don’t need to put on a full suit or a full face of makeup, but doing something to look presentable can make a difference! Of course, if part of your work involves logging in to video conferences, you may do this already.
Once you start putting these tips into action, you’ll likely find that your days become more productive and that you discover a better work/life balance. Just make sure you’re consistent, and soon, these new habits will become second nature.