Looking for the best work-from-home productivity tips? I've been working from home since 2008 and have established many work-from-home productivity rules to live by. I have some thoughts on what works (for me) and what doesn't.
Whether or not you agree with these ten work-from-home productivity tips, it's essential to figure out what works best for you as soon as you start your work-from-home adventure. Here are ten productivity tips I swear by below.
this post is all about work from home productivity tips
Get up early TO MAXIMIZE TIME
When I first started working for myself, I had many nights working until the sun came up! Then I'd sleep all day.
It was great until I became off schedule with the rest of the world--professionally (for meetings, calls, social media posts, replying to emails, etc.) and socially (dating, seeing friends, going to the gym/movies, making appointments, etc.).
Then for a long while, I got on a consistent schedule of getting up about 8:30-9 am. It was better for me professionally and socially--and it still allowed me to work somewhat late when I felt most creative.
Still, the days seemed to go by in a blink. I'd look up from work, and it should only be noon, and it'd be 4 pm. Do you know that feeling?!? The creative zone can suck you into a black hole of time.
It wasn't until my cross-country move in 2016 that I truly became a morning person.
It might sound crazy, but leaving the time zone I spent my entire life in for a time zone that is 3 hours earlier has definitely helped my productivity.
My favorite work-from-home tip: I'm now up at 5 am. I get dressed while my coffee brews and take a morning walk with my labradoodle.
Then I get to work immediately--every day (no matter what). Getting up extra early (ouch--when it's still dark!) has been the simplest and most effective way to boost productivity.
I've seen significant growth in making this simple tactic a work-from-home rule for one simple reason: the day has so many more hours when I get up at early.
Your mother has probably told you this at some point in your life (as has mine). Guess what? She is right. Set your alarm. (Or move to the west coast.)
Boost PRODUCTIVITY BY UsING a planner
Work-from-home productivity does not include winging it every day.
Structure your time to maximize efficiency. Have a plan for the week, the day, and the hour.
Monitor how you are spending your time. Set your timer on your phone to move onto the next task.
Get dressed / do your routine / put on makeup
In order to maximize work-from-home productivity, you must get out of your pajamas every day!
You also have to wash your face and brush your teeth. You might even want to brush your hair and put on some makeup.
Do whatever primping routine you did when you went to an office/establishment for work.
Psychologically, I feel like myself when I put myself together in the morning. I don't feel my sharpest and therefore don't do my best work when I have severe bed-head.
You don't have to sit at your desk in a suit (unless you want to) but try getting dressed in "real" clothes and see how you feel compared to loafing around your apartment like a slug.
I'm willing to bet you are more productive when you clean up.
I always, always, always put on sparkly stud earrings. It's like a subconscious mind signal--once the earrings are in, I switch from sleepy-relaxed-home mode to get-shit-done-work mode.
Schedule personal appointments as if you had an office job
So you're working from home! Sweet! You can go to yoga at 10 am on Tuesdays and follow it up with a sauna and a shower. On Wednesdays, you have a standing appointment with your acupuncturist at 11 am, and afterward, you like to get your nails done. Right?
Enter the least fun work-from-home rule.
Working from home does not mean not working (as many of my friends need help understanding).
When I schedule my appointments, I act like I work in an office and will have to explain why I'm missing for several hours to a boss.
It takes the fun out of working from home, but when I break up my day with personal appointments, I break up my productivity flow.
I need long chunks of quiet time to get my daily-to-dos accomplished.
So when I step out in the middle of the day, it always tends to be less productive. Of course, I have to do so sometimes, but generally, I schedule all appointments in the late afternoon (after 4 pm) or evening to maximize my work day.
If 9 of the ten personal appointments you schedule protect your work day, you will be incredibly productive.
Make social time a priority
Because I don't have co-workers and am an outgoing, social person, I have to be sure I get my social fix each week; otherwise, I get a little stir-crazy.
My rules are these:
- I drive somewhere at least once a day.
- I make social plans at least three times a week (not including weekends). (They don't have to be expensive dinners out. They can be to meet a friend for a beach walk, a coffee chat, or attend a local event.)
The point is, you have to get out and about and close the door to that home office.
It's best to treat social time with the same respect as work time. It's important to see friends and family, meet new people, feel connected to your community, and have a work-life balance.
This tip may be the most important: if you don't follow it, working from home can make you feel isolated and out of touch.
No TV / magazines / games / distractions
My sis once asked me, "How do you not read magazines all day while working from home?"
I told her that if I read magazines, I don't get my work done, and then I don't get paid.
So magazines, TV, video games, doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning my closet--whatever might feel more enticing to do--it's important to not get distracted while working from home.
Pssst...another work from home rule I have is a strict no television during the day rule. I won't turn the TV on until it's dark outside.
If you get distracted by temptations around your home, try implementing strict hourly parameters!
Have a designated workspace (NOT THE COUCH)
Have a specific place where you do your work, ideally a table or desk with a comfortable chair.
Keep it tidy so that each day you sit back down, it's a pleasant experience. If it's a disorganized mess of papers and piles, it will likely affect your productivity.
At the end of each day, take two minutes to put things away, so you start the next day on an organized note.
This work-from-home rule will allow you to have boundaries with living and working in the same space.
Get a dog
The very best work-from-home tip!
Since co-workers are slim to none while working from home, having a dog around has surprisingly increased my productivity. How?
First, my dog forces me to take frequent breaks that help refresh my mental state. If I didn't have that little paw poking me every 3-4 hours to go out, my day might be one big black hole of work.
My work is of higher quality because I return with a fresh perspective to my desk. Plus, getting outside means getting more sunshine, which in turn means a boost of vitamin D, which helps prevent many health issues, including depression.
Second, my dog brings me pure joy. The laughs and love she provides me all day make work more fun. And we all need to have a little fun while working.
There's nothing like the freedom of working at home. So please make the most of it. Reward yourself when you are productive and cross something off your to-do list.
Take a break! Make a delicious lunch! Go for a run!
My daily reward is usually a 20-minute pool/hot tub break. It's incredible what looking forward to little rewards will do for your productivity!
this post was all about work from home productivity tips
I hope my work-from-home tips help boost your productivity and make working from home an efficient and more impactful experience than working from an office.
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