in this post: The Pareto principle has taught us to work smarter,not harder. By being efficient with your time, you’ll be sure to accomplish more with less stress and more motivation. Keep reading to find the top 10 working from home productivity tips to increase your success.
How to stay productive working from home
Hi girls, how are you today?
How do you feel about working from home?
I personally have always dreamed about the possibility of the life flexibility that working from home ensued.
The thought of not having to commute every day and being able to cook my own meals instead of spending money at restaurants that offer lunch menus seemed like a distant dream (not to mention the ability to wake up a little late and dressing up in more comfortable attire).
Indeed, working from the comfort of my own home sounded like bliss.
The downside, however, is that it’s so easy to get tempted by so many distractions and temptations when you work from home.
The idea of being able to go on a quick market run or nail salon on a random weekday might sound like a luxury, but it can turn into a form of procrastination if there’s no one telling you to get back to work.
When working from home you need to have some serious self-discipline and willpower to make it work and stay productive when working from home.
Here are my best working from home tips for success.
P.S. Note that most of these productivity tips will also apply even if you don’t work from home.
Top 10 Working From Home Productivity Tips
1. Stick to a schedule
I always liked the idea of working from home instead of the strictness of being in an office from 9-5. Those working hours seem so subjective, and it’s archaic to think that we can be productive for 8 hours straight.
That being said, I’ve found that sticking to regular hours does make it easier to regulate my work.
Of course, I have the freedom to throw the laundry on while I’m working or make a trip to the grocery store, but regular work hours help me to get more done and to keep focused.
My recommendation here is to start and end work at a similar time each day. Granted, you don’t have to be at your computer at 9 am sharp, but it is best to be responsible for starting your work with discipline on a regular basis.
More Tips: How to wake up earlier and not feel tied
2. Make time for yourself before and after work
It’s easy to roll out of bed and head straight to your desk in the morning or work right up until bedtime, especially when you like what you do.
Since working from home has blessed me with no more commute, make the most of the extra time you have for self-care.
Do something for yourself such as going for a walk, working out, making a rich breakfast, meditating, or even reading a chapter of a book. This will ensure that your work doesn’t take over your entire day and that you will always make time for yourself.
3. Get ready
With no one to judge you for your clothing choices (well, maybe your partner or roommate, if that’s the case), you might end up working from your PJs all day.
Granted that this is fun to do sometimes, but you might feel lazy after a few days of living in dirty sweats.
A tip that I can give you ladies is to wear leggings (which feel like a step up from pajama pants) and an all-black ensemble can go a long way in looking elegant, yet comfortable.
Nevertheless, I do find that putting on an actual outfit and doing my makeup makes me more productive (and more attractive to my boyfriend). Another plus side of doing this is that you’ll be ready should you ever have an unexpected video call or have to run an errand.
4. Don’t leave the TV on (unless you’re doing mundane tasks)
This is an overlooked working from home productivity tip, but so important if you want to keep focused.
It can be tempting to work with Netflix playing in the background, but I’ve found this distracts me more than anything.
In the end, there’s really no way to focus on both your work and the show, so try not to put your favorite show on unless you’re doing tasks that don’t require much mental effort.
5. Set Ground Rules With the People in Your Space
Set ground rules with other people in your home or who share your space for when you work.
I learned this the hard way. I’m usually a morning person but my partner wakes up a bit later. When he wakes up he wants to talk and be together for a bit for some quality time. When I realized, my entire morning would have gone by without getting much done.
This equally applies if you have children. They need clear rules and boundaries about what they can and cannot do during that time.
Lastly, bear in mind that just because you’re home and can let service people into the house or take care of pets doesn’t mean other family members should assume you will always do it. Your work hours are just as important as anyone else’s. Make sure you’re clear on this topic.
6. Get important tasks done in solitude
If you’re around others when you’re working from home, get your most important tasks done in a quiet space by yourself.
I personally enjoy having other people (such as Cris) around when I’m doing mundane tasks, but I need my focus and have quiet time to get the important things done.
Some people think working from home is more distracting than an office, but I used to work as an account executive (AKA sales), where listening to my colleagues making pitches over the phone was part of my daily job routine – I would be ‘forced’ to hear other people’s conversions, phone calls, and meetings all day long. And it would get daunting very fast.
For that reason, I always work with noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions when I seriously need to focus.
Related Post: How To Get Things Done When You Have Zero Motivation
Books on this topic that I recommend:
7. Track your time
Another tip for working from home effectively is to track your time. If you struggle to be productive when working from home (or in general), try tracking your time with something like Toggl.
It took me a while to adopt this habit, but in all honesty, tracking my time has helped me realize when I’m spending too much time on useless tasks.
My personal distractions involve taking my time to cook, tidying up the house, and organizing my closet.
However, when I time how long these things take, I realize how much they’re taking away from my work time (and it is mind-blowing when you realize how much time you mindlessly ‘’throw away’’ doing other tasks that distract you from your actual work).
Tracking your time can open your eyes to your procrastination habits.
Moreover, an added bonus is that it can encourage you to be MORE productive because you feel like you’re being watched by the clock.
8. Keep a dedicated office space
In an ideal world, remote employees would have not only a dedicated office but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use.
However, not everyone has a separate office in their home. That is why it is important to aim to dedicate a desk and some peripherals only for work use. Also, as tempting as it may be, avoid working sitting from the couch or bed. Your productivity won’t be the same as sitting on a desk dedicated to working.
9. Mind your food habits
A very common thing when you work from home is to skip mealtime, either because you’re too caught up in work or because you feel lazy to prepare yourself a decent meal.
Aim to eat lunch at a normal time and try to eat your meals away from your workspace.
Another tip I’ve found super handy is prepping meals ahead of time. Even though I can make my lunch at home, most of the time I don’t want to spend much time cooking at lunchtime and at first I was eating pasta almost daily (I also blame having an Italian boyfriend for this).
Having something made ahead of time makes life a heck of a lot easier.
Lastly, and equally important, let’s not forget snacks. It’s really tempting to snack all day when you have access to the pantry, but try sticking to a snack schedule if this is something you struggle with.
Avoid buying chips and other unhealthy options and aim to have a pantry filled with healthier snacks, such as fruits, nuts, and berries to keep your brain working at its full potential.
10. Remember to take breaks
Another working from home best practices is to be mindful to take breaks.
When you don’t have a designated lunch break, it’s easy to stay glued to your desk for 8 hours straight. Set a timer if you must and respect your body’s needs a time out every now and then in order to remain productive.
Step outside for some fresh air, or even go for a walk. Do a few quick stretches. Text or call another human being if you feel isolated from others.
You don’t want your work from home life to burn you out or overwhelm you, so make it a priority to take regular breaks and listen to your physical and mental needs.
How to you maintain productivity working from home?
If you have any working from home productivity tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments!