6 Tips for better Work from Home productivity
As I sit here and type from my desk in my home office, I look around and see so many other things I could be doing instead of working. That ADD is really kicking in now! My home is filled with so many distractions! Did I finish the laundry? Why is my room so dirty? Maybe I will play with my dog. Did someone just knock on my door? Endless, endless distractions! Maybe today I will head to a coffee shop instead to finish my work. While working from home really is a dream come true for me, something people don’t know is that working from home can be extremely challenging and is definitely not for everyone. Even when you are more disciplined and have the ability to ignore all the distractions, there are other factors like understanding how to get stuff done the most effective way.
It’s taken me years to understand how to be my own boss, how to be productive and how to separate my work life from my home life. Staying productive is the hardest part of all! Once you are able to get yourself to work, there is also the problem of doing TOO much at once. A huge challenge for me is just sitting down and focusing. Coffee helps (of course) but there are also other things that have helped me stay on track, focus and be my most productive self. The main ingredient here is discipline, which believe me, is a challenge for me every single day. I have however found ways to make it easier for me to stay on track…
A few things I’ve learned that help me stay productive while working from home:
1. Have a designated workspace.
I am lucky enough to have a space which I can call my office at my home. I have everything I need there. A good comfortable chair so I can work for hours, all my computer and photography gear in organized drawers, space to lay out all my outfits and a closet to store all my boxes that come in and out. I also have stacks of notebooks where I write down ideas and to do lists (yes, I still write things down on notebooks sometimes). I even have a closet where I have my file cabinet, hanging clothes that needs to be shot for collaborations and a little corner where I can film styling videos. While of course having a desk and at least a work corner is the best solution, if you can’t have that, then just find an area that is clean, has good light and is free from distractions. Having your own work area helps your brain know that it’s work time whenever you sit there.
2. Make sure your space is clean and organized.
When my space is cluttered, so is my mind. I try to clean my office every single day at the end of the day so that I don’t get distracted the next day when I’m ready to sit down at my office. My job requires me to be creative every single day. Having a clean and organized home office is crucial. It takes having a clean office space, fully decluttered and empty of distractions for me to be able to concentrate and let my mind open up to ideas. I have filled my office with plants (all different kinds) because they make me feel happy. I find that being surrounded by nature helps me feel more creative as well.
3. Always start with a to- do list.
Having a To-Do list goes hand in hand with being organized. Organizing everything you have to do that day will make the day look less daunting, more manageable and help you stay extra focused on each task. No matter what your job may be, being your own boss always means wearing many different hats. For me, I may read contracts, edit a video, brainstorm blog post ideas, create a mood board for my next shoot, send out newsletters, choose clothing options for future shoots, pitch to brands for future campaigns and go out to shoot photos and delegate tasks to people that help me all in one day. It can be overwhelming at times to know how to do it all the best way possible.
I try to always start my day by listing out everything I have to do. I then prioritize by most important. Over the years I have learned to write it all down, prioritize the list and mark off as I go. On top of this, believe it or not, trying to multitask has been proven to lessen your efficiency. Various Studies show that multitaskers have more trouble keeping out distractions than someone who is focusing on one thing at a time. Apparently, it’s not very good for your brain either (seriously, google it). It’s hard for me to do but I really do try to make sure to put my full attention on one thing at a time to maximize productivity. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you stop trying to do everything at once!
4. Take BREAKS!
Taking breaks every hour is so important. It helps reset your brain so you can avoid brain fatigue and continue to work stronger and smarter. Even just getting up to grab some water or make yourself a snack is a good break. Maybe walk the dog, clean your house…run a quick errand? Ten minutes is all you need to stretch, move your body and then get back to what you were doing. I like to set a timer for every hour and then take a 10 minute break in between.
on that note….
5. Remember to Eat and Drink Water:
Like I have mentioned earlier, some times when you work for yourself it can be easy to work for hours on hours. Be MINDFUL and remember to eat and give yourself water and lunch breaks (just like if you were in a corporate office). Food and Water are so important to keep your mind healthy and working with the most productive results. Treat yourself like someone you love and are responsible for caring for.
6. Find out a schedule that is most productive for YOU.
I think it’s so important to keep a schedule so you can hold yourself accountable for when you are “on duty” and “off duty” and keep some sort of structure. In a world where you don’t have set hours, sometimes you find yourself working from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Don’t let this fool you. While this may sound like you would get a lot of work done, sometimes it is actually the complete opposite because you are multi-tasking like crazy, overworking yourself and not setting boundaries for yourself. On the other side, you could also slack off too much and then find yourself having to work overtime during the weekend when your friends and maybe significant other have the time off from their 9-5 jobs.
I am married so I like to have a schedule similar to my husbands. It just makes everything easier. I mostly get up in the morning at the same time he gets up and try to take weekends off so we can spend quality time together. This has really helped me because I know that the weekdays are my days to power through and get as much work done as I can. I can relax and take a breather on the weekend because I know I have already done everything I can for the time being. I think it’s extra important now more than ever to take time off (especially with a job like being a blogger where your work life revolves around the computer and social media). Think of it this way- if you had to chop down 100 trees, you’d spend at least part of that time sharpening the axe. When you don’t set boundaries, your brain gets dull and your work suffers. Boundaries are important because when you come back to work with a sharpened axe, your output will be better than the person who just kept chopping. If you want to know more about how I’ve learned to separate my work life from my home life, check out my post “ How to Juggle Real Life and Blog Life” .
Don’t forget that working from home can often give you cabin fever. I like to go to a coffee shop once a week to have a change of environment. Something this actually helps me reset and work harder. Plus, coffee! Duh.
I hope this helps you !! As always, thanks so much for reading!
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