For the past 8 years, I’ve been working at home, and I absolutely love it! The freedom to work when I want and where I want is such a blessing. It’s allowed our family so much flexibility. I get to be a business owner and an involved mom all at once!
But, this takes some planning and trial and error to find your own rhythm and balance! Over those 8 years I’ve learned what does and doesn’t work when it comes to running a business or blog from the comfort of your home.
Here are my best tips to keep you motivated, focused and productive while working from home!
8 Work From Home Tips
Set Work Hours
When I first started working from home, it was a free for all! I’d sleep until 11, stay up until 1am, but I soon found that this was just not working for me. One of my biggest tips for working at home is keeping normal work hours.
Maybe you don’t need 8 work hours a day, but whatever you need, keep them regular. Having that routine every week day will help you get into a good rhythm.
I’ve gone through the whole working in pajamas or my robe phase too. And again, after a week, it was not serving me. I feel most confident and my best when I get up, get dressed and ready for the day and feel like a normal human.
You don’t have to dress fancy, but do yourself a favor and at least get out of your pajamas.
Have a Designated Work Space
If your home has an extra room, make it a dedicated workspace. If you don’t have a separate room, find a little nook or area of the house that you can claim as yours. Having a dedicated space gets you into the work mode when you’re there. Bonus points if you’re near a window that gives you great natural light and a pleasant, inspiring view! Your laptop, planner, etc. will have a place to live that’s tucked out of the way.
I currently have been working from our dining room since Rob’s taken over my small desk (temporary problems), and it’s okay, but I hate that I have to move all of my stuff every single time we eat a meal.
Know When You’re Most Productive
Some people are rockstars in the morning, some do better at night. If you don’t already know when your sweet spot for productivity is, you’ll soon find it. When you do, make sure to plan your work accordingly.
In our current situation, that’s nap time (1-3pm) for me because it’s the only time I have truly to myself. I save the work that requires more focus and effort for this time—like writing this blog post!
Other work that doesn’t require as much focus like responding to emails, scheduling Tailwind or editing pictures is saved for after Owen is in bed, or for when he’s doing a quiet activity by himself.
Block your Schedule
This was definitely easier before we were quarantined at home, but I still find that I’m blocking my schedule. The activities that fill those times are just different for the time being.
I love blocking because it helps prioritize specific tasks and allows me to set aside larger chunks of time that are uninterrupted to work on big picture products.
Some blocks I typically schedule are:
- Answering emails
- Tailwind & social media scheduling
- writing blog posts
- Styling and shooting photos
- Managing Beautycounter orders, samples & follow-up emails
I also try to only check my email during that block because otherwise I can get so distracted!
Sticking to ONE task per block is KEY. The brain cannot multitask even if you think you can, it’s just not possible. Trying to do multiple things at once will just make you less productive.
Change Up Your Scenery
Okay, admittedly, this is hard to do amidst COVID, but before all this, I would regularly meet other work-from-home friends at a coffee shop, or go to a coffee shop alone. I find that I do my best writing from spaces like this.
Maybe you know that when you go to a certain setting, it makes you more creative or productive. If that’s the case, make sure to pencil that into your weekly schedule.
If anything else, it’s nice to get out of the house and see people for a bit. Even if you don’t talk to anyone, it feels refreshing to be around other humans!
Did you know that taking breaks actually increases your focus and ability to think creatively?
If you were working at an office, you’d have a lunch break, and maybe an afternoon snack break. Make sure to take these to give yourself a mental and physical break. Close your computer, get some fresh air, make sure to refill your water bottle, walk the dog, etc.
I always find that getting outside for a quick afternoon walk with our dog is just the mental break I need. I come back ready to tackle the last of my to-do list with a clear mind.
This one might sound silly, but after nearly 8 years of working at home, I can attest to the fact that a clean, tidy home or at least your workspace is essential for staying focused and productive.
If the house is a mess, I find myself glancing up at it, thinking “wow, I really need to clean that up!” If I take 5 minutes to do it, I’m infinitely more productive after!
This also helps keep your work and life stuff as separate as they can be. It can be so tempting to try to do both work and laundry at the same time, but I’ve done it, and it just doesn’t work! Stick to one thing at a time!
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