I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this crazy time! As this situation continues to develop, more and more of the US workforce is being asked to work from home. As you know, I work from home regularly, both for my day job and for blogging. While working from home has many benefits, it’s not as easy as it seems. Since I have some experience with it (I have been working from home for about 2 years), I wanted to share some tried and true methods to making the most of the work day! Today, I am sharing 10 tips for working from home to help you stay productive!
Check out my 10 Tips For Working From Home below!
HAVE A ROUTINE
Over the past two years, my routine has changed based on the season or my calendar for the day, but for the most part, I try to stick to a routine that works for me. I generally start my day by waking up at the same time as my husband. He is out the door by 7:40 am everyday, so we wake up together around 7 am. Once he heads out the door, I like to get my workout in. We have a Peloton, so I usually do an “on demand” ride for anywhere between 15-30 minutes. After that, I set the coffee maker, take a quick shower and then come back downstairs and make my breakfast and coffee. I then sit down at my computer, usually at around 8:30 am and start going through and answering emails. From there, I usually work straight through until lunchtime. My stomach starts growling at around Noon, so I usually make some lunch and take a break from work while I eat. This sometimes includes browsing the internet, watching something on Netflix or giving someone a call to chat. After that, I usually hunker down again until Eric gets home from work, around 6 pm (if he goes to the gym instead of riding the Peloton). Once Eric is home, we start cooking dinner together (usually HelloFresh) and then enjoy hanging out with each other while eat and/or watch some TV.
This is a suggestion that I, myself, need to follow more often. It is really easy to just roll out of bed and start working in pajamas when you work from home. Don’t get me wrong, I do this more often than I should, and a lot of times I am just as productive, but there is something about getting dressed that makes you that much more motivated. I find that if I just get dressed, put on a bit of makeup and dry my hair after my shower, I can actually transition from my day job to my blog much more easily. If I am dressed and ready for the day, I am able to take a break from my job and do a quick IG story or try-on haul, which ultimately keeps me current with all of my obligations.
HAVE A SET WORKPLACE
About two years ago, we finally finished furnishing our Home Office! I was mostly a nomad, working from the couch or the kitchen island. I had no designated space where I could set up an extra monitor for my laptop or have any real space to stay organized. Now, I have everything I need set up, making me much more productive on a daily basis. During this time, my husband is working from home as well and I know he is struggling as he tries to get his set up at the kitchen island working for him.
If you are a Type A personality like me, then you are already a list-maker. There is something so satisfying about creating a list that you can cross things off of. Your lists can either be on paper or on your computer or phone, but I find that having a list helps me stay on task, helps me remember tasks, keeps me on-track and helps me to deliver in a timely manner. The best part about having a list is that I don’t have to worry (or I have to worry less) that I am forgetting something. Especially since I have both a day job and my blog, I have to remain vigilant when it comes to organization in order to make sure that nothing is falling through the cracks.
KEEP DOMESTIC TASKS SEPARATE
When I tell people that I work from home, the number one question I get is “how do you stay focused?” Almost everyone I talk to says that they don’t understand how I do it without getting distracted. Well, it’s actually pretty easy. Aside from all of the other tips within this post, I make sure to separate non-work tasks from work tasks. My office is in a room where there is no TV that can distract me. I try not to stop during my peak work times to do non-work tasks like clean or do laundry. That is not to say that you can’t fit those things into your day as well, but just find a separate time to do them. I do laundry on average twice per week. When I do, I try to put it in right after I have showered and I am making breakfast since I am already doing non-work tasks. When I break for lunch, that is the time that I check the mail, put any laundry in the dryer, wipe down counters or put away dishes. This helps to keep distractions at a minimum for me.
Sometimes I find that I am actually more productive when I am working from home and more susceptible to burn-out. There is literally nothing to distract you. When you are at an office, colleagues stop by, you grab coffee or lunch on the street, you have meetings in conference rooms. When you are at home, it is just you and your headset! My morning routine keeps me pretty active, but I definitely have to make an effort to take an afternoon break. My energy levels usually start to waver around 2 or 3pm, so sometimes I will do a 10-15 minute workout video to re-motivate myself. Make sure that you are listening to your body (and your mind) and making sure that you are recharging your batteries when necessary.
HAVE A SCHEDULE
In addition to having an overall general routine for your day, make sure that you are making a schedule of specific tasks that you need to get done. In addition to lists, I also have a calendar that tells me what calls I have scheduled for the day, due dates for projects, etc. I also try to glance at my schedule before I shut my computer down for the day so that I know what is coming for the next day.
KNOW WHEN TO STOP
Since Eric has been working from home as well, I have found that we are both having trouble actually disconnecting from work. I no longer have that definitive stopping point once he gets home from work and we start cooking dinner. We are still getting acclimated to us both being home, so I know we will get into a better routine, but that includes us each making an effort to close down our computers and put down our phones when the work day is over.
COMPROMISE WITH OTHERS
Similar to my last tip, it has definitely been a learning curve having Eric home as well. We only have one real designated office space, which is where I work everyday. That means that Eric is stuck working from the kitchen island. Additionally, we are still getting used to how to deal with us both being on conference calls throughout the day. Our house is relatively open concept, so my office doesn’t really have a door on it. There were a few times this week where one of us had to ask the other to keep it down while we were on a call.
GET SOME FRESH AIR
I know that we are all working on social distancing right now, but there is nothing wrong with taking a quick walk around the neighborhood for a bit of exercise and some fresh air. Since the weather has been getting warmer, Eric and I have been taking walks right before we start cooking dinner. There is just something about the Spring air that has us feeling excited and hopeful for what is to come. We almost never come across another person, so to me, we are still quarantined and socially distancing. If you are in a very populated area, maybe just go out on your front porch/back patio/balcony for the time being.
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope these tips were helpful! Stay safe and healthy!