I’ve been working from home for over a year now, and like many, it took me a while to get my new routine down. I just recently left my day job and will be blogging full-time for a while. So that means I’m creating a new daily routine. Whether you are working for someone else or working for yourself, there are a few tricks you can do to help you stay productive throughout the day. I’ve rounded up a few to help you do just that!
1. Wake Up Early
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wake up early. This is crucial for making a routine and being productive. If you still work for someone else, chances are you are already waking up early. However, if you are working for yourself, don’t think you can sleep in till noon. Set your alarm as if you have to commute to work. Get up early and you’ll be able to get ready and enjoy your cup of coffee before you start checking your emails.
2. Get Dressed and Ready
Whether your morning routine consists of hitting the gym or enjoying a cup of coffee, don’t skip out on it! Your morning routine can set your pace for the entire day. Also, working from home doesn’t mean you can stay in your pajamas all day. You will be a thousand times more productive if you shower and get dressed. Trust me, you’ll see a dip in productivity if you stay in your pjs. If you aren’t a fan of wearing “real” clothes at home, that’s okay – just be sure to at least throw on some clean yoga pants and a sweatshirt!
3. Make Your Bed
Some may think “What does this have to do with working from home?” or “Duh! I do this everyday” – but I think this is a critical step in getting the day off to a good start. I find my un-made bed to be a distraction and sometimes too enticing. Your home will feel more put together and clean once your bed is made, and you won’t feel drawn to climb into it mid-work day. Working in bed is a big no-no.
4. Have a Designated Work Space
Sometimes it is easy to fall into that rut of working on the couch or in bed. Don’t allow yourself to do this! Give yourself a proper work space to get things done at, whether you prefer a separate office room or at the dining table. Each day work in the same place, you’ll feel so much better having a designated space for your paperwork and computer. Plus, you won’t have everything scattered throughout the house and feel disorganized. Keep everything together.
5. Hide and Avoid Distractions
This can be easier said than done. It’s easy to become distracted at work, especially if you have pets or kids. For example, my dog is constantly in and out of the house all day long. She can be a handful at times, but I’ve learned how to work past her (adorable) distractions. Another common problem is a dirty house. I absolutely cannot work when I know there are things that need to be done around the house. In the mornings before work and on your off hours, spend some time cleaning, doing laundry, etc., so you can focus on work rather than doing the dishes.
6. Create a Task List
Every Monday spend a few minutes creating a to-do list for the week. Throughout the week you can refer back to that list and check tasks off as you get them done. I’ve found that without a task list I spend too long on some tasks and forget about others. I’m a very organized list-dependent person, so having task lists boosts my productivity big time.
7. Take a Break
Sometimes things can get a little dull staring at a computer screen all day long, at home or at the office. After I complete a task on my to-do list, I take a few minutes to clear my head. Whether you take a quick neighborhood walk, enjoy lunch outside, or get that load of laundry in – you’ll be thankful for some fresh air. With your clear mind, you can continue working and knock out the rest of your to-do list.
8. Put it Away
It can be difficult to find a balance between work and home when you don’t have a office outside of home. I’ve found that it is easy to continue working into the evening, after you say “I’ll just finish this last thing” – and it turns into several hours. If you have a home office, shut the door once you are finished working for the day. It helps prevent those late work nights and stressful thoughts when you should be relaxing. If you don’t have a office door, try putting your work in a cabinet or drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.