Ahhh…working from home.
I was extremely excited when I found out that after my first three months, I could choose one day a week to work from home. I sort of imagined that it would be one of those things that I was logged in on my computer as I did some chores, binged Netflix and whatever else I felt like – that didn’t include work. Hello, reality check! When I first started working from home, I felt more stressed being away from the office than being at work. I would wake up with no plan and spend most of my day distracted and unfocused while trying to figure out what else I needed to finish before 5 PM.
It got to the point that I started going into the office 5 days a week rather than taking advantage of working from home because I felt so unproductive. I mean it wasn’t terrible because I have a kickass team (hi guys!!) and enjoy our days together, but it’s so nice to not commute into the city and just be home one day during the week. So I had to put on my big girl pants and figure my shit out so I could not only enjoy my day working from home but also be productive to prevent stressing out later.
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1. Plan Your Day
Try to plan out your day as much as you can ahead of time. If you know you need to run an errand or have an appointment, make sure you’re setting time aside before and after to get your work done. If your day is completely free, make a few notes of what you need/want to get done by a certain time. It can be so easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home so it’s important to hold yourself accountable to some sort of schedule.
2. Get Ready
Most of you already know this, but whenever I’m home I live in hoodies and leggings. (#sorrynotsorry) I have found that I am more productive working from home when I try to stick to the same routine as if I was going into the office. FYI: I’m not saying it’s necessary to put on jeans or a full face of makeup. When I’m working from home I get up, wash my face, moisturize, put my contacts in, brush my teeth and change out of my jammies and into a hoodie and leggings. Doing this tells my brain that I actually have to get shit done today.
3. Make A List
Even if when I’m in the office, I need a list in front of me or else I will easily forget everything that needs to be delivered by the end of the day. This shouldn’t change when you’re working from home. Make a list of everything you need to complete in order of when you want to complete it. I usually put important/things I don’t want to do at the top of the list and anything easy/extra for the end of the day.
4. Set Up A Space To Work
Here’s the thing, I work at a desk every single day and the last thing I want to do is sit at my desk at home. Wherever I decide to work (usually my bed or couch), I make sure I have everything I need near me like coffee, laptop charger, notebook, headphones, etc. That way when I get started there’s no reason for me to get up and once again get distracted by who knows what.
5. Keep The TV Off
Those morning talk shows suck me in EVERY SINGLE TIME. I quickly learned that the TV needs to stay off while I’m working…at least for the morning when I’m really trying to be the most productive.
6. Turn Your Phone on Silent
Ever get stressed out when one of your group chats start to blow up? Yeah, me too and that’s why when I’m at work or working from home my phone stays on silent or do not disturb. I think we can all admit that our cell phone is one of our biggest distractions and if you already know that it’s going to stress you out, take care of it ahead of time!
7. Wear Headphones
For some odd reason wearing headphones allows me to focus more. This could just be a “me thing” but it works.
8. Get Up & Move
All of a sudden it’s 3:00 PM and you haven’t moved from your couch. It’s so important to get up, move around and change your surroundings. If you work from home often, it’s refreshing to spend half your day in a coffee shop to prevent boredom and I guess socialize with other humans too. Take some time to grab some water, switch over the laundry and even get some fresh air. Oh and don’t forget about a snack!
9. Set A Timer
Today I had to a few chores I wanted to get done during the day but I knew I would either get distracted or lazy while trying to complete them. I set a timer for 30 minutes and told myself that during that time I HAD to get everything done – switch over a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, take something out for dinner and now I’m trying to think of more things that will make myself sound better but I think you get the point. Watching the time tick down motivated me to get everything done during those 30 minutes and IT WORKED.
10. Sign Off At A Normal Time
If your work is done and you would normally be leaving the office – it’s time to sign off. Telling yourself that you’re going to sign off at a certain time will also motivate you to get your work done during the day. There have been times when I told myself that I could get my work done later that night instead and it’s just bad habit to get into.