Tips for Being Productive While Working From Home
Working from home is a wonderful opportunity to explore what makes you tick. You find out how you work best in which kind of environment. I’ve been freelancing, working from home for seven months now and I’ve learned so much about my work ethic, skill set, and the environment that I personally thrive in.
When I was working 9-5 in an office setting, I really struggled. Not at first, but as the years went on, I had more and more difficulty with small things. My anxiety grew stronger and more aggressive. I struggled with other peoples’ ideas about how I should be working and managing my time.
There are so many things I love about working from home — from designing my own hours, managing the brands I believe in, and having control over my personal work flow. It’s a freeing feeling, being your own boss. Freelancing and working from home has made me realize a lot about myself as a boss but also as an employee.
But managing work flow can be exceedingly arduous with so many at-home distractions. (Believe me, I’ve had my share of I-know-this-is-due-tomorrow-but-the-new-season-Orange-Is-the-New-Black-just-dropped-on-Netflix moments.) So how can you buckle down and really focus on productivity while working from home? Keeping reading for my best tips.
(Photo Credit: Carl Heyerdahl)
Have a clear working space.
Forget attempting to work from your bed. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. Even the couch has its moments when it’s just not enough to help me concentrate. The best thing I ever did for myself (and my career) was establishing a cut-and-dry workspace, away from my bedroom, in which I can focus on my daily tasks.
It may sound trite but setting a timer is an excellent time-management skill for short-term projects. With shorter projects or tasks, I usually allot myself a certain time — perhaps 30 to 60 minutes for transcribing an interview or 20 minutes specifically designated for me to adjust my calendar. Studies show that multitasking isn’t the healthiest thing for your brain, so setting a timer and allotting X amount of time to one specific task is a much better, healthier option.
Rely on lists, planners, and reminders.
I would be nowhere without my organization tools: lists, planners, and daily reminders are what keep me on track. An editorial calendar aids with mapping out due dates, appointments, and other commitments long-term, while daily to-do lists ensure that I check off everything I need to throughout the day. For extra special commitments that are out of the ordinary, I’ll make a reminder out of a post-it note or as an alarm on my phone to make sure I don’t forget.
Take a break.
Breaks are important. There’s just no way I’m as productive if I’m going, going, going non-stop without taking a couple of breathers. Personally, my work flow isn’t successful that way. Taking a break to focus on meditation (with an app, YouTube video, or just internally), taking a quick walk, or simply getting out in nature are great ways to get your creativity flowing again before returning to the desk.
Stick to a schedule.
If you take away one thing, make sure that it’s the importance of sticking to a schedule. By keeping your days on a similar schedule, you’ll fall into a routine that eventually will become like muscle memory.