By now you’re probably familiar with the acronym WFH aka work from home. With everything that’s going on right now, much of the world is on lock down and people have been encouraged to stay at home, as well as work from home.
For many of us, our home has now become our new office and we’re doing our best to adjust to a new norm while staying productive and functional.
Whether you’re new to the working from home for the first time, or already work remotely, developing some good habits and routines are required to make your day effective and productive.
For the majority of us, working from home requires a lot of willpower and the forming of healthy habits to help you stay on top of both your work life and home life.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by the phone, TV, household chores, or other family members, as well as find the motivation to work on those hard work tasks that require a lot of focus.
So to help, I’ve put together 5 tips for working from home to help you create healthy habits, be more productive, as well as to find balance in your life.
5 Tips to Working from Home to be More Productive
Tip #1 – Develop a work from home routine
To get the most of your work from home life, a little discipline goes a long way. Creating a schedule or routine will help guide you through your day and help to set you up for success. This is one of the most important tips for working from home.
Create a schedule, and stick to it. Having guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain a good work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility. So create a schedule that works for your life.
Here’s an example of my work from home schedule:
7am – Wake up and walk the dog
8am – Me time & morning routine: stretch and/or workout, journal, read, and meditate
9am – Start working
11am – Coffee and/or snack break
1pm – Lunch and dog walk
2pm – Afternoon work session
4pm – Start wrapping up the work day
Developing a morning routine to start you day can be especially helpful. Creating consistent habits you do every morning morning will flip the switch in your brain to tell you it’s time to get into ‘work mode’.
Think about what your morning routine indicates you’re about to start work? It might be making a smoothie, journalling and meditating, or as simple as making a cup of coffee and getting dressed. A morning routine be more powerful than an alarm clock to helping you get prepared to start each day of work.
Interested in creating a morning routine? Check out my post on 5 morning habits to start your day off right!
Tip #2 – Carve out a designated working space
It’s a big change to go from working in a formal office setting to working at home. And without creating a proper working environment, it’s difficult to be productive.
You’ll want to set up a dedicated working area to make sure you’re comfortable and free from distractions, so you won’t be tempted to turn on the TV or grab a snack. You’ll also want to make sure this area is organized and tech ready, so that you have everything you need for your work day.
If you are not able to carve out space for a desk and working at a kitchen table, on the couch or on a counter top, having a designated work bag where you keep your computer and any necessary files, materials or stationary that you use throughout your work day. This allows you to be flexible in your work space but also have everything you need in one place.
Tip #3 – Recharge with plan breaks
Let’s face it, sitting and working for hours on end can be mentally exhausting. The easiest way to ensure you are able to stay focused when you’re WFH is it to take breaks to help refresh the mind, replenish your mental resources, and help you be more creative, as well as productive.
Ideally these breaks should be real breaks that are away from you computer, not just watching a YouTube clips, reading the your personal emails, or scrolling through news.
In a traditional office, when you need a moment to clear your head, it’s likely that you’d stop by a co-worker’s desk for a chat or head to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. So allow yourself to do the same at home.
Every few hours, shut your computer, and take a few minutes to walk around your home, do a few stretches, have a snack, or call even just call a friend. You’ll find that you’ll be able to return to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle more tasks.
Tip #4 – Remove your distractions
It’s no surprise that when we’re working from home it’s almost impossible not to get distracted. In fact, it’s the reason why we’re developing these healthy habits in the first place.
Raise your hand if any of these distractions apply to you:
- Social media
- Friends texting you
- Family in the room with you
- Unwashed dishes
- Other people’s clutter
- Your own clutter
- Anything and everything that isn’t your work
Yeah, I raised my hand multiple times too!
The truth is, you’ll never remove 100% of your distractions when working from home. After all, we are working from home, not an isolated office. But we can reduce that list significantly.
If social media is your problem, remove the apps from your phone or turn off notifications for them. Is it email? make a schedule to read and respond to emails during certain hours of the day. If it’s family in your home, start setting boundaries with them. If it’s household mess and chores, schedule in time in the morning to clear your space and have it ready for your work day. Now that your home is your office, it needs to be treated as one.
Tip #5 – Get dressed for your day
This might seems like a simple tip for working from home, but it’s a crucial one! As appealing as working in your pajamas sounds, it’s really not optimal for creating a productive day.
One of the best ways to ensure you ready to work is to get dressed for the day as if you were still going to a work.
Of course you don’t need to get fully dressed your office clothes, but the simple act of changing your clothes and signals a shift to your mindset to get into work mode. Plus, bonus points for looking good for that video conference call if needed! And lets face it, it’s 2020 and we have a lot of video meetings.
Getting dressed also applies to other appearance based tasks such as taking a shower, brushing your teeth and even putting on some makeup. You don’t need to go all out as you would at the office, but waking up and taking care of appearance and go a long way to make your feel your best and feeling ready for your day.
I hope your found these tips to working from home helpful!
If you have any great working from home tips of your own that you’d like to share,
Please let me know in comments below! I’d love to hear them!