One of my favorite things about working for myself is the ability to work from home. I am able to make my own schedule, take the dog for walks when I want to – and, best of all, I was able to ditch the majority of my corporate wardrobe!
I’m also able to work – and take breaks – when it makes sense for me. I love getting an early start on the day and taking a break in the early afternoon. I’ve also been known to get bursts of creative energy in the evenings, so that’s when I’ll sometimes crack open the laptop for a little more focused work.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. It took some trial-and-error to really get into my groove! Working from home can certainly present some challenges, especially if you aren’t tapping into your own personal strengths.
Whether you’re just starting to work-from-home or you’ve been doing this for a while, I put together some tips that will help you navigate the sometimes confusing waters of working from home.
Tip #1: Figure Out Your Peak Productivity Time
One of the best things about working from home is the ability to set your own schedule. To make the best of your schedule, take into account when you are naturally the most productive.
Are you a morning person who is able to bang out hours of work before the rooster crows?
Or are you more creative at night after everyone else has gone to sleep?
Tap into your natural rhythms and use them to your advantage. If you’re a night owl, save your most creative work for when the sun goes down.
If you’re more productive first thing in the morning, be sure to block off time to work on your most time-consuming tasks right after your morning coffee or dog walk.
Tip #2: Establish a Routine
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean your life should become a free-for-all. Just as you would have a routine if you were working in the office, establish a routine when you’re working from home.
Doing this will keep you motivated to keep working… even when Netflix or laundry are calling your name.
Tip #3: Take Breaks
It’s so easy to sit at your desk and work all day – but it’s not good for you!
Repurpose the time that used to be taken up by your commute to the office to incorporate more breaks into your day.
Whenever you’re feeling stressed or tired, take a ten-minute break to walk outside or meditate. Try to do something to get your blood flowing, put your mind to rest, or take fresh air into your lungs.
Tip #4: Set a Lunch Schedule
Don’t work through your lunch! Just like you would in the office, be sure to take lunch around the same time every day.
Even if you’re working at the kitchen table, turn your computer off, prepare a healthy meal, and take the time to focus on your break. Maybe read a book, watch a quick show, or get a workout in before you go back to your desk.
This will keep your brain awake and alert which, in turn, makes you more productive.
Tip #5: Create a Designated Workspace
I’m not saying that you can’t work from the couch or take your laptop outside sometimes – but you should try to have a designated workspace somewhere in your home.
This helps to physically keep the work/home boundary, while also keeping all of your work supplies in one place.
Tip #6: Set — And Keep — Boundaries
One of the hardest things about working from home is that your work is always with you!
It may feel easy to hop on the computer to complete a task quickly or check your email on your phone while watching a movie with a loved one… but don’t! Working all of the time is the fastest route to burn-out. Just because the work is always available doesn’t mean you should be. I have to admit that this is the area I struggle with the most, because I love the work that I do and often get sucked back into it “for fun”!
This also means keeping boundaries around your work time as much as possible. Yes, you have more flexibility when working from home, but try to set working hours and keep those sacred to other interruptions.
Tip #7: Establish a Wellness Routine
Whether it’s working out in the gym or taking the dog on frequent walks, making time for exercise is really important.
Whether you’re working out first thing in the morning or later in the day, increasing your movement will only improve your mood and keep your stress levels at bay.
And of course, pair your movement with a strong healthy diet. Properly fueling your body will only make you more productive and able to accomplish your tasks.
I hope these tips will help you keep your motivation and increase your productivity — regardless of whether you’re just now jumping into the world of working from home or if it’s been months since you said goodbye to your commute! Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter for more great content and tips.