These Tips Have Helped Us To Be Productive When Working From Home
If you’re like us, you might work from home – or maybe you are looking to start working from home. Whatever the case, figuring out how to be productive at home is something that most people struggle with!
There are loads of home office productivity hacks out there to work from home effectively. Our journey as bloggers/freelancers has taken us on this path of figuring out which work from home hacks work best for us. Everyone works differently – and everyone’s home set up is different – so it takes a bit of trial and error to get right.
So, here are some of our top productivity tips to work from home more effectively. Let’s make working from home work for you!
Get Out Of Your Pyjamas
When working from home it can be very tempting to stay in your
Now we make it a habit to get out of our sleeping clothes every morning as we would if we were to go work at an office. We don’t always put on jeans and a nice shirt – most of the times it is yoga pants and a comfy pullover for Lisa and a similar attire (sweat pants) for Bruce.
The fact that we are putting on day clothes really affects our mind – and as such our productivity, as well. So, if you are one of the people who lives in their sleeping attire at home, we recommend that you give it a try and put on “day clothes” in the morning before you start your work.
Have A Designated Work Space
Admittedly, Lisa is guilty of sometimes working from the couch. However, she only really does that when the task she is working on allows for it – such as creating new Pinterest pins or working on other social media tasks.
Other than that, we have a couple of designated work spaces around our house. Since we live in a small apartment, we don’t have a separate office. We do, however, have a desk that is purely reserved for work as well as a spot on our kitchen table that we use quite frequently for getting work done.
The point we are trying to make is to find a space in your home from where you can work well and train your mind to be in “work mode” when you are sitting in that specific spot.
One way to do this is to always work when you are sitting in that spot. So don’t watch Netflix, eat, or spend time on social media for personal matters when sitting at your “work spot”. Give it a try – it has worked really well for us so far! It’s also important to clear the clutter from these work spaces so that you can work effectively!
Set An Alarm
We find that we are more productive when we start working early in the morning. That said, for some people not having to set an alarm is one of the biggest perks when working from home!
Yes, we might sleep in a little bit if we had a really late night the day before – but usually, our alarm goes off at around 7:30 am. This allows us to get dressed and have breakfast at a relaxed pace before starting work at around 8:30 am.
By starting work early we usually get so much more done than if we started at 10 am or later. Lisa especially finds that she is much more productive in the early morning hours than the rest of the day.
This might be different for you since people work best at different times of the day. If you don’t usually set an alarm, we would recommend that you give it a try for a week or two. Not only will it make sure that you have enough hours in the day to get a good amount of work done
Outline Your Tasks For The Day
One way you can be more productive when working for home is by outlining the tasks you need to complete for that day. This is largely related to the importance of goal setting and staying focused.
By outlining tasks, you don’t have to spend a lot of time throughout your day trying to figure out what to do next. At these moments, it is usually super easy to get distracted and go down a rabbit hole of Facebook groups or YouTube videos.
By knowing which tasks you have to get done, you can avoid some distractions more easily. We have found that having a longer and more ambitious list usually means that we get more done throughout the day since we are working harder.
You have probably heard of the studies being done that essentially say that when you have more time to complete a task it will take you longer to complete said task. By giving ourselves a tighter schedule, we are able to complete the things on our to-do-list in a shorter amount of time.
We usually outline our tasks for the day on a simple sheet of paper in the morning, but there are also lots of great to-do-list apps out there that can help you be more productive throughout the day.
Schedule Breaks (And Take Them)
When working from home sometimes it can be very difficult to take actual breaks. We have had moments where we were even doing small social media tasks while having our lunch. While at the moment it might feel like you are working, not giving your mind time to rest and recharge can affect your overall productivity for the day.
When looking back at what we actually got done at the end of the day during days that we didn’t take any actual breaks, we often find that we didn’t actually get that much done at all. It felt like we were working the whole day, but there were extended periods of time where we were spending time on social media or just being distracted.
During the days where we schedule and actually take breaks regularly, we get so much more done overall. We might not actually have as much work time as when we don’t take breaks but during the time we are in work mode we can work so much more efficiently.
Just a word of advice – when we say break, we aren’t talking about a one hour Netflix break. Instead, we are talking about short 15 minute breaks during which you allow your mind and eyes to rest by ideally being away from your computer and phone. Besides these 15 minutes breaks, we usually also take a slightly longer break for lunch.
Only Spend Time On Social Media When Required For A Task
Social media can be such a time suck and it is so easy to just keep scrolling on Instagram or go down a rabbit hole of Facebook group conversations. It can be even more tough when social media is part of your job – as is the case for most bloggers.
One rule we are trying to follow is to only spend time on social media when it is required for a work-related task. This means, for example, that we won’t reply to any private Facebook messages when spending time on the platform for a work related task.
Similarly, we try to avoid reading interesting Pinterest articles when in “work mode”. We’ll save those things for when we are done with work for the day and have free time in the evening.
Sometimes it can still be a little difficult to stick to this rule but overall we have been a lot better with our time management and productivity since we have implemented it.
If you feel like this is not enough for you, try putting your phone into another room when you don’t need it for work. You can also install browser extensions for your computer which allow you to block access to Facebook, Netflix, etc. for a certain amount of time. We haven’t personally tried those yet, but we know a few people who swear by it.
Have A Work Buddy That Holds You Accountable
We are really lucky that there is two of us working together and so it is really easy to hold each other accountable. It is important that we have honest conversations about what we accomplished throughout the day and are able to evaluate how productive we were.
It does happen that we remind each other throughout the day to get back to work – because as we mentioned above it can sometimes be difficult to not get distracted by social media. This is very valuable and good for our productivity when working from home.
We recommend that you find a work buddy that holds you accountable, as well. You don’t have to work in the same location physically (even though that can also be very valuable every once in a while), but checking in with each other a few times a day can very helpful when it comes to staying on track.
Listen To Productivity Music
This is one of Bruce’s productivity hacks when it comes to working from home. Listening to music when writing new blog posts allows him to be more focused on the task at hand and get it done more quickly without being distracted easily.
Lisa doesn’t always listen to music, but it does help her when she is feeling unproductive or like she has “hit a wall”. Most of the time she will just search for a “productivity music” video on YouTube that includes music without words.
If you haven’t given it a try, then we would really recommend that you put some music on when you want to have a productive “work from home”-session. It might take a while until you find what kind of music works well for you – but just try out a few different ones and you’ll hopefully see how beneficial it can be!
Give Yourself A Bridge To The Next Day
This is something that we have started doing quite recently and so far it has worked really well for us. Giving yourself a bridge essentially means that you leave one task unfinished when you stop working at the end of your day. This is what you will start working on the next day.
By “building a bridge” to the next day, you know exactly which task you’ll start your day with. This takes out some of the uncertainty about how the next day will go. It also means that we have a productive start to the day – and this “good start” is positive momentum that we carry through the rest of the day’s tasks!
And there you have it – 9 of our tips for staying productive if you work at home. It can be an ongoing battle to stay on track and stay motivated when you work from home – but it’s totally doable. Let us know how your journey to working from home is going – and be sure to share any tips and tricks with us!
As always, Stay Curious,