Working from home is no fun, and I think most of us realized that in 2020. This year hit us hard. Some lost their jobs, some had to relocate and start working from home. Luckily, I’m part of the second category.
Before coronavirus hit, I had a 9-to-5 job in a local company, where I commuted to every morning. I had my own desk, I knew how long it took me to get to the office and how long I would curse the traffic on my way back. Life was easy enough.
Then covid-19 started causing panic in my hometown and the authorities decided to go into lockdown.
Cue 11th of March 2020. The first day of at least 2 months and a half of working exclusively from home. At first I adapted pretty quickly, but as the lockdown continued, my motivation or productivity started to plummet. It didn’t help that work was very slow and our activities reduced drastically, so I didn’t have any urgent tasks to do to keep me occupied.
I realised I needed to make a change and get out of my comfort zone (one that was nice and cozy and lazy). I started treating my work space like an office and I created a routine to get me into the zone aka a routine to get my day started on the right foot.
Here are 6 tips that helped me to stay productive while working from home:
1. Change out of the pijamas.
This is pretty straightforward. Before starting to work, you need to make sure you’re in the right mindset. That means no bed, no pijamas, and if you can, no couch.
You need to wash your teeth, change into something else (jogger of jeans, whichever you prefer), get a coffee and then sit at your desk. This step, or better say, this quick morning routine, will make you feel productive, and most importantly, it will make the transition to home life better.
If you want to stay productive while working from home, you need to differentiate work time from chill time, and having a desk and a different outfit is a great way of doing just that.
2. Have a work setup.
After you’ve had your coffee and you changed into a fresh pair of joggers, it’s time to work. For it to go smoothly and for you to be productive, you need to make sure you have everything you need to work, before you start.
That means, your water, your agenda, a pen, your laptop, your charger, and so on. Don’t you hate it when you sit down, ready to start, and you realize you forget your phone in the other room? Or you forget to turn off the lights in the bathroom?
Tip: Before sitting down, make sure you opened the windows for a bit, for some fresh air to get it.
It’s also very important to have a good desk and chair- sitting in a bad position for 8 hours will definitely hurt your back. It’s time to invest in some quality home office options (Amazon has some nice home office chairs). Working from home will be easier (and more comfortable).
3. To Do Lists.
This might sound basic, but it helps so much.
Make a to do list (first thing in the morning or last thing, the previous day) and do at least 2 things on it before allowing yourself to get distracted. Making a to do list helps you not forget the things you have to get done. Don’t you get lost in all the emails and very small tasks you have to accomplish, like making sure a post was published?
And checking off two items on your list first thing in the morning will help you stay productive while working from home, therefore will allow you to do even more after completing the first two.
4. Work in chunks of time.
I learned this trick from the authortube community on Youtube. (authortube= community of people who write novels).
They work in sprints. They set a timer for 20 minutes and just focus on that, with absolutely no distractions, no getting up, nothing.
I found this works for me, too. So I set a 15-20 minutes timer, especially when I have to write articles, or do research. and I put my phone on silent, in a place that is not in my eyesight, I close all Social Media tabs and I start working. You would be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes. Try it!
5. Have a mid-afternoon snack.
Studies have shown that our energy levels dip in the afternoon. You probably feel it, almost every day (I certainly do). Especially when working from home (since the pantry is soooo close and the snacks are sooo good).
So this is the perfect time to treat yourself to a cookie, or a piece of chocolate, or fruit (if you want to stay healthy) in order to stay productive while working from home. Because lack of energy leads to procrastination, and before you know it, you are scrolling through Instagram,.
If you’re not hungry, you can do coffee. Or if you don’t want or have the need to consume anything, try exercising. Some yoga stretches or 15 minutes walking can do wonders for your body and….your productivity levels 🙂
6. Prepare lunch beforehand.
Everyday, when lunch rolls in, you’re either really hungry, or just waiting for an opportunity to stop working. Or both, it definitely can be both.
You’re always wondering: What to eat when you work from home? Well, I usually have leftovers for lunch, or I prepare my meal in the morning, before starting to work. It saves time during the work day, and there is one less thing to worry about. This is something you should definitely try. If not for convenience (less time spent on cooking, and food is ready to eat faster), at least for the fact that you can spend that extra 15 minutes scrolling Instagram (or working aka being productive, if you want to).
So there it is: my 6 tips that have helped me stay productive while working from home. Sometimes I don’t follow it to T, because, well, Social Media can be addictive (it often causes interruptions to my work schedule), and my couch is really comfy. But I do my best with what I have, and that’s what we should all strive for.
How are you managing working from home? Do you have any tips staying productive? Help us out in the comments, we’d love to know!
p.s. If you’re working from home, you’re probably needing to clean more often. Check out my fast & easy cleaning schedule for busy people!
p.s.2. *This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.