Working from home can often feel like a luxury, but it also has its challenges. When COVID hit, businesses realized they didn’t necessarily need people in the office in order to get the work done. Work could be done, often just as well or maybe even better from the comfort of our homes. It opened up a completely new way of working for so many. Despite some companies requiring workers to come back to the office, many people have embraced working from home and are continuing to do so.
Working from home can add ease to the day, and save time on things like long commutes. But there are challenges when working from home too, like creating boundaries around work/life staying focused throughout the day. In order to make the most out of your work day from home, there are things you can do to help to keep structure, creativity and inspire growth. So take advantage of all of the benefits of working from home while also maximizing your efforts.
Here are some productivity tips for working from home to ensure you get the most out of your work day.
Productivity Tips For Working From Home
Get Dressed Like You Are Going To Work
One of the easiest things to do while working from home, is to get a little too relaxed and comfortable. Hanging out in your PJ’s until noon can make your work feel less urgent and important. PJs and sweats are clothes that signal to your body it is time to rest. You can still prioritize comfort, while also showering and getting dressed for the day. This will make you feel energized and ready to take on your to do list. I find that putting on a little makeup, wearing something I love and even throwing on some jewelry empowers me to feel good and therefore do better work.
Create a Work Space
I’ve recently been struggling with my work space as my desk is in our living room. I often feel like I can’t escape my work, which is incredibly stressful. Soon we will be converting one of our guest bedrooms into an office/yoga space. It is going to be so nice to have a specific space in our home for my work, and not feel the stress of my to do list every time I walk into our living room.
If you don’t have the option of designating one space to an office, consider how you can make your work space feel different and special for “work hours” versus “home hours”. Maybe you work at a dining room table, but have a special ergonomic chair that you bring out for work days or a comfy cushion to place on top of dining room chairs.
If you work in a common living space you might want to have some easily accessible storage space for all of your supplies and materials. This could be something that’s easy to roll out or stored on a shelf or in a cabinet. It is helpful to be able to put your computer and paper work somewhere that’s not visible when you are off the clock. This way you won’t feel tempted to dive back into a work project.
A friend of mine who works from home, finds it to be really helpful to switch up her workspace regularly.
She moves to different places in her house and finds that it keeps her feeling productive and creative. On certain days that she is struggling to get inspired at home, she will head to a local coffee shop, library or other community space to switch things up. Sometimes we just need a little change of scenery to get out of a mental block.
Decorate Your Work Space to Inspire Productivity and Creativity
Bringing plants, photographs, mood lighting and candles into your work space are all great ways to make this a space you want to be in. Create a space that inspires productivity and creativity. You want this space to feel warm and inviting and like it reflects the work you do.
In my new office and yoga space I am excited to incorporate pictures of my family and friends, artwork, my favorite plants and herbs, a beautiful rug and some antique furniture pieces that make it feel like home. Consider what reflects your own taste, creativity and the work you do. Try to incorporate these things into your space to make it feel like a place where you want to be the best version of yourself.
Create Clear Work Boundaries
Be intentional about your work boundaries and maybe even write down some guidelines that you would like to stick to. It is easy when we are working from home to get lenient with these things. When do you plan to begin and end your work day? Will you have breaks throughout the day?
Having a 2-year-old in daycare creates lots of challenges with work– as I’m sure many of you can relate to. My husband goes into work each day and as the person working from home, it could feel as though the onus is on me to drop my work and take care of my sick kid. But I was clear with my husband that my work is just as important as his, and we have taken turns staying home with our son when things pop up. It has been so helpful to share the burden of the daycare dilemma and not feel like I have to always sacrifice my work.
Make a Schedule
Making a clear work schedule will help you stay on task. Plan the hours you need to get your work done and commit to it. Give yourself breaks (don’t forget to eat lunch!). It can be easy to all of a sudden find yourself doing dishes or laundry, but remember to treat it as a workday.
Act Like You Are In the Office
Would you have the TV on in the background while you work in your cubicle? I have been guilty of this, but treating work like you would in an office is a helpful way to stay focused and on track. Try to save things like TV and scrolling social media for when you are off the clock.
Enjoy the Benefits of Working From Home
Working from home provides so many great benefits as well. You can take a midday lunch break with a friend, go for a walk with your dog or be flexible with your schedule if need be. Take advantage of doing the things that help you feel more clear headed, calm, and focused.
What helps you stay focused and motivated while working from home? Let us know in the comments below.
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