Working from home definitely has its perks; a small lie-in, no travelling and being able to answer the door to collect your post for once – no more Missed Parcel slips, hurrah! However, there are downsides to working from home too – staying motivated. It’s inevitable for you to feel like you’re procrastinating at times, as it’s easy to get side-tracked, but there are definitely ways to help you be more productive when working from home – so listen up.
Create a schedule (& stick to it)
As blissful as a lie-in is, working from home doesn’t mean you get to catch up on all the beauty sleep. It’s easy to get side-tracked at home, so this is where a schedule works out nicely. Set yourself time frames throughout the day and ensure work is what you’re actually doing – not staring out the window or scrolling through your news feed.
Clean the flat/house
This may not apply to everyone, but knowing a couple dishes need washing or the rug requires a quick hoover drives me insane. I need to have a clean and tidy flat in order to function. Yes that’s down to a little OCD, but it helps me focus on my work if I know everything around me is how it should be. So if you’re similar to me in that aspect, get your rubber gloves on and get cracking before your working day starts.
Before I relocated for a new job, my workspace was is in the lounge, which also featured an open-plan kitchen and dining space, so it was pretty easy to get up and wonder over to the fridge and cupboards and find a nice snack to munch on. Instead, I made a double-portion of the meal I cooked the night before and stored the leftovers in the fridge ready to reheat for lunch the following day. This prevents me from snacking on junk or taking advantage of Domino’s awesome lunch-time specials. Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty throughout the day, as dehydration can make you lose focus. Check out my post on the best foods for productivity.
Control the noise levels
Do you work well in complete silence? Or with a little background noise? Everyone works differently and sometimes it’s simply down to the task you’re completing. If you work best in complete silence, shut your windows and keep your phone on silent (unless you’re expecting important calls/messages). If you work well with a little background noise however, you could have the radio on low, open the window a little if it’s not too chilly, or even take your laptop down to a local coffee shop.
Go for a walk
Now I don’t mean walk to town, do a little shopping, maybe grab a Starbucks and return for an afternoon of reading magazines whilst sipping on a latte. No. Simply get some fresh air and have a change of scenery for 15 minutes to help clear your head and make sure you’re keeping active. It’ll do you the world of good, especially if you work from home frequently or are sat down a lot for your day job.
Create a workspace
Now I’ve relocated for a new job, I’ve gone from having a workspace in the lounge of my 1-bed flat, to now being in a house-share where my workspace is in my room. So for me, it’s now extra important to create a productive workspace to blog, study and work when necessary. Creating a good working environment is useful for helping you feel more productive, even when at home, because you know that space is for work purposes only. Yes it’s lovely to be able to sit in bed with your laptop, but it’s not going to help you focus. This is one of my reasons for buying a desktop (my sexy looking iMac in other words), because there’s no way then that I can be tempted to sit in bed.
Although wearing PJs can be passed off as ‘workwear’ when working from home, it’s still advisable to get ready and dressed as though you were going to work. Shower (obviously), do a little something to your hair and get dressed in casual wear. Obviously there’s no need for formal wear and killer heels. Just make sure you’re comfortable, but get out of those PJ’s asap to avoid feeling like you can lounge about all day.
Make a to-do list
List all the things you need to get done and don’t delay them thinking you can just complete them when you’re next at your workplace. The sooner you get a list together of tasks to complete, the less time you’ll spend pondering at home and potentially getting side-tracked.
Shut-off at the end of the day
Once you’re in the swing of things when working from home, it can sometimes be difficult to ‘switch off’ when it comes to 5pm, 6pm or whenever you’ve told yourself you’re allowed to finish. Make sure that once ‘home time’ comes along, you shut everything off, tidy away your work, pack your bag for the next day and leave it at that. Then simply wind down and relax in front of the TV, go for another walk, make dinner and simply chill out. Your day is done.
Do you work from home occasionally or full-time?
If so, what are your tips for staying motivated?