Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to be productive while working at home

Working from home seems like a dream job. Working on your own time and the ability to wear pajamas all day without getting funny looks from your coworkers. But what about those days when the temptation to watch just one more episode of Friends makes you want to push that to do list back just ten more minutes?

The idea of working from home is dreamy to most people, but for those who do it, they know it's still a job and it requires, well, work. You have to be extra motivated when there's no one there to watch you and make sure you're getting everything done. I would love to work from home, especially after getting a taste of it for two weeks after my surgery last month. But in that time I did realize how difficult it can be to resist all the temptations that come with a home office. That's why I'm sharing some tips I used to help you be productive while working from home.

1. Wake up early and start your day. It seems easy to sleep in when you have nowhere to be, but it's so important to get up and get your day started the same way you would if you were going to the office. I am most productive in the mornings, so I like to wake up, drink my coffee and jump right into work. A productive morning sets the tone (and your mood!) for the rest of the day.

2. Eliminate distractions. When I was at home, I liked to watch the news while I worked, but you have to know when to turn the TV off. I'm talking to you, Gilmore Girls repeats. When those situations came up, I either put on some good music or changed the channel to HGTV, which works for me because I can have it on in the background and still concentrate on my work. It's just about knowing what works best for you.

3. Take breaks. This may sound a little counterintuitive, but hear me out. When you're working from home — especially for those who work alone, without kids, pets or spouses around — it can be easy to zone in and feel like you can't look away from the computer. But I've found I do better work when I take a few breaks throughout the day to free my mind from whatever I'm working on. If you're having a hard time writing something, it helps to let it sit for a while and do something else. Then when you come back to it your mind is fresh and ready to let all its creativity flow out.

4. Find a routine. When you've got the flexibility of working at home, sometimes it helps to set a routine that you'll follow from day to day. Knowing what hours you've designated to work each day helps give you structure and makes it harder to procrastinate because you've already set a time for when everything should be done.

5. Know when to call it a day. As many people who work from home can attest, sometimes it's hard to separate the job from after hours. I think it's important to draw a line between time spent at work and time spent enjoying the rest of your life, so when it comes to the end of the day, make it the end of the day. Put the computer away and close the to-do list until tomorrow. Just enjoy the night and take that time to de-stress from the day.

I hope these tips help! If you work from home, what have you learned to help you accomplish your goals? 

P.S. 5 blogs to help you become a better blogger and taking time to detox

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