Finding yourself without a choice and having to work from home?
If you aren’t fully accustomed to working from home, it might seem like a vacation at first.
The kids at home, lounging around.
No alarm at 5:30 a.m.
No tedious commute, half-hour lunch break, office bustle.
You can work in your pajamas, spend quality time with family, and binge watch your favorite Netflix shows whenever you want.
But a few days in, reality might just hit – and hard.
This is not easy.
The kids are bored, grumpy, and rebellious.
The house is a mess.
It’s 3 p.m. and you still haven’t started the project your boss sent in yesterday.
Cue the tears.
What do you do?
Can you survive working from home?
If this sounds like you, remember.
It’s going to be OK.
It’s OK if you haven’t gotten your act together just yet.
In fact, it took me years to figure out how to run no less than five brands from home, write my three books, plus raise my daughter – and work with my husband.
But it gets easier, I promise.
All you need is determination and a few tricks and strategies here and there.
In this blog, I’ll show you how to do it.
10 Things You Should Do If You Want to Be Productive Working From Home
Stick to these 10 tips and tricks and your home will soon be running like a well-oiled machine.
Plus, you’ll get your work done on time and impress your boss!
1. Don’t Treat Working from Home Like a Vacation
It’s super tempting to wake up at noon and check your emails while eating breakfast in bed.
Don’t do that. Just don’t.
What you need to get productive is structure.
- Set your alarm for the same time each morning.
- Create a schedule for the whole family, including specific time slots for each activity.
- Eat meals and go to bed on time.
You’ll be surprised to find you don’t have as much time in a day as you think.
When you set a routine, you’ll stay on track and accomplish everything you need to get done.
2. Dress the Part
Resist the urge to work in your favorite silk PJs.
Instead, take a shower in the morning. Get dressed in attractive clothes. Do your hair.
This will wake you up and tell your body it’s time to get to work.
Remember, you don’t need to wear the full suit-and-tie getup. Simply changing out of the clothes you slept in will do the trick.
3. Keep Your Blood Circulating
Take regular breaks!
The longer you sit at your computer, the less productive you’ll be.
I work best in sprints.
For example, I’ll set my productivity timer to 30 minutes.
For 30 minutes, I’ll throw 100% of my energy into my work.
When the timer reaches 30, I get up and stretch for 5 minutes.
Then, I return to work for another 30 minutes.
This activity keeps the brain creative, active, and fresh.
4. Create Your Schedule around Your Biological Prime Time
Your biological prime time is the time of day when your energy levels peak.
Here’s an example.
This prime time is different for every person.
That’s why we have “early risers” and “night owls.”
Once you find your biological prime time, use it to do the tasks that demand the most creativity and energy.
Save the easier jobs for when your motivation and focus drop.
5. Plan the Kids’ Activities
Humans thrive with routine, and this includes kids!
Routine will give your kids a sense of purpose and keep them from feeling bored and grumpy.
- Plan fun kid-friendly activities in advance.
- Negotiate with your partner. For example, I have my own designated “working hours” where my husband plays with our daughter while I focus on work.
- Think of technology as a friend. Don’t feel guilty about giving kids extra screen time, especially if it’s for educational activities. Personally, I love Khan Academy Kids and Education.com.
6. Negotiate with Your Family
Be clear about boundaries.
You don’t want your kids yelling in your ear because of a petty fight when you’re deep into a project from your boss!
To avoid this, plan for times when you’ll be “off limits.”
During these times, family members leave you alone to focus on your work.
7. Decorate Your Workspace
At first, it seems like a great idea to work with the kids around.
One big happy family around the living room, right?
Not so much.
In a while, you’ll realize working with the kids around is distracting.
What you should do is create your own dedicated workspace.
Then, make this workspace as comfortable and beautiful as you can.
Invest in an ergonomic desk. Add some art and greenery. Line up your books by the window.
This is what my personal home office looks like.
8. Treat Yourself to Quality Tools
Great tools inspire you to keep working even when your energy levels drop.
What tools should you invest in?
Really, it depends on your taste and how you like to work.
But excellent examples include a dual-monitor setup, a fancy mouse, and even a music player to get you in the right mood.
9. Don’t Let Your Social Life Die Out
Humans are social creatures, which means too much time in isolation will make you feel irritable and depressed.
But thanks to technology, you can always hop on a Zoom call with colleagues and talk about your current projects.
Or you can start up a conversation with friends or family through Facebook Messenger.
The idea is to keep your social channels open so you feel alive and inspired throughout the day.
10. Be Kind to Your Body
I simply cannot stress this enough.
Take care of yourself.
Eat the Right Food
In a trying time like this, you’ll be tempted to pop a TV dinner into the microwave and call it a night.
Don’t do it.
Remember, your body’s output depends on the kind of food you take in.
So, if your diet consists of processed foods, sweets, and unhealthy snacks, you’ll end up feeling exhausted before the day is done.
Instead, eat right.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
For instance, a simple salad of leafy green vegetables will give you more brainpower than a frozen pizza.
Drink a Ton of Water
Keep hydrated! Water flushes out toxins in your body and leaves you feeling energetic and refreshed. Plus, it’s calorie-free!
Take Time to Exercise
You don’t have to do a full-body workout every single day.
Simply follow the right guidelines for staying physically active to keep healthy and strong.
- Don’t sit down for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- Follow an online workout routine.
- Walk around the house, stretch, and set aside time for meditation.
How to Stay Sane While Working From Home
There’s no question working from home can be overwhelming and confusing. Especially if you’re doing it for the first time.
But also, it can be fantastic.
When you know the right tips and tricks, you can turn a nightmare quarantine time into something productive, enjoyable, and even memorable.
In-Post Image #1: A Life of Productivity
In-Post Image #2: Provided by author
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She’s earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.