Updated February 2023
Working from home is extremely common these days. However, working from home and actually being productive with your time is not that common.
Are you someone who works remotely and often catch yourself fighting the urge to finish up that episode on Netflix?
Or maybe you’re supposed to be finishing a report to send to your boss later, but you’re aimlessly scrolling through social media.
It can be a huge transition working from home when you’re so used to being in an office and continuously having someone over your shoulder “checking in” with you on your tasks.
I’ve had a “tangible” job from 2009-2018 and knew that life wasn’t for me.
Since 2019, I’ve worked as a Virtual ESL teacher for various companies in Asia, I was a customer service agent at Amazon, and I’ve had some remote marketing jobs.
As someone who thrives in remote work, I have six top tips to help your at-home work days go a lot smoother! 😌
*Scroll to the bottom to see my Work From Home video!
***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the product or service, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. Click here to learn more.
1. Create & Stick to a Morning Routine
When you stay in bed and are working from your laptop (in your pajamas), you’re not as focused as you should be, and you’re probably a little sluggish.
Every morning you should make an effort to get up, shower, eat breakfast, and do anything else you’d typically do when you’re going out to a physical work location.
“But Tarynnnn, no one knows I’m in my pajamas. And so many people who work from home are comfortable and work from their beds/couches.”
And that’s exactly the problem!
Why do you think there are so many articles for people looking to be more productive while working from home? (wink, wink)
How you shape the first part of your day plays a huge role in how your day will pan out.
There’s something psychological about getting your morning routine done BEFORE clocking into your online job that tricks your brain into thinking,
“Ok, my human wants to do productive things today, so let me get my life together.”
If you’re a couch culprit, I challenge you to craft a morning routine for yourself this week before you start working.
You’ll feel so accomplished and will be more likely to dive into your work.
2. Have a Designated Work Spot
Having a space used solely for your work from home job is crucial to being productive for the day.
An ideal work spot would have these two elements:
– No distractions
– Ample sunlight
No distractions in your workspace will create a more productive environment for you to stay focused on your tasks at hand.
– Your phone
– The television
– Wall clocks (are you someone who watches the clock to see how much time has passed?)
If you have distractions in your room, try putting them in another place until you’ve completed your work for the day.
Another way that you can limit distractions is by using the Freedom app.
This app is SOOO useful if you’re the type who ends up surfing the web when you’re supposed to be working or if you get easily distracted scrolling through social media on your phone.
You can use the Freedom app on your computer, cell phone, or tablet, and you’ll be able to set up temporary “blocks” for the websites and apps that you know you shouldn’t be using when working.
Freedom has been a game-changer for me, and it makes a world of difference in my productivity.
Click here to start your monthly subscription and take your productivity to the next level!
Having sunlight shining into your room will boost your mood, so it’ll be a lot easier for you to start the work that’s waiting for you.
If you’ve been noticing that you’re a lot more sluggish when it’s time for you to clock in, take a look around and ask yourself are you getting enough sunlight each day.
Are there any windows in your room? If there are, do you have curtains blocking out the rays?
Try to incorporate more sunlight into your designated work area and watch how much better you’ll feel.
3. Have a Workday Schedule
If the company you work for lets you set your own schedule, don’t fall into the habit of clocking in whenever you feel like it.
Set a schedule for yourself that not only lets you complete all of your tasks for the day but also gives you time to take care of personal things, like making a quick trip to the grocery store or picking your kids up from school.
I’ve had the chance to create my work schedule and purposely designed it during the hours I know I’m most productive.
If you’re a morning person, schedule yourself to work earlier in the day so that you’ll be done by the afternoon.
If you’re a night owl, you’ll probably thrive by sleeping in and then starting your work day a little later in the day.
I’m a huge advocator of working with your body, not against it. If you’re struggling to be productive, ask yourself, “Does this work schedule I created FEEL good?”
If the answer is no, it may be time to email your boss for a schedule change.
4. Take Strategic Breaks
To maintain a productive workday, planning out your breaks is super important.
Knowing when you should take a break and how long it should last is one of the number one ways you’ll stay focused and productive while working from home.
Since you’ll be working from a computer most of the day, you’ll want to take a computer break.
You’ve probably heard about the “20-20-20 rule” that says for every 20 minutes you’re on the computer, look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
I can’t recommend this break enough because eye fatigue is definitely a thing!
Next, you should take a break right after you’ve completed a couple of major tasks on your list.
By the time you’ve finished them, your brain is probably on overload anyway, so it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to try to start something new.
The key to being strategic with your breaks is by setting a timer for yourself.
I never used to set timers for my breaks and often caught myself scrolling through my phone or doing some other random, unproductive task.
As a result, I lost precious minutes that I could have used to finish my work for the day.
It’s so easy to find everything else in the world to do when you’d rather not be working anyway, so do yourself a favor and set a timer so as soon as it goes off, you’re heading back to your desk.
Are you not sure how long your breaks should last so that you maintain productivity?
Here’s how I usually time my breaks each workday:
– Bathroom breaks: 2 minutes
– Walking breaks: 3-5 minutes
– Post task(s) break: 10 minutes
– Lunch break: 1 hour (Anyone else not a fan of the 30-minute lunch break?)
– Miscellaneous breaks (store, workout, unexpected tech. problems): 30 minutes – 1 hour
Once you get into the habit of being more strategic with your breaks, it’ll feel second nature to you!
5. Squeeze In a Mini Workout
What has helped me TREMENDOUSLY in being more productive while working from home is exercising.
A couple of times a week on my break, I either take a kickboxing class, a Krav Maga self-defense class, or go to a workout at Hotworx.
And every time, I leave my class feeling like a brand new woman!!!
My energy is up, my mood is better, and I feel motivated to take on the second half of my workday.
I challenge you to do the same and make time to squeeze a workout into your schedule a few times a week.
You don’t have to go out and take a class like I do, but make a conscious effort to move your body and sweat a few times a week for at least 30 minutes.
When I’m not at one of my workout classes, you’ll catch me in my living room doing donkey kicks and jumping jacks on some of my breaks.
This is the yoga towel that I use for my workouts! It’s super soft and absorbs any sweat while working out!
If you’re looking for an energy boost to get you motivated to go through those Google docs or talk with clients about their social media strategy, take a small workout break!
Your mind and body will thank you.
6. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To
I get that sometimes it can be hard to stay productive while working from home.
Some days you just DON’T have the motivation to work, and that’s ok. It’s happened to me more times than I can count.
What I started doing was rewarding myself to help me push through some of the tough workdays.
I’d treat myself by doing one of the following:
– Watching Netflix for an hour or two
– Giving myself a mini spa day
– Working in my garden
– Putting my phone on DND and curling up with a good book
– Mini online shopping spree (because who doesn’t love retail therapy!)
– Going out for dinner/ordering takeout
Make a list of how you could reward yourself here and there if you’re struggling to make it through the workday. You deserve it!
I hope that these productivity tips helped you out, and your-work-from-home days go a lot smoother.
I promise that it gets easier once you get a system in place : )
Want to learn how you can be more productive in the mornings? Click here!
Peace, love, and good vibrations.