As a full-time freelancer and make things happen’er, I have had to nail down ways to be productive while working from home. Since 2012 I’ve been having to figure out how to get the best out of myself no matter the surroundings or the deadline. Today while many people are having to adjust to being in the comfort of their own homes while they’re expected to still crank out quality work, I’m hoping to offer some insight on how to do it. Rather than feeling lost or falling into a bad routine read on to get some tips from a seasoned work from home vet.
One of the rules I set up early on in my entrepreneur days was to get up and get dressed like I would if I was going to an office. That simple task of showering and preparing yourself for the day seems like an automatic to some. However you’d be surprised how many folks take advantage of not being around people to fall into the habit of rarely leaving their pj’s or their bed. Sure, there are plenty of days when I jump into work before I’ve had the chance to wash my face but I’ve worked diligently on not making that a habit.
Move your computer out of your bedroom.
A key to ensuring you leave your bed is to put your work necessities someplace out of where you sleep. It is a rarity for me to work from my bed. Even before I had a designated office space in my home, I would always leave my computer or tablet not in arms reach from my pillow. That ensured that I had to get up and out of that cozy spot to get to work. Sometimes the hardest part about getting started is simply getting up. My computer stays in my office on the desk so that my mind and body know that is where we work.
Create a schedule
The biggest difference between those who have traditional 9 to 5’s and those who don’t is – schedules. If you work a 9 to 5, you know exactly what time you have to clock in with butt in chair every single day. Working from home means you can rise when you wish and push off to the kitchen for a snack at any given time as well. In order to achieve maximum productivity in your own space you have to set up boundaries. Schedule a lunch hour the same way you would in your office, institute the number of snacks you’ll allow yourself to have so you aren’t jumping away from your work station every five minutes. If you stick to a set schedule it’ll be less likely that you’re finding little to no work was done by the end of the day.
Turn off the TV
I get it; you’re set up on the couch, you’ve got your coffee or tea, computer powered on. As the morning wears on perhaps the silence is getting to you so reach for the remote to muffle it. Friend, I am all for a good “Netflix and Work” or “Hulu While We Email”, but the truth is – it’s cutting into your productivity. And quickly. Before you know it the thing you were working on isn’t getting done because you’ve decided to binge Love Is Blind. We all live for Lauren and Cameron but you’ve got work to do!
Make a playlist and work through it
Music is one of the ways I stay focused as I work. What I do is choose albums that are at least 40-50+ long and work though the album. It allows me to dedicate a solid hour to working without getting bored. Everyone has their own special sound they need to get the juices flowing. Some of my go to selections are BANKS for some upbeat jams, Drama for a little more easy listening and somber vibes. The latest Hozier album is also high on the list and I can’t get enough of Snoh’s albums right now. I also like to use my music to imagine I’m elsewhere from time to time so french jazz or live albums from Ella and Louis Armstrong show up too. Should I make a playlist and share? Let me know!
outfit details: skirt // boots (similar) // purse (similar) // sunnies // blouse – ZARA // earrings – MADEWELL
Finally, yes you’re working from home but get out if you can. Take a quick walk, work outside if you’ve got the space, open a window and let the breeze in. I’ve found that sometimes simply switching up the views gives me more inspiration to get things done. It also gives you a break from the monotony of home.
Right now everyone is having to adjust to doing something different. I hope that if you’ve had to switch up your normal this post helps you navigate it a little easier. This won’t last forever and you’ll be back in your office with those co-workers you talk about before you know it! Unless you’re like me and you’ll still be at home or back in the coffeeshop. Hahaha.
Photography: Kaye McCoy