7 Tips to make working from home more productive. Sometimes it's harder than you think until you become your own boss.

Working from home is different for everyone, and a bit different day to day. In the words of The Oatmeal, “working from home is both awesome and horrible”. Today, I’m sharing some tips that have made it a little easier for me to get things done while working from home.

1. Take a shower in the morning.

I really go back and forth with this one. Sometimes I feel really motivated to just jump into working in the morning or I want to workout later in the day so I tempted to wait on showering. HOWEVER, I have found I’m much more productive and feel less distracted if I just get showering done prior to 9am. I do try to do yoga first and then shower, or shower and do a yoga practice later in the day when I feel stuck. If I work up a sweat, I jump in for a 5-minute rinse-off.

2. Schedule out housework

To be honest, you should NOT be doing housework during your “office” hours. I think it is very important to treat your business, like a real business, and hold hours that are dedicated to your business. I also know that business and household is an invisible line when working at home, and can easily bleed into each other. So, yes it’s easy to say you should not do any housework during “office” hours, but this is real life. I’m so easily distracted by housework that needs to be done. I’ve found that to prevent this from being a true distraction, I schedule in a chore here and there.

3. Have a designated workspace

A bit along the same lines as defining lines between business and household, is having a defined workspace. A space that you are comfortable in and that is distraction free, a space that inspires you. Again, this is one I have struggled with, allowing our office to be a bit of a catch all space. To be honest I’m still working on this one. I do have an office but doesn’t feel quite right still, and I tend to work from the living room. However, just having a designated space for my work related materials has helped.

4. Take breaks

It can be easy to work, work, work, without breaks, but this is a fast way to get burned out. This is not a sustainable routine. Breaks are necessary. Say it with me, “breaks are necessary, breaks are good, I will schedule breaks”. 🙂 I tend to have more trouble focusing in the afternoon, so that is where I try to schedule a longer break. 

5. Motivational noise

Working at home can get lonely, and a bit too quiet sometimes (at least for me). Find what noise level and what noise works best for you. It might be a show in the background, music, or just ocean sounds. Play around and see what keeps you focused. I recommend starting with complete quiet and go from there. Give yourself at least an hour of no noise working time, to see if it works for you. You may find that different noise levels work best for you according to tasks. Play around with this.

6. Be Accountable

Find ways to be accountable. Accountability is different for everyone. Some people can write down a goal or task and it is as good as done. Others have to find other tricks and routes to make sure they stay on track. Accountability can be schedules, goals, other people, groups, rewards. You need to find the method that works to make sure you are getting done what you “say” you are getting done. Even if “saying” means you wrote it down or you promised yourself 🙂 Figure out what works for you. I’ve had to experiment with this one quite a bit.

7. Be Flexible

Staying on task and being productive is hard. Some days are going to go as planned and some days are not. Some days will be super productive and some not so much. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Tomorrow is always a fresh day, and it is never too late in the week, month, year to get back on track.

What are some techniques you use to make working from home more awesome than horrible? 🙂 

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