One of the major perks of working from home is that you can do whatever you want because you only have to answer to yourself. However with a global shift and more people working from home sometimes staying on task is hard to do especially with at home distractions. You might find it hard to stay focused and productive as you work from home — it’s a lot different than working in a typical office environment. And while working on any business is a full time job, wearing many hats as a small business can give anyone burnout because you have to keep track of so many things. And while I’ve been working from home for years I know lots of people are still trying to navigate both home and work life. So here are my tips for working from home while also being productive and accomplishing tasks.
So explore the following tips to stay motivated and finish all your tasks.
Find A Designated Workspace
Finding a designated space to work is essential to keeping on task. I will admit sometimes I take my laptop to the couch or kitchen table during the evenings but for the most part I have an office where I can go and concentrate on work for the majority of work tasks. If you’re short on space though, a small table workstation can also make a difference in your productivity. Find a spot you’re comfortable to work from free from distractions.
Plan Your Weekly Goals
Time can easily be hard to manage especially when you know you’re just at home. Figure out your goals for the week and accomplish them. Planning your day ahead of time and creating a clear agenda for the day/week will make you more productive. This way you can make the most of your time. Also don’t forget to make a to do list whether if it’s in a planner or a list if it needs to get done make sure you don’t forget to do it. A to-do list will help you make sure you get those items done on time. And it’s your reminder on what you need to accomplish during the week.
Figure out a Routine
Having a routine whether it’s extra time eating breakfast before work or getting a workout in the mornings will benefit you and your well-being. If you are more flexible with your time you may add a break for a longer lunch or a later start. Just be careful with the amount of breaks you give yourself. If you took a 2 hour lunch break instead of an hour then you may have to work an extra hour in the evening. Personally I am not a morning person so my mornings are usually lighter in work loads so I give myself a longer breakfast so I can start work later. Which also means that I work well past into the evenings sometimes. But I like that schedule and figuring out a routine or having a block schedule will help staying focused. For example pre-covid I would go buy lunch or a go for a quick Starbucks run when I went to drop off packages at the post office around 4/5 pm. This gave me a break in my schedule and a fresh start for when I would work in the evenings. Now I still take my lunch break but this time I’ll give myself time to cook lunch before heading to the post office and back into the office.
Sometimes my days overlap a tiny bit but I try to block out days for myself especially considering I work on multiple type of things each week. So here are what my blocked days sometimes look like working on the shopify/etsy shop.
Printing/Order Day Routine Night before: – make a printing schedule – print a stack (sometimes the printer can be left printing so its ready to go the next day) Morning Next Day: – finish printing – cut orders – package as many orders before 4 pm Lunch Break Post Office Drop off before 5 pm Evening: – cut/package any more orders needed
Design Day Routine Morning: – Finish anything needing to be done (emails, shop orders, photos, social media, etc) Lunch – Draw/Design rest of the day
* Design days are my more relaxing days but also more important because all designs need to be done before Friday. While I work on designs all the time, sometimes I like having just one full day where I can work on things a bit more relaxed so I add a design day during the middle of the week to work on new items but also so I don’t feel burnout working straight through the week on the same things.
Get ready in the morning
Working in your pajamas may feel great but changing your clothes in the morning sometimes just feels so much better. I’m not saying you need to wear normal work/business attire but even a quick change into fresh loungewear can make a difference. It’s really so you don’t feel tempted to go back to bed because of course you’re your own boss so you can put something off until later.
Be aware of your health
Your motivation and focus can change a lot day by day so be aware of how well your motivation is and don’t forget to schedule in workouts and some self care. Even a 30 minute break outside for fresh air or a quick stretch can help you stay focused. Your energy level is essential to stay on task during your work day and work it into your daily routine. So if you’re like me and the middle of the week is when you’re most tired figure out an activity to look forward to. For me those are those design days because I can also catch up on shows while still working on what needs to be done and reenergize for the rest of the week. Find the right balance between being productive while still completing your to do list, it’ll keep your focus and make you more productive overall.
I hope these help you stay productive and motivated at while working from home.