Whether you are newly finding yourself working from home or have been for awhile now, having some boundaries or rules in place helps regardless.
Working from home can be bittersweet.
-Create your own schedule
-Stay in your PJs all day if you want
-Spend more time w/ your family/pets
-Don't have to pack all your food/snacks for the day
-Ability to travel more or even work at coffee shops
-Out of routine
-Sleep in late / stay up late
-Hard to "turn off" work when it's in your home space
But no need to panic, I've got a few tips/tricks that I've learned over the last 4 years of running my own online business & working from home!
MAKE A SCHEDULE -> Choose your work hours (ex: 9-3pm with a 1 hour lunch break planned in OR 10-12pm / workout + lunch until 2 / 2-5pm) -> Mentally "clock-in" and "out" of work. Once work hours are over, NO checking emails/voicemails/work calls or texts. -> Plan breaks into your day (get up every hour to do 10 reps of an exercise movement, refill your water bottle, fit in a 30-60 minute workout, eat your lunch) -> Keep a SLEEP schedule too (I prefer to go to bed around 9:30/10pm and wake up around 7am and start work around 8:30am) -> Time-block your day & write a to-do list using a PLANNER (can also use your phone calendar if you prefer it digital). I love the Day Designer Planner. I've heard good things about PassionPlanner as well.
CREATE A PRODUCTIVE WORK SPACE -> Set up an organized desk in a private space if possible (rather than working from your bed or kitchen table). I have a spare bedroom with a desk and when I really need to focus, I go in there and shut the door. If you don't have access to something like this, clear off a table and make that your work zone. -> Avoid working from bed, the couch w/ the TV on, etc. as it's distracting and also associates those places of relaxation with work, making it hard to unplug from work "after hours". -> Set the mood! Light a candle, play a relaxing/work/focus playlist or background noise, make a cup of coffee/tea. A few favorite playlists of mine: ask Siri to play "focusing music", Acoustic Chill on Apple Music OR this coffee shop playlist on youtube. -> Remove distractions. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb, turn off notifications, turn on "Down Time" on your iphone to turn off social media apps, keep the TV off, etc. -> Keep this room/place a EATING-FREE ZONE. Avoid mindless/boredom/stress eating by not bringing or keeping food in your work space. Don't work and eat at the same time. Take the time for yourself & eat lunch or snack elsewhere.
GET READY FOR THE DAY -> Get dressed. Put on some light makeup or add in some hair gel. You have no one to impress BUT YOURSELF! You'll feel better if you actually get dressed & look presentable rather than not showering and lounging in your PJs all day (just makes you feel lazy after a while). Doesn't have to be heels and a blouse. Even just opting for leggings over sweatpants helps. Put on some lightweight foundation (Beauty Counter's Tint Skin is my fav) + mascara. Put your hair up. Do what feels best!
TAKE BREAKS / MOVE YOUR BODY -> If you have trouble focusing, set a work : break ratio. Work for 30 minutes, 5 minute break, repeat. Or work for 1 hour, 10 min break, repeat. Whatever keeps you focused/productive! -> Get up every hour or so to move your body! Pick 10 reps of an exercise movement to complete, walk downstairs to get a drink, etc. -> Plan in an hour lunch break. I'd recommend 20-30 minutes for preparing & eating, then the remainder of the time is for bathroom, taking a walk or getting outside, snuggling pets/kids. -> Exercise regularly when you feel most motivated. Morning workout person? Hit it first thing upon waking then start work a mid-morning. Evening person? Start work a bit earlier so you can clock out & get in the zone for your workout.
FOOD HABITS -> Follow a general meal schedule. Breakfast within an hour of waking, plan in a mid-morning snack break, take your 30-60 min lunch break (not WHILE working), plan in an afternoon snack. -> Drink your H2O! It's easy to slack on water. Use an app like WaterMinder to track water intake if needed. Make sure to keep a bottle on your desk/with you at all times & sip away. -> Out of sight, out of mind. Keep food out of your workspace and only visit the kitchen for snack breaks/meals/water refills. -> If you like to eat more frequent, snack on VOLUME FOODS. Think veggies + hummus, organic popcorn, lunch meat, jerky, etc. that are lower in calories but still filling and nutrient-dense.
What are your favorite work from home productivity tips/tricks?