1. Set up a desk space
This might seem obvious, but working from your couch won’t cut it if you actually want to be productive. You’ll need an actual desk set up that you can go sit at (or stand at) each morning to be productive throughout your day. It’ll make you feel less distracted and I promise it will make you get more done!
I bought this standing desk that you can set on any surface to act as a taller desk although I also love this portable one. This monitor is also great so I can have two screens, making me that much more efficient. I also have this mouse and keyboard for my Mac and love them. Having a desk setup (even if it’s in the middle of my apartment dining room lol) makes me actually want to get started each morning! Oh and don’t forget your favorite pens to make your home office complete! These are my faves.
2. Take a walk in the middle of the day
Taking just a short walk around the block can do wonders to your energy and your mood while working from home. Being cooped up inside without co-workers to distract you all day can get a little lonely and isolating. Taking a quick walk and potentially seeing other humans can clear your head and can make you feel like a new person.
3. Schedule out your day
Oftentimes when I don’t schedule out my day I find myself in my spare time emptying my dishwasher or laying on my couch. When I take a second to schedule out my day and fill the empty slots with specific tasks it makes me more focused and able to get more done. I also utilize my Amazon Echo quite a bit throughout the day to set timers for myself if I want to finish something within a certain time frame.
4. Get ready for the day
Pretending like you’re going into the office every day can do wonders for your mood and mindset. Getting up and getting ready like you’re actually going to see people can make you feel much more ready to tackle the day than if you roll out of bed onto the couch in pajamas. I still usually will put on leggings or something comfy on the bottom, but dress up the top (makeup, hair done, nice top) for client video calls. I think the key here is getting out of your pajamas into something else, and doing your usual routine like showering, doing makeup/hair, making coffee/breakfast, meditating and then “commuting” to your desk.
5. Don’t work longer hours than you would in the office
Honestly, when you’re working from home it can sometimes be hard to ‘turn off’ your work. Setting working hours and a time you can be done for the day will really help you stay sane. Create your schedule and tell people when you are free and when you aren’t. Remember that when you work in an office you typically have a bit of a commute and also take breaks to talk to colleagues. Try and do this at home too! Basically try your best to not work more than you normally would in the office.
6. Make your to-do list before you end each work day
Waking up and having your to-do list ready to go so you can get started on your tasks will make things a lot easier! You’ll know your priorities so you can get started. This always helps me stay organized throughout my day and I try my best to do it at the end of each day because I’ve noticed it makes a big difference in my productivity.
7. Try work productivity tools
Try using the free tool, Focus Mate, that allows you to get a task done with someone else who needs to get a task done. You both virtually work alongside each other to complete the task and neither of you leave until the time scheduled is over. You can also try focusing by using the ‘one tab rule’ on your computer. Basically just close out all other tabs on your computer so you can finish one project at a time. There are so many great productivity apps out there. Some others I like are Time Doctor for time planning, ToDoIst for task organizing, or StayFocusd Chrome extension for monitoring your time on time-wasting websites.
8. Get yourself on camera
Like I said above, working from home can sometimes get lonely, so embracing the built in webcam or camera for conference calls can make you feel a bit closer to your colleagues and like you’re having a genuine connection. Sometimes chatting with your colleagues or clients via video calls can make your day that much more enjoyable! Many people do virtual happy hours as well which can be a great way to bond with your clients and colleagues as well.
9. Plan out your meals
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should make it a free-for-all in your kitchen. Trust me. You will get stressed or bored and find yourself in your kitchen like I have on MANY occassions. Designating certain foods as snack foods for the day and not straying from those foods can really help. Also, thinking about what to eat for each meal in the morning so you can make sure you have enough food to make each will be helpful when the time comes to eat. That way you won’t scrounge around your fridge for snacks. If you can step away from your desk to eat, try and do that as well–it will feel like a nice break in your day.