Where is my #WorkFromHome crew?
I’ve been working for myself as a full-time blogger and working from home for almost two years now, and I’ll admit: it’s SO different than going into an office every day. The biggest plus is having the freedom…sweet, sweet freedom…to do what we want throughout the course of our day. We can work in our PJs (my favorite), do a little “Netflix and Work” (The Carrie Diaries is my guilty pleasure), and even have a little glass of wine while we type away at our computers. Whether you’re your own boss or you have the luxury of working for a company without the dreadful cubicle, it’s pretty freakin’ fun to work from home! Best decision I’ve ever made.
As much as I know we all love it, we can also admit that we all get those tough moments where we just can’t get it together. We goof off, spend too much time gossiping in our GChat (am I telling on myself?), and just struggle to get focused. I’m not alone, right?!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been actively finding ways to stay focused and productive throughout the day, so I figured it’s only right that I share them with you guys! It’s a struggle I’ve had since leaving an office setting for good early 2016, so I’ve got some pretty helpful tips. Let’s jump right in!
Wake up like you have some place to go.
When I first started the whole “work from home” thing, I asked my friends for tips to help keep me focused (the struggle was REAL the first few months). The one piece of advice they all had for me was to wake up each morning and get fully dressed as if I had somewhere to go. It was so easy to just roll out of bed, throw on my robe and get to work, but being so comfy told my brain that it was still bedtime. I had to create a routine where almost every morning, I’d wake up, make breakfast, and then shower and get dressed. I literally did everything but leave the house. On good days, I put on makeup, especially if I had a Skype call or meeting set up. It’s all about creating routines. It’ll send the signal to your brain that you mean business, and you’ll be so much more productive.
Change your scenery.
When working from home, especially if you live in an apartment, you may get bored working from your bedroom office. Change things up and create an office space in your living room, kitchen, or guest bedroom. It will help you focus and gives you a sense of newness. I have an extra bedroom that I turned into my office, but sometimes I sit at my island in the kitchen to change things up. Coffee shops are also great for the work-from-home crew! You’ll be surrounded with so many people who also have their laptops out, so you’ll feel like you’re part of this big productive society. Trust me, it helps.
Create daily lists.
This is an all-around great tip for those who work from home and those who go into the office every day. Daily task lists are key. I usually start with the most difficult tasks or those with a looming deadline and work my way down. If you struggle with getting motivated, I recommend reversing the list. Put the easiest things first, and work your way to the more difficult ones. Seeing yourself check items off the to-do list will serve as motivation to keep going, and by the time you make it to the hardest, largest projects, you’ll already be in the groove of knocking sh*t off your list. This is my go-to for overwhelming days. Lists are my BFF!
Just because you’re not in an office doesn’t mean you have to slave the day away. Take breaks! I take a morning break, lunch break, and even an afternoon break. If you’re an entrepreneur like me who doesn’t have the luxury of being finished at 5pm, I give myself an evening break to catch up on a show, have a drink, FaceTime with my friends, or even hit the mall. We need time away from our computer! Fresh air is your friend, so whether you walk to the mailbox or head out to get dinner, make sure you’re getting a mental break. You’ll be much more productive for it.
Find a work-from-home buddy.
Do you have friends and/or accountability partners that work from home? If not, add one to your tribe. It’s great to have someone who understands your struggles and can be a motivator when your focus gets off. My accountability buddy and I send morning texts with our “Word of the Day.” “Focus,” “dedication,” “confidence,” “finish”… we’re always intentional about what course our day will take, and make sure every action and task points to our word. Get you an accountability buddy; it’s almost like a coworker! It’s the best investment you can make in your career.
I hope these tips help as you as much as they continue to help me in this work-from-home journey!
Here’s a bonus: Do not…I repeat, DO NOT…work from your bed! It’s a set-up for impromptu naps and slack work. Take it from me.
Photographer credit: https://www.brandongrate.com/