How To Stay Productive And Motivated When Working From Home
It’s that time of the day again.
I’m off to work, ready to develop marketing strategies. I arrive to my office at 8 am every morning. I sit at my desk, turn on my laptop, and sip my morning American-style coffee (don’t judge me, fellow Europeans!). Then, my day begins in earnest: emails, meetings, tasks…
You could say that this is a pretty typical start of every workday for most employees. The only difference, I work remotely from my home office.
Working from home has been my way of life for the past six months. And while there are tons of perks that come with it, working remotely can sometimes be tough.
So here are the best ways I know of to stay productive and motivated when working from home.
1. Dress the part
I know it’s really tempting to sit around in your jammies.
But here’s the thing: we typically rise to the occasion of how we’re dressed (it’s a psychological thing). Hence, looking schlumpy and wearing yoga pants until noon can seriously mess with your A game.
Something as simple as just getting ready in a nice sweater and jeans will help you feel more confident and professional. No need for the power suit and heels, but frankly, if that raises your vibe… more power to you!
2. Designate a work space
Creating a dedicated place for work has been essential for me.
When I moved to Columbus, Ohio, I did not have a desk. I ended up working at the dining room table or at the sofa, but I soon discovered that this just lead to chaos and disorganisation.
I now have a permanent workspace which means I can be more organised and focused.
There are times when I work from a library or from a coffee shop because sometimes I just need a change of scenery or social contact, but having a dedicated work space has been critical for me.
It’s all about finding an area that works for you.
3. Stay organized, for the love of God
This is what my mom used to tell me all.the.time. And truth is I’ve never been more organized.
The simple tools that I use to get things done are: Productivity Planner, Trello, GCal and good old-fashioned notebooks.
A combination of these four productivity systems works really well for me.
But regardless of the tools you use, the key to productivity is to do what works for you — what helps you finish what you need to do.
4. Lean on technology to stay in touch
This tip is mainly to myself. 🤗 But holy moly, if there is anything I have learned since working from home, it’s that communication with the team is vital.
As I lose the opportunity to pop into STRANDS’ office, I need to be mindful to do so virtually –which basically means taking advantage of communication technology to form stronger relationships with my colleagues.
Emails, Hangouts messaging, and WhatsApp are indispensable tools here.
5. Have playlists based on how you work
If you’re like me, coffee and music fuel your work time. But when the coffee's all gone, music is all we’ve got!
I listen to Brain Food when the work I’m doing requires really easygoing background music to stay focused - typically, anything that requires writing.
The Warm Hearts Feel Good playlist is usually reserved to get through the end of my afternoon, or to power through more menial tasks that just gotta get done, like editing photography or graphic design.
6. Make time for lunch and breaks
I love lunch (and especially snacks 🤗) so so so SO freaking much it’s not even funny.
That’s why I literally schedule them in: I break to eat lunch without multitasking in my inbox, and I break to eat a snack and read some blogs to just unwind mid-afternoon.
Side note: when you’re at home it’s really easy to just start snacking on anything and everything so I like to make sure that my fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy snacks - that way when I decide to grab a snack I basically have no choice but to eat something healthy.
“Forgetting” to eat is too bad both for your productivity, your body, and your mental well-being.
7. Don't become a hermit
Even if you work from home, make sure you get out of the house every day.
Whether it's going to the grocery store, running some errands, a walk around the block or working from a local coffee shop, I always make sure I get social interaction by getting out of the house every.single.day.
8. Know when to call it quits
Finding the time where your work day ends and your personal evening begins can be very tricky.
There are days where you’d be in the home office later than usual, but sometimes, you just need to step out of your desk and be a regular human, even when there’s still work to do.
Make dinner, get in your pajamas, read a book, watch a show... Just do anything that’s not work-related, and just enjoy.
Bringing it all together
Working from home can be a fulfilling and wonderful experience if you find a little system that works for you. To me, these 8 productivity tips are pretty essential to getting and staying in the groove:
- Dress the part
- Designate a work space
- Stay organized, for the love of God
- Lean on technology to stay in touch
- Have playlists based on how you work
- Make time for lunch and breaks
- Don't become a hermit
- Know when to call it quits
What helps you get productive AND stay smart with your time? I’d love to hear your best tips and tricks so we can all help each other out.
Drop ’em in a comment below, would ya? 😊