I’ve spent the last few years working for myself. A lot of that time has been spent working from my home office. It’s only over the last year that I’ve split my time at a local co-working space alongside working from home.
I really enjoy working from home. I have all my tools and equipment around me and I can get into my work zone pretty quickly in the morning. It’s not always easy though, there can be many distractions when you work from home; prepping the evening meal, a friend popping ’round for coffee, putting the washing on and general house tidying. If my work space or house is messy then it can cause a real productivity slump for me. However, with practice, instilling good habits and a little care you can create a calm working environment for yourself with minimal distractions.
When Broadband Choices asked if I’d like to partner up with them and share my top productivity tips I thought it was a fab idea. I love being able to share what I’ve learnt and hopefully you’ll find this post useful. They’re all very simple tips but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of these things. I can see myself looking back at this post if I ever fall into a work slump.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you should be waking up super early or that you shouldn’t do any work in the evening. I know as well as you that those things aren’t always possible. Some people are most productive early in the morning, others find their groove later in the day and many happily work into the night. You have to do what works for you, that’s the beauty of working from home.
Here are my tips for a kick-ass productive day working from home:
Designated working space – Find a space in your home to call your office. It might be a full room, half of the spare room or just a corner in your lounge. Wherever it is, make it yours. Invest in a good quality desk and office chair so you can sit comfortably. Getting cosy on the sofa may seem like a nice idea but trust me, you’ll be much more productive from a desk. Use your work space to do all your work and try as hard as possible not to let your work flow into other rooms.
Good internet – I’m sure you’re all aware of this, but good internet is essential. There’s nothing worse than flakey internet, especially when you’re uploading photos or videos for part of your work. Sites like Broadband Choices are ideal for finding the best deal. They’ve actually put together a pretty useful post about setting up your home office, it’s worth a read.
Time blocking – I find time blocking really good for when I have multiple projects to work on. If you’re new to time blocking here’s how I do it; make a list of work for the week, prioritise each task and then allocate a set amount of time for everything. This is a very efficient way of working and I find it helps me to visualise how much free time I have left to take on any extra work. I also find that I personally work better to goals and tight deadlines.
Get dressed – I know everyone jokes about this one but it really does make a difference. Get dressed as if you were going out to an office. I even have a pair of Converse that I only use around the house, I always seem to get more done when I’m wearing them. I don’t always put make up when I’m just in the house but I sometimes I’ll add a little mascara and lipstick, there’s always a chance I might need to use Snapchat or Instagram stories. Plus, on the days that you’re really not feeling it you can fully enjoy having a day of work in your PJs.
Always eat breakfast and lunch – Not only must you eat breakfast and lunch to ensure you’re full and ready to tackle work but it’s also important to plan ahead. It’s all too easy to get caught without anything substantial to eat and that can be a huge productivity knock. Have some simple go to meals for when you’re busy or prepare something at the start of the week to see you through each lunch time. I find that making a big soup on a Sunday night and having it with some bread throughout the working week works well for me.
Clear desk – I believe that a clear desk equals a clear mind. You have space to brainstorm, make a to do list or take photos. As nice as it is to have lots of pretty items on your desk it’s important to only keep the essentials to hand. Everything else can go in a box under your desk and then come out as and when you need it.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful and if you want to chat more about working from home then leave a comment below or join me on Twitter.
How do you ensure you have a productive work day?