The company I work for gives the option to work from home every Friday, and it’s a huge benefit. Because almost everyone works from home on Fridays, there are usually no meetings – and just a solid eight hours to write and get shit done.
While this provides a lot of opportunity to be productive, it’s not always easy to get in the zone. Sometimes I get distracted by all of the stuff I have to do around the house. Should I throw in a load of laundry? Maybe I should unload the dishwasher or tidy up.
But after a year of work from home Fridays, I’ve got a few tips to force yourself to be productive when you’re working from home:
1: Set yourself up for success.
While there’s no reason not to throw a load of laundry in from time to time, you don’t want to feel distracted in your own space. I always try to make my home feel as clutter-free as possible before I begin my day so I’m less distracted with the stuff around the house. If I’ve already taken out the trash and emptied the dishwasher, those tasks won’t bother me. Most importantly, I make my bed in the morning. Even if the rest of the stuff can’t get done beforehand, making my bed forces me not to work in it.
2: Have one main spot to work that’s not your bed.
As mentioned above, working from your bed all day is a big no-no. It’s horrible for your posture, and totally screws with your sleep schedule. Leave your bed for sleeping, and cut out a place, preferably not in your bedroom, to do work. In my case, I have a small desk that faces the window in my bedroom and it’s a pretty good set up. I actually just borrowed a monitor from my parents’ house to see if it will help me be a little less hunched over. I also sometimes work from my kitchen table or on a chair in the living room, but never the bed! NEVER.
3: Have a few hacks.
When I need to push through my distractedness but can’t, I have a few hacks to get me back on track. When I have an especially large chunk of time to fill, especially when I have no meetings, I try to break the day into sections and make goals of what to complete during those times. By racing the clock and placing fake deadlines on myself, I force myself to be more productive. I also am known to switch up where I’m sitting, put an energizing scent in my diffuser, or play my ultimate In The Zone Spotify playlist to get me on track.
4: Get out of your house.
Luckily for me, I work with one of my roommates, so I end up having someone to talk to when I’m working from home. But if you don’t have anyone to talk to all day, working alone can drive you crazy. I’d recommend going out to grab a coffee in the morning before getting started, grabbing lunch at a local spot, or even taking a few hours to work from a local cafe. One of my friends who freelances works the bulk of her day from a coffee shop, but comes home before the traffic starts and gets back online to finish her day.
So there you have it folks – my best advice for tricking yourself into being more productive when working from home. Anything to add?