It’s been almost two years since I started the blog. Two year of working from my laptop in coffee shops, my corner in an office and on occasionally my bed. And for the most part, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love working from home. It’s allowed me to be flexible with my life and my family. But developing the habits that making working from home successful took time. As much as I would love to say I mastered it right off, I’d be lying. So whether you’re new to working for home or just looking to be more productive with your limited time, here are the tips that I’ve found make me the most successful.
I think everyone’s version of this looks a little bit different. And if you don’t work from home daily, your home office day might be happily spent in pajamas. However, for the rest of us at home kids, it’s important to have office attire. I’m not saying you have to wear stiff trousers and button up shirt. Most days, my office look is workout clothes, no make-up and my ugg slippers. You have to decide on what you feel productive and comfortable in. But creating the morning routine of getting dressed can help you get into your working mindset.
Define Your Space
I spoke about this a few months back in my getting in my girl boss mojo back post. But one thing I’ve found I need as a person in my life is defined spaces. Whether it’s working out or writing, I do best when I create space that is dedicated to my work. This means separating my office space from my sleeping space. It also means that when I sit at my desk it’s because I’m going to work. If you’re struggling to feel productive when it feels like you’re living in your job, create a space where you just work. This might mean a table or a chair but define that space for yourself as a work zone and stick to it. Half the battle of working from home is the mental game. Creating a place where you can get your head in the game is a great way to start.
Create Electronic Free Zones
Over the past month or so, I’ve been working to create more defined spaces in my house. Yes, I have an office space where I work. But it’s so easy to cart my laptop around the house and always feel like I need to be doing something. Work life balance is still high on my list of priorities for the year. And this means being able to disconnect regularly so when I am connected I can give it my all. For me, I’ve opted for a no laptop in bed rule. This means no netflix at night or mindless internet searching. If I’m desperate enough, I will watch something on my phone. But giving myself the space to not feel like I’m on it or working all the time brings peace. It allows for me to feel balanced in my work/home life. And it helps me to be the most productive when I’m in the spaces I’ve designated for work.
Consider Investing In Headphones
Towards the end of last year, I invested in some pricier items that were on my wishlist. Specifically, I bought an apple watch* and a pair of noise cancelling headphones*. And I would buy both again in a heartbeat today. I know that I do best when I can zone into my work and being able to cancel out the sounds helps. As I write today’s post, I’m listening to a rain playlist on spotify while the chaos of tv, my dog and a full family at home is around me. If you don’t have the space to be able to really get away from the sound, investing in noise cancelling headphones can help create it even in the chaos.
Create a Schedule
When you work for yourself, it’s not often that someone else can do the work for you. You are the reason the things don’t get done. So when you operate without a schedule, it’s easy to wait until the last minute to do everything or feel like nothing ever gets done. Creating a schedule and sticking to it also helps with that work life balance we all strive for. Maybe that means batch shooting photos for the month one day. Or dedicating a certain day to testing recipes in the kitchen. Personally, I’m a massive fan of using my bullet journal to schedule things out from my content calendar to my daily todo list. When you block out chunks of time, it’s easier to focus rather than feeling like you’re constantly playing whack-a-mole.
Don’t Do Everything At Home
And my last bit of working from home advice is to leave the house. Yes, I know this doesn’t seem very productive but hear me out. It’s easy to get caught in a bubble working from home. You’ve traded cubicle mates for easy netflix access. Instead of going out to lunch all the time, you’ve now got 10 steps to the fridge. All the relaxing things you dreamed about doing before you now have easily accessible. Make it a point to get out of the house. This might mean meeting a friend for lunch at a park or seeing a movie in the middle of the day. Don’t let yourself exist inside a house bubble.