Tips for Working from Home

Working from home can be a blessing, for sure. You don’t have to deal with a commute, you can work in your PJs until you have a Skype meeting, and your pets make great coworkers. But it can also be difficult because it’s so easy to get distracted when you don’t have to worry about your boss walking into your office. I’ve been working from home off and on for a while now due to blogging, but now I’m also doing editing work from home, too, so I thought this was a good time to offer my favorite tips for working from home productively.

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Sharing the things I do and have to make working from home as productive an experience as possible.

Tips for Working from Home

Find what works best for you – First and foremost, all of these tips don’t work for everyone. Everyone has different things that make them more or less productive, so you really need to figure out what it is that works for you. This might mean that you try a variety of strategies before you settle into a routine, so if something doesn’t work, be sure to try other tools or strategies!

Make your own workspace – I think that if you work from your couch, you’ll be more likely to turn the TV on or take a nap. To avoid that, if you don’t have a spare room for an office, pick a spot in your house that will be your office. Maybe that’s your dining room table. Maybe you have room for a desk in your bedroom or your living room. Whatever the place, pick one that is where you’ll work from. This doesn’t have to be your office forever and ever, but if you have a designated work space, it’ll be easier to get into the work mode. And you don’t have to deck it out to be like an office. Just get the things that you need in order to work!

Block off time to work – If you aren’t working full-time or don’t work a 9-5 schedule, schedule yourself some work time. For example, my editing job is part-time and basically as long as I put in the hours, I can work whenever I want. I’m always better and most productive in the morning, so I schedule myself work time in the morning. I also try to schedule appointments so I have several hours free in the morning to work. If that’s unavoidable, I block off time in the afternoon.

Keep track of your hours – This is also for people who don’t work full-time or with a regular schedule. It’s super important that you keep track of when you work and what you do so no one can argue that you aren’t working as well or as much as you should. In my case, I have a notebook where I keep track of how much I work every day. Right now, I’m just editing one book, so it’s easy to keep track of because I can note how many pages that I got through. But if you do a variety of tasks, note each one of them.

What I do to ensure that my time working at home is productive.

Get headphones – If you’re like me, you need to block out distractions. Whether or not you play music depends on what helps or hurts your productivity, but I’m a big advocate of playlists that last for 6-9 hours. (You can follow my working playlist here!) If you’re going to be wearing headphones every day or most days, definitely invest in a pair of really good ones. “But do I need headphones if I’m working at home and there’s no one there with me?” No, not necessarily, but I’ve found that I’m more productive when I do. It’s a psychological thing. Putting headphones on = getting in the zone. Looking for good headphones? Check out these: Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, Cowin Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, Sony Stereo Headphones, SoundPEATS Bluetooth Wireless Neckband Headphones.

Put on real clothes – Of course one of the benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to wear real clothes unless you have a Skype meeting. But it might really help your productivity if you do. I always try to wear real clothes unless I feel poorly because I’m much more likely to work well if I’ve gotten my brain in the working zone, and unfortunately that includes wearing real clothes. I don’t necessarily mean putting on business casual, but just wearing jeans and a casual shirt instead of leggings and a tee can make a huge difference.

Pack your lunch/snacks – Think about it this way: If you get your lunch all ready before you sit down to work, you have more time in your lunch break to do other things! You can catch up on social media, read a book, watch an episode of a show, meeting a friend, etc. But really, this is another thing that helps you get into the workday zone and it’s a way to ensure that you eat healthily instead of snacking on junk because you can.

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Plan excursions – By this I mean plan on changing up your working location every now and then. If you work from home and then hang out at home after your work day is done, it’s very easy to get cabin fever. I try to work elsewhere at least one day a week just to get a change of pace. Some options are local coffee shops or at a coworking space, which you can rent out.

Turn off your Internet – If you don’t need your Internet for your work and you’re easily distracted by it, turn it off. If you have Spotify premium, you can download a playlist so you can listen without using your Internet. This is something that I do when I’m writing and now when I’m editing, and it’s super helpful.

What are your tips for working from home productively?

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