Before you started working from home, you probably had this glamorous vision in your mind.
Sleeping in, wearing your pajamas all day, and working from bed with Netflix on in the background. And while some of your days working from home may look like that, that’s probably not the case most of the time.
While it’s nice having the ability to work from the comfort of your own home and not have a commute, it does have its downsides. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused and motivated. But because we have things we need to get done, we can’t let that happen!
To help you out, I want to share seven tips for successfully working from home that have made a major difference for me. This is how I’m able to accomplish plenty of stuff from home and feel like one boss business owner.
7 Tips for Successfully Working From Home
If you ever have trouble getting things done at home, these are the tips for you. Figure out where you can make improvements and implement them ASAP for increased productivity.
1. Actually Get Dressed
As comfy as it is to lounge in your PJs all day long, it doesn’t exactly set the right tone for a work day. It gives more of a relaxed vibe, as opposed to a, “Let’s get down to business” kind of vibe. So, if you want to boost your productivity when working for home, take the time to get dressed.
That doesn’t mean you need to wear a ball gown. Jeans and a t-shirt will do! You just need something that’s going to make you feel put together to get you into work mode.
You know how they say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have? That applies here. And especially those of you who are new in business… Think about how you’d dress when you’re that kick ass CEO you’ve been dreaming about becoming. Start dressing that way NOW and act the part to attract that role into your life.
2. Make a Schedule
I was never one to plan my days down to the hour before I started working from home. I didn’t really feel like I needed to. However, these days it’s become essential to ensure I’m actually making progress and making the most of time time. After all, time is the one thing we can’t get back, so we don’t want to waste those precious hours we do have in our day.
To become my most efficient self, I actually plan out my week every Sunday evening. This gives me the opportunity to reflect on what needs to get done in the week ahead. Then, I start blocking off time in my days to accomplish those tasks. This way, there’s never any question of what I should be working on.
And because I’m all about making lists, I also record my tasks in my Erin Condren LifePlanner.
3. Set Virtual Office Hours
This tip goes hand-in-hand with creating a schedule. When you’re working from home, it can be tempting to work late into the night when your office is so easily accessible. And while there’s nothing wrong with pulling an all-nighter from time to time, you shouldn’t make a habit of it.
To help keep yourself on a proper schedule, set virtual office hours and stick to them. It can even serve as a motivator to make sure you get everything done before you clock out. If you have clients, make sure they’re aware of your office hours as well. You have to set boundaries so they don’t think you’re always available to them.
P.S. If you do find yourself needing to respond to emails late at night, use Boomerang for Gmail to schedule them to go out in the morning instead. This way, clients don’t see that you’re always up late.
4. Designate an Office Space
Working from your warm, comfy bed with a coffee in hand may seem rather picturesque… However, it doesn’t exactly give off those productive vibes. Instead, you need to designate a specific space for work so you know when you sit down, it’s time to get to business.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated room for your office, that’s okay. You can put a desk in any spot throughout your home. But if you don’t have room for a desk anywhere, take over the kitchen table if you have to. Simply having that space you can go to every single day makes a huge difference.
5. Eliminate Any Distractions
Odds are, social media and email are huge distractions for you. When working from home, the TV can be a big distraction, as well as snacks in the kitchen and even your dogs. So, it should go without saying that you need to eliminate any distractions if you want to be productive during the work day.
Set designated times to check your email and social media. When it’s not time to do those tasks, keep those windows closed so you aren’t tempted while working on other things. Work from a room without a TV. And block off break times in your schedule so you have those moments to stretch and grab a snack. Speaking of snacks, my next tip is to…
6. Snack Smarter
I don’t know about you, but with my kitchen being right downstairs, I’m often tempted to get random snacks throughout the day. That’s not always healthy and it tears me away from my work. Now, I’m not saying you need to give up snacking. You just need to get smart about how you do it.
Like I said before, schedule in times for quick breaks in the morning and afternoon. Use this as your chance to grab a snack, but choose something that’s nutritious. No potato chips, sorry! Grab an apple and some peanut butter or a bowl of fruit. You want something that’s going to give you energy.
7. Get Out of the House
Working from home has its ups and downs. And the truth is, it can get a little lonely. That’s why you have to make sure you aren’t shutting yourself off from the outside world.
Remember to take breaks and get out of the house when you can. Take a walk around your neighborhood for some fresh air and exercise. Make plans to meet with friends for lunch. Set-up a co-working time to meet with other local entrepreneurs. Or even just work from the local coffee shop or library every now and then for a change of scenery. It makes a huge difference!
Another great way to increase your productivity, is to have efficient tools on hand! Download this PDF for a list of all of my favorites: