10 work from home tips to help you stay productive
August 27, 2018
Working from home has its pros and cons and isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Whether you work from home full time, do some freelance work on the side, or spend a few hours blogging, there will be challenges associated with working by yourself. Distractions, loneliness and time management to name just three.
However, if you can solve these issues, working from home can be an amazing opportunity that will help with the whole work-life balance most of us are searching for.
If you work from home currently or are planning to set yourself up as a freelancer soon, here are our 10 work from home tips to help you stay productive…
10 work from home tips to help you stay productive
#1 Set up your workspace
Having a dedicated area in your house to work from really helps to keep you focused and productive.
Set up a desk away from the TV and ideally where you can’t see other areas of the house that may need cleaning and tidying.
Keep your desk clear and surround yourself with things that inspire you, whether that’s family photos, motivational quotes or prints of exotic places you want to visit.
Make sure the rest of your family know it’s your workspace and to leave it alone!
#2 Turn off your phone
Obviously not a good plan if you’re expecting work calls, but if you don’t need to speak on the phone, turning it off for a while it can be a good way to stay focused.
We all get distracted by social media, text messages or online shopping so turning off your phone removes the temptation to browse the internet.
If you do need to keep your phone on, just move it out of arms reach so you won’t be tempted to keep checking the screen but can still hear it ring.
#3 Choose your working hours
The beauty of working for yourself is that you can choose your hours and fit your work around other commitments.
If you need to complete 8 hours of work per day, you may prefer to work 7am to 3pm so you have a few hours to yourself in the afternoon.
Alternatively, if you have a morning appointment you might decide that working 10am to 6pm suits you better.
Try to be realistic when picking your working hours and stick to them so your clients know when they can reach you. Having set working hours also means you won’t find yourself working late or over the weekend if you don’t have to.
#4 Don’t spend all week alone
One of the biggest issues freelancers face is getting lonely or bored being at home on their own all day, especially if you’re used to being in a busy office environment.
You could attend some local networking events, as well as getting you out of the house this also gives you amazing opportunities to meet potential clients.
If you don’t want/need to network you could hire a desk in a shared office space for a day a week. You’ll have people around you for company and it may also help inspire you with new ideas.
If you don’t want to network and can’t afford to hire a desk, you could just head to your local coffee shop with your laptop for a couple of hours.
#4 Have a morning routine
Getting up at 11 and wearing your PJs all day sounds amazing, but it’s not going to help you get work done. Treat your freelance business seriously and have a routine as if you would at work.
Set your alarm so you don’t get up too late, and get dressed and have breakfast as you would if you were going out to work. Giving yourself time to wake up before you switch on your laptop will enable you to start work with a clear head.
#5 Take breaks
Add break times into your routine so that you get chance to step away from your desk and stretch your legs.
Don’t forget to eat lunch. Make a proper meal rather than just snacking at your desk – this will help you to stay healthy as well as to concentrate when you start work again after lunch.
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#6 Set a schedule
Having a schedule or plan will help to increase your productivity.
Choose what you want to do each morning, this might be checking your emails and getting any messages out of the way. Or you may feel that you write amazing blog posts in the mornings when you have a clear head, so you may schedule other tasks for later in the day.
Write yourself to-do lists and tick things off as you complete them.
You might like having a hand-written list or you may find that an online list using something like Trello works better for you.
#7 Set goals
With no boss on your case, it can be a good idea to set yourself some weekly, monthly and quarterly goals.
Write your goals down, a whiteboard is a good idea so you can see these during the day and remember what you are working towards.
Ticking goals off will help to keep you motivated and remind you of how well you’re doing.
#8 Spend money on your business
We understand that money can be tight when you work for yourself, but investing in your business will get you off to the right start.
If you’re going to be online all day make sure you have a decent laptop or PC and a reliable internet connection.
A high-quality chair will help you to avoid getting backache when sat at a desk for long periods.
If various programmes and software will help you to be more efficient in your daily tasks it’s a good idea to buy these when you first set up on your own.
#9 Schedule ‘me time’
It’s important not to work 24/7 just because your ‘office’ is at home. Switch off when you get to the end of your working day and don’t be tempted to check your emails in the evening.
Plan some things you enjoy whether it’s going for a drink with friends, binge-watching your favourite Netflix series, or having a soak in the bath
Relax, unwind and have an early night so that you wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow!
#10 Enjoy it!
You probably gave up working in an office or shop for a reason so remember those when you feel over-worked or stressed out.
There are so many benefits to working for yourself and working from home – most of your family and friends will probably be incredibly jealous that you’ve managed it.
Enjoy the freedom it gives you and the better work-life balance that you will have, and be very proud that you have taken the leap to be your own boss!
Do you work from home? If so, what are your biggest struggles?
If you dream of being your own boss and leaving the 9-5, do you think these work from home tips will help you stay productive?