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If you’re here, you’re looking for some answers on how to really take advantage of your time during the day while you work from home. As an Author’s Note, you should know that this blog post is going to be a case of, “do as I say, not as I do,” because on most days you can honestly find me working in my pj’s and curling up with some Netflix in bed on my “lunch break.” (Oops!) I know I am not being as productive as I could be so I’ve consciously made a note of all of the things that seem to make me less productive throughout the day so I can whip my schedule back into shape.
So let’s take our productivity up a notch together, shall we?
How To Be More Productive When You Work From Home
Day Before: Preparation
1. Schedule Your Day
Before you can get any kind of work done, you of course need a schedule. Believe it or not, I didn’t use to schedule my days and I would just kind of “wing” every day. This was a total waste of time as I was constantly going back-and-forth with what I should be doing next or completely forgetting about certain tasks all together! Thankfully, I found Haley Burkhead of Profit Planner. Haley provides super helpful information on how to plan your schedule by using awesome free tools like Asana to grow your business further! (Sign up for her free webinar here!) Now, I’m much more organized and I can better manage my time when I go through and plan my schedule the day (or week) before.
• Related Reading: Top Tools Every Service-Based Business Owner Needs
2. Set a ‘Wake-up’ Alarm
I know, the benefit of working for yourself, or being able to work remotely, means that you make your own hours and can work when you want. There’s just one problem with this though… Most other people work 9-5 jobs (also in different timezones). If you’re waking up at 11am, it takes you some time to actually get up and start working which means you’re cutting into some valuable time you should be using to either chat with your leads and clients, engage on social media, or work on other areas of your business. You don’t need to wake up at 7am sharp every morning, just set an alarm to start getting up at a reasonable hour so you don’t have people waiting on you while you’re busy snoozing away. (I am super guilty of this! I’m sorry!)
3. Go to Bed at a Decent Hour
If you’re like me, you like to burn the midnight oil and get things done at night. But, doing this just hinders your productivity for the next day (when most people are awake) because you’re tired from the late night you had before. If you’re working into the late hours of the night, you’re keeping your mind stimulated and making it much harder to go to bed. When you actually get to bed, you’re likely exhausted so your body wants to sleep until late morning / afternoon. Pick a reasonable time when you’re going to try and stop working, do some calming / relaxing activities before you hit the hay (like taking a warm bath, or reading a slow book) and let yourself fall asleep when you feel tired.
Day of: Implementation
4. Get Out of Your PJ’s
I personally find this very hard to do. Before, I thought that since I’m not going to see anyone, it’s fine to just roll straight out of bed and work all day in my jammies. Although, what I realized, is that when I’m in my comfy clothes all day, it makes it easier for me to crawl back into bed for a “quick” rest or nap which lasts a few hours to sometimes taking the rest of the day off… (Don’t judge me.) It also makes it easier for me to put off personal hygiene like not changing clothes for a few days or not taking a shower for even more extended periods of time… (Again, don’t judge me. I’m not proud of it and I’m being vulnerable to help you!) So take my advice, change your dang clothes and get ready for the day like you would if you were driving to the office. It will make you feel like you’re actually going to work and make you feel good about yourself too!
5. Drink More Water
We all know that water is essential for life, so there’s always room to drink a bit more, right? I like to drink a nice glass of cold water when I wake up (yes, even before coffee / tea). It helps re-hydrate your body (including your brain) because you get dehydrated throughout the night. When you’re more hydrated, you’ll feel less tired and cranky, so make sure to drink water throughout the day to keep that brain of yours active!
• Related Reading: How to Get Organized and Create an Effective Client Workflow
6. Eat Small Healthy Meals / Snacks Throughout the Day
I know from experience that when you’re in the middle of your work, it’s hard to break yourself away even when you’re hungry. I’m in the incredibly bad habit of waiting to eat until I’m starving and shaky. When I reach this point, I get cranky, I can’t process information as well, I’m dizzy, and I’m too weak to make a proper meal so I grab a quick sugary snack to boost my levels again. It’s so important to take care of your body and listen to it’s signals. If you don’t, you’re just going to make yourself feel worse and take yourself out of commission for the day. Try to eat a nice healthy breakfast when you wake up (with your water of course) to help energize you. Small healthy snacks throughout the day will help fend off the hunger until you’ve reached a stopping point in your work and can prepare a meal for yourself. Getting into the habit of prepping your meals the night before or on the weekend can also save you time.
7. Stop Watching Netflix During Your Breaks
I know you’re guilty of this, but don’t worry we all are. It’s so hard not to be when hundreds of shows and movies are right at your fingertips. Plus, you’re already sitting in front of a screen… I know it’s tempting to watch just one episode during your lunch break, but next thing you know you’re back in your jammies and binge-wathcing Friends for the 20th time. Just say no to Netflix during your work hours, and maybe instead opt into listening to a business podcast to keep your brain stimulated.
8. Stop Taking Naps
Netflix is a gateway and brings me to my next piece of advice, you need to stop taking naps during the day. I know, an after-lunch nap with Netflix playing quietly in the background sounds oh so delightful, but this is killing your work vibe and your productivity. It’s difficult to bounce back during normal working hours after a nap, so try your best to avoid even looking in the direction of your bed.
9. Listen to Pump-Up Music
As I type this post, I feel my eyes getting heavy and I could so use a nap, but the biggest thing keeping me awake is the bumping music I have playing in the background. Put on your favorite rocking Spotify playlist and it’s bound to keep you energized or at least not sneaking back to bed.
Learn from my eye-opening experiences and take your productivity to the next level when you work from home. Working from home is still amazing, you just need to be more strict than I was to keep you on top of your schedule and not wasting your day.
Have you already implemented some of these tips in your daily schedule when working from home? If so, which have positively impacted your productivity? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!