Top Tips For Staying Productive While Working From Home

Friday, August 12, 2022

This post contains sponsored links, but all opinions are my own

There has been an increase in people working from home since having the first lockdowns. This includes working on your typical day job or now working on a blog full-time! Many people were working from home before the lockdown too, so hopefully, these tips can help a range of people. Remote working can host a load of benefits when it comes to improving your work-life balance and productivity. But it comes with discipline. Whether you're a business, blogger or digital nomad, here are some tips to help you stay productive when working from home! 

What Is Remote Working? 

Remote working is where you can work outside of an office environment. You could be at home, which is where most people remote work. But others have taken it as an opportunity to move house or travel the world while working! Working from home doesn't work for everyone. Some jobs can't be done away from the office, while some people may enjoy the structure of office life. I love working from home as it's given me some time back. Typically, I wake up at half six to get ready and don't get home until half six on a work day. That's 12 hours dedicated to work. With remote working, I only use my work hours for work, giving me back my commute time and allowing me to have a more relaxed lunch!

Remote working is great, but there are some downsides. It takes motivation to work as you're at home. It can increase your electricity bill by using laptops and computers at home instead of in the office. Some people take advantage of working from home by not doing the job or travelling/moving house outside their contract. But, it works well for some people. Here are some benefits of remote working! 

  • Save your commute time.
  • Give you the opportunity for a wider range of jobs you previously were too far for.
  • Gives you more time to do the things you want to do.
  • You can have the peace of being at home.
  • You can be more comfortable in your own home office.
  • It's good for mental health and stress.
  • You don't have to dress up in formal clothing.
  • It can increase your productivity.

Get Washed & Dressed

Simple things like putting on a bra and brushing my hair make me feel ready for the day and more motivated to work. When working from home, getting washed and dressed can make all the difference to your mood. I find that I can't work well if I don't have a shower and feel clean. Build a morning routine as you would if you were still at the office. If you're self-employed, getting dressed can still help your productivity and motivation. Get up, make the bed, shower, do your skincare routine, and get dressed. It doesn't have to be complicated, just something to give your day more structure.

As much as I love a day in my pyjamas, it can affect productivity. Not saying to put your jeans on, but just some comfy, real clothes. Invested in some comfy loungewear that looks nice enough to join a meeting. There are also lots of cosy loungewear sets out there at affordable prices. Real clothes set a better impression for meetings. You should make an effort and act like you're going into the office on days you want a burst of motivation. Dressing up can help you stay connected to office life and remind you it's still a job. As the summer heat waves approach, I've found cute dresses are the perfect remote working outfit! 

Remember To Eat Well

When working from home, I find that my diet changes. I tend to snack more, and the food I eat is quick to prepare, so it's not always the healthiest. Every day should start with a good breakfast. If you miss lunch, it's not always as bad if you've had a hearty breakfast to keep you going. If you don't eat the right foods, your body won't be able to work as well as it could. It helps to plan your meals in advance and even meal prep. It saves you time, and when you're running out of time for lunch, you can grab something to go! I like to go with some chicken pasta and peppers. It keeps me full until dinner, and I don't feel snacky afterwards. Some easy meal prep dishes include:

  • Couscous Mediterranean salad
  • Chicken & saucy pasta
  • Chickpea or meal curry
  • Rice salads (my favourite is chicken, mango & lime rice salad)
  • Vegetable stir-fry's
  • Pesto pasta
  • Chicken, rice & beans (deconstructed tacos!)

You might also consider getting in touch with experts in filtration. Having access to clean, filtered water is beneficial for your business and productivity. Especially with the summer heat waves, you should drink lots of water while working from home. It's easy to forget to top up your bottle, so keep a litre bottle of water on your desk and drink throughout the day. I love finding the cutest water bottle to motivate me to drink more. Thinking about what you put in your body can make you feel better and more motivated to work.

Create An Appealing Work Space

When I first redid my office space, I felt more motivated to work as I was in an appealing area. Your workspace should be separate from your leisure space where possible. If you can have an office room in your house, that is ideal. However, not everyone has space to have a dedicated room. If you don't, the first step is to create an area detached from your leisure space. You shouldn't work on your bed or sofa as it can be hard to switch off from work. Your cosy space may not feel relaxing anymore. I have a desk in my bedroom, but I have separated the area as much as possible to maximise productivity and limit distractions.

Once you have an area, you can build an appealing workspace to help you when working remotely. You need a desk and a comfy chair. When choosing your chair, you should look at something practical that can help your posture. If you're sitting in it all day, you want it to be right for you. Office task chairs can change the way you feel while working. You might not realise it, but if your desk chair isn't right, you may not feel ready to work. Once you have the basics, you can decorate your workspace to help promote homeworking. It could have a high-tech monitor, pictures, and storage space. Anything that will help you feel more productive and motivate you to work. If your space isn't something you enjoy working in, it will start to feel like a chore, and you might not work as hard. 

Structure Your Day

Whether you work for yourself or are employed, you should structure your remote working day. If you roll out of bed at ten to nine, you might not feel ready for work. Instead, build a routine that works for you. There are different ways to use your time when working from home, so see how you can make the most of it! 

For those working from home

Get ready as you normally would. If you have commute time, think about how you could use those extra hours. Maybe you're working on your passion project. You could spend more time with your kids or doing house chores. Once you have your pre-work plan, you should structure your work day. Keep a to-do list and block out time for things you need to get done at work. Like in the office, you want to meet deadlines, so work how you would on a typical work day. Keep in contact with people to avoid loneliness and lack of communication. It's easy to feel isolated when remote working. Make sure you take regular breaks and have a walk, as you would in an office when talking to co-workers.

For those who are self-employed

It's a bit different when you work for yourself. You don't have people to keep you accountable. Start your day with a morning routine which helps you feel awake and motivated. As you work for yourself, your day could start earlier or later, but make sure you give yourself enough time. I love starting early on my jobs and finishing early afternoon! Once you start the day right, you should give your day structure. At the start of the week, write some goals to achieve. You can also give yourself a daily to-do list. I also give myself things I must do daily to reach my goals, such as pack orders, schedule tweets and answer emails. These jobs can be bulked, and you should time block your day to give it structure and help you focus! 

Get Up and Move

In 2022, I want to move more and be healthier. Remote working is perfect for those who want to travel more and have workplace permission to work abroad. However, those sitting at the same desk for hours can develop health issues as they aren't moving. In the office, you walk around, move for lunch etc. But at home, it's easy to sit around and work, forgetting you have a lunch break. Every hour or so, take a 5-minute break and move around. In the morning, I like to do yoga in place of where I would be commuting. It's been amazing for posture, stress and getting myself moving every day.

When you have sat for a while, take a walk. If you get a lunch break, choose to do something more active than sitting and playing games. Stretch every few hours to get the blood moving. I find that I take later lunches at home as there is so much I want to fit into the day. Sometimes, I forget to take them, which isn't beneficial for my movement. There are workouts you can do in your chair to help circulation if you're too busy to walk around. 

Related: How To Improve Your Productivity With A Busy Schedule

Work Within Your Work Time

It can be hard to ensure you have that good work/life balance when your home environment becomes your work environment. Sticking to set work hours helps me stay focused because I can just shut my laptop and forget until the next day. If not, you may find that some people will still be sitting up doing emails till 10pm. Spending all the time at home makes it hard to differentiate between work and life, so if you can have a set cut-off time to close your laptop, it really helps! Deciding this cut-off is good because you have a set finishing time to look forward to like you would when you were working in the office. You wouldn't tend to work late in the office. Why would you start now?

For self-employed, it may be harder to set hours and shut down. Sometimes we equate hours worked to progression. But that is only beneficial in some cases. If you don't give yourself time to rest, you could resent your work and may not feel motivated to continue. With no set wage, you need to feel motivated to continue working, so you can pay yourself. Give yourself some working hours to try and stick to. As you make your own schedule, it could vary daily to fit around things. But block in time for the things you need to do. For example, you might have errands to run. So block an hour for running errands, two hours for content creation and an hour packing orders throughout the day. Once done, you should take a break! I know it's never that simple when working for yourself, but try and give yourself time to relax after work. It is more beneficial than you think. 

Join Home Working Groups

If you're remote, you might consider joining a home working group or club. There are lots of Facebook groups and forums that are dedicated to connecting with other remote workers. It can help you stay focused and avoid the feeling of isolation. You could also join accountability groups for your business. There are lots of online groups which allow you to meet like-minded entrepreneurs. These groups usually have 6-15 people working alongside each other. You can bounce ideas off each other, share goals and keep each other accountable for work. They are similar to co-working spaces but virtual, so you can continue to work from home! These groups benefit those who tend to get distracted when working from home.

If you didn't fancy working in a group, you could try to find an accountability buddy to help you when you're lonely. The second pair of eyes and another opinion is always good when working for yourself. It can help you see things you may not have noticed before and give you solutions to your remote working issues! Whether a close friend or someone you trust online, having someone else while you work from home can help you when times are tough!

Related: Personal Growth - How To Start Working On Yourself! 

Limit Phone Distractions

Some jobs require us to use our phones, especially for digital brands looking to build their presence. However, you might want to limit phone use if you're easily distracted! It can be addicting to watch exciting opportunities pop up or to scroll through Instagram. But how much work are you getting done? When working from home, try to limit the number of times you touch your phone. We are all guilty of being on our phones too much, but there are ways to help you get more done. Where possible, keep the phone on silent and away from reach. If you're expecting a call, you could keep the ringer on but turn the phone over. You could also ask a trusted housemate to keep hold of it until you need it.

There is an app you can download called Forest: Stay Focused. This is an app you can use to stop you from picking up your phone. You plant a tree and can decide how long it needs to grow. If you set it for an hour, you should avoid using your phone for that hour, or your tree will die. A simple thing, but it really does help me focus a lot more on work! There are other productivity apps and browsers which can help you to stay focused. Some Chrome extensions can limit what sites you visit during certain times and other apps that lock your phone for a set time. Decide what is best for you and your working needs!

Keep In Touch

People are very social creatures. To be happy, we need the company of other people. Working from home can be isolating, so keeping in touch with people is important. Whether you have a daily teams call or meet up with people during lunch or after work, scheduling time to speak to others can improve your productivity and mental health. If you don't continue to build relationships while remote working, it may also be harder for you to connect with people. You could also lose beneficial relationships that you have already built while networking. Keeping in touch is good for your mental health. It can feel lonely while working from home, so prioritise your relationships. You don't have to go out every day, but taking a step away from your home office to enjoy time with friends can make you feel better. If you have a team, why not arrange some team building nights out! While most of my work is still remote, we organise quarterly events and teams calls to keep in touch, have fun and update the firm on what's been going on. 

Working from home has been a good thing to come out of the pandemic. For many, it's given back precious time and a new love for life. I've realised that work isn't always everything, and I need to relax more! Remote working can be tricky, especially if you don't build a schedule. However, there are so many benefits that you'll want to make the most of it while it lasts! Do you have a work-from-home tip worth sharing? I would love to hear how you have made the most of this opportunity! If there are stories of people moving away or travelling while remote working, I'd love to hear how you have managed!

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