How to stay productive when working from home?
Working from home seems like the ultimate win, especially in the winter when it's cold outside and you don't actually have to step into that weather and risk catching every cold under the clouds. But there are things that come along with it that aren't necessarily fantastic. Like when you have a computer mishap and the only person you can call on to fix it is, well, you. Or when that pile of laundry is too distracting to ignore and you fine-tune into the sounds of the washing machine so you can spring it open the second it's finished! Oh, and you can guarantee you'll become the neighbourhood parcel depot... but at least you won't miss your own mail!
So, how to stay productive when working from home?
As someone who has worked from home for a few years, I feel like I've definitely been through the ups and downs and have some tips to share to keep you from going a little stir crazy when it's only you and the cat to talk to you. So I've shared my top 5 tips below on how to stay productive when working from home!
Get up and get dressed
It's exciting, those first few days of working from home. You realise you really only have to dress for yourself and your laptop is looking mighty convenient and your bed is oh so comfy... what're a few minutes of emails in bed anyway? Well, those few minutes spent on emails can quickly turn into an entire morning and before you know it you've spent your day in your pj's only moving to feed the cat or let the dog outside. So make the effort to get up, get showered and get dressed. Not only will this help to put some routine into your day, but it will also make sure that the bedroom stays just that, the bedroom.
Invest in a desk or workspace area
You don't have to have another room solely dedicated to being your office space, not all of us have that luxury, so if you don't then invest in a desk and make that space dedicated for your work. By moving to an area specifically dedicated to working it will also help you in getting into "work mode" and help to curb any procrastination coming your way.
Get outside and get some exercise
This might sound rudimental, but you will be surprised by how little steps you take during the day when you work from home, and how little fresh air you actually get. If the weather permits then get outside, get fresh air, if you have a dog this is great as you really will be forced to go out for a walk, and if you don't then try and set a goal to walk outside for at least an hour. I find it's great to get a podcast you like listening to, as this will help make it a less lonely experience if you aren't one for walking on your own.
Exercise is another big thing that you should try and incorporate into your day, you are lucky that working from home you can take advantage of empty gym hours, small class sizes and at home work out classes. This stems back to the fact that when you are working from home you will be surprised at just how little movement you actually have in your daily life. I try to exercise Monday to Friday, but just do what is realistic for you.
Throw out the junk food and fill the fridge with whole foods!
Oh yes, throw it out, donate it, give it away, feed it to the neighbours, just whatever you do don't keep it in the house. It is far to easy to simply head to the snack cupboard and graze on biscuits and tea when you work from home, especially as your desk seems like a perfectly acceptable place to eat as no one is around but you. Instead, fill your fridge with whole foods and, as you have no one to question how you spend your time, why not cook your lunches from scratch? At first, it seems a bit tedious, but you'll soon find healthy and easy things to make quickly that will keep you fuller for longer.
Routine, routine, routine!
This is the biggest pitfall when working from home. When you have no routine and aimlessly move from the bedroom to the sofa to the desk to the kitchen you'll find your productivity slipping and your distractions increasing. Try and create a working day that works for you and stick to it. It doesn't have to be 9-5 as, after all, you are the master of your own time, but it does have to be a reasonable amount of time so you can do the tasks you need to. It's perfectly ok to build some of the daily chores into this routine, for instance, I use the washing machine cycle as a timer for tasks I need to do and this helps me focus.
Sophie Lavabre Barrow - co-founder of KINN