The Professional Babe’s guide on how to be productive when working from home.
The idea of working from home can feel like living the dream and a breeze to do. Stay home. Keep wearing your pyjamas and do some work at your leisure.
Working from home can often be quite distracting, you’re more likely to procrastinate and sometimes isolating if you live by yourself.
Although it’s taken me a while to develop a good routine where I’m quite productive and I get things done in a timely fashion I can honestly say I love it. I can be working until 1am (I’m a total night owl) or even sleep-in until 10am on my days off from the studio.
I thought today I’d share my 10 tips to working from home to ensure you’re productive! There’s also a fun little video to compliment this article at the end too!
The Professional Babe’s guide to working from home
1. Make an effort with your appearance
I know some female entrepreneurs who are anti bra and don’t really give a damn about how they look. For me, I feel like shit when I don’t make myself up a little. I like to look put together so if last minute plans arise, I’m good to go. I also think when you feel gorgeous, you’ll feel confident and go into your work day with a better frame of mind.
2. Have set hours
It’s easy when you work from home to convince yourself you have a day off so you can always do work later. When we don’t schedule things in we can forget about work and schedule social activities instead. Even if it’s blocks of 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon, set these as dedicated non-negotiable work hours. Your Tinder dates will understand.
3. Have a plan
A comprehensive to-do list stops you staring at your computer screen wondering what you should be doing. Always make sure to write down what you need to do that day and always what you’re working on long term. For me I write down bills I need to pay, errands I need to run and people I need to contact. I’ll also note down things like YouTube videos that need to be filmed, blog post ideas and business ideas that are a little more long term or involved.
4. Avoid distractions
Whilst writing this article I was browsing Pinterest looking at photos of Tom Hardy in a suit. Hmm! Social media is such a good distraction and time waster however I don’t think we realise how much time we actually waste. Of every 30 minutes I work, I allow a 5 minute break. Whether that’s a tea, Facebook or phone break is up to you. But I make sure to turn my phone on silent and close any screens that could be distracting.
5. Move your office to a cafe
When I’m feeling stuck or uninspired I’ll take my notepad or laptop down to my local cafe. Sometimes I need to be around the buzz of people or a change of scenery. Cafes are great for your brainstorming days, but not so much if you have a serious deadline.
I’m a huge advocate for the benefits of mindful movement for your mental state. Exercise releases endorphins which is brilliant for elevating your mood. I find a good walk or Pilates session helps to get my creative juices flowing. I’ll often be walking and think of a great blog post idea or YouTube video I’d like to film.
7. Have a designated work area
It’s easy to drag your work space to your bed. Hey, I’m guilty of that too! But if you work from home it’s a wise idea to have a separate work space that’s purely for work. I find if I work from my Kitchen, then my bed and then the couch, my whole house feels like one big office. If I have a designated area I find it easier to relax when I’m in other rooms of my home.
8. Take regular breaks
For every 30 minutes I work, I’ll take 5 minutes to do whatever. Maybe it’s painting my nails or ducking down to get a coffee from my local, but those precious 5 minutes are important to schedule. It will help to clear your head so you’ll be able to focus better when you come back to the task at hand. It’s also good for your body to stop a static position and get some movement back in your body.
9. Set boundaries
My friends and family think that when I work from home it means I can do favours or make time to catch up. I have to be firm and say no especially when I’m busy. This is hard to do but work is work. If you don’t have boundaries in place you’ll get to the end of the week without accomplishing anything and be feeling completely energy depleted.
10. Know when to stop
Shit working days happen whether you work from the office or home. It’s also easy to pull a 14 hour work day when you have a mountain of work to do and no time to do it all. It’s important to respect your health and show a bit of self-care by pulling back and knowing when to stop. Feeling a little energy depleted? Maybe it’s time to put your computer away for the day and focus on you.