If you’re like me, the perfect vision of working from home goes like this: wake up every morning, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea, sit down at your productive work space, and create your best work.
Well, we all know life isn’t perfect and most of the time it’s hard to increase productivity when working from the comfort of home.
Why is this?
The distractions! (Especially if you have kiddos)
For me it’s hard to pull away from the home responsibilities: future bills, cleaning, laundry, grocery lists. I also have an awesome toddler at home, so the daily duties of motherhood limits workable time.
It’s cute when she climbs on my lap to help mama “work” aka slam on the laptop keyboard and poke the screen, but I rarely am able to sit at my desk during her awake hours.
Even without little ones running around I know being productive when working from home can be challenging. So, parents and non-parents try to follow these 5 tips to increase productivity.
1. Get dressed right away to increase productivity when working from home.
If I don’t have to go to my job outside of the home or run any errands, I am very tempted to chill in my pajamas all morning. I think wearing the clothes I slept in the night before, although comfy, keeps me in this unproductive and sleepy mood.
I’ve found it much more productive to get dressed for the day, even if I just change into yoga pants and a comfy shirt. You don’t have to dress for the office to be productive when working from home. It’s very much a mental boost for me.
2. Put your phone away to increase productivity when working from home.
I’ll be the first to admit I am horrible at putting my phone away. Sometimes all the social media pulls me in, and I spend 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, until an hours passes and I literally have no work to show for my time.
I tell myself I need to be on these apps for my business’ sake, but do I really? No.
To increase productivity I put my phone on silent or airplane mode across the room from my workspace. The temptation to turn to my phone during a writer’s block or creative block decreases when it’s not at my fingertips.
Trust me, save your phone for scheduled breaks only, and your productivity will flourish without the distractions.
3. Utilize nap/quiet time to increase productivity if you have kids at home.
I know plenty of entrepreneurs who are mothers juggling work productivity with little ones at home, including myself!
Suzi, from Start A Mom Blog swears by utilizing nap time. Actually, she built her business mostly during her children’s naps and now helps other moms start a blog the same way. She gives hope to all the moms trying to start their own blog biz from home.
Unfortunately, I work outside of the home during the week during my little one’s naps, so I utilize nap time on weekends mostly. I usually get up a couple hours before my little one in the morning or work on my blog for a couple hours after she goes to bed.
These 2-3 hours are a blessing for parents everywhere. Although, I can be tempted to binge watch Netflix or do housework. However, I make sure to work on my business during these peak quiet time hours, because if I don’t then I know I have to wait until the next morning or evening to get work done.
*If you’re child has grown out of his or her nap time, then make quiet time a necessity where he or she independently plays while you’re working on your biz.
This is why making a schedule is also important, which I discuss in the next section.
4. Make a work schedule (and stick to it) to increase productivity when working from home.
This step is an absolute necessity for me. I feel it is for most entrepreneurs. If I don’t create a schedule with specific tasks to accomplish, then my productivity suffers. Too many things start flying though my head, and the focus quickly turns from work to “crap, what am I doing?”
Scheduling and completing tasks can be challenging for entrepreneurs, because if you work outside of the home you have set tasks set by your boss or co-workers. You also have consequences if you don’t accomplish work.
When you work from home, you have to be your own motivator. If you don’t stay on track your business won’t thrive the way it can.
I break down my tasks/goals into a daily and monthly schedule. For example, this is what my week looked like in my business calendar:
Monday: Send e-mail to list and promote latest post on social media
Tuesday: Begin writing next post and promote latest post on social media
Wednesday: Publish next post and promote latest post on social media
Thursday: Loop Pins on Tailwind and promote latest post on social media
Friday: Schedule Pinterest Pins through the next week and promote latest post on social media
My monthly goals are goals I want to complete throughout the month of August. For example: Gain 200 e-mail subscribers, Publish 3 posts, Add 1 more pinnable image to previous published posts, etc.
Creating lists also helps me succeed in scheduling my days and months. I wrote a post about writing lists here.
This is why I urge you to write out a schedule daily and monthly to increase productivity at home. Entrepreneurialism may be the most time-consuming for you at the moment, and scheduling your free time correctly can fix the overwhelming feelings running a business can bring.
5. Increase productivity when working from home with a designated work space.
This tip is for your health and productivity, because working from home can tempt you to work from the couch or even the bed during those late night hours. You do not want to do this.
The couch and bed most likely will not provide the correct support for your posture when working on a laptop. Also, these places are most commonly used for resting, watching television and sleeping. You don’t want to mix those with work. Trust me!
Currently, the desk in our dining room is my designated work space. I have plenty of room for my laptop, planner, notebooks, coffee, etc. Plus, I’m slowly transforming it into an inspiring place for my business.
I urge you to have a designated workspace as well, so when you sit down you automatically know: It’s time to get to work.
Now you know the 5 tips I follow to increase productivity while working from home. I hope these help you become productive as possible, too.
Do you have any other tips to be more productive? What’s you typical day when working from home? Let me know in the comments below or send a message.
Jessica Kromer – Purposeful Writer