Working at home is wonderful. You’re in charge of your schedule, you get to spend lots of time with your family, and you can work wherever you like. It’s also challenging for the same reasons. How can you avoid distractions? How do you stay motivated when you don’t have to answer to a supervisor? This series of work at home productivity tips, each with an action step, can help you get more done starting today.
Set a Schedule
Yep. It’s on nearly all the productivity lists for good reason. From childhood through adulthood, people are creatures of routine. We’re happier and more productive when we know what’s coming next. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a schedule or routine will be too confining. In fact, a schedule is freeing, because even if you have to deviate from the routine when something unexpected comes along—and it will—you can jump right back into your schedule without too much disruption.
Action step: Outline a schedule or routine right now, and be realistic. Set aside time for work, promotion, social media and uninterrupted time with the family. Don’t schedule early morning hours if you can barely drag yourself out of bed by 9 am. Build some flex time into your schedule for unexpected interruptions.
Dress for Work
When you work from the comfort of your home, you can wear anything you want. I often have friends tell me, “I’d love to work at home in my pajamas.” Being clad in flannel may make you comfortable, but it can be detrimental to your productivity. It doesn’t provide the transition that you need to move from sleep and relaxation to getting things done. Getting dressed provides the kick in the pants your brain needs to get into the work groove.
Action step: If you’re still in your pjs, go freshen up and get dressed. You don’t have to wear office attire, but putting on a nice shirt, jeans and shoes will help you feel ready to tackle the day. It’ll also be much less embarrassing to answer the door for the UPS deliveryman. Trust me.
Respect Your Work Time
Distractions can be relentless when you work from home. If it’s not one of the kids opening the door every five minutes, it’s a friend calling to ask if you can babysit. Because you’re free all the time, right? Unless you set boundaries (and regular business hours), you’ll find yourself frustrated by the constant interruptions. Respect your work time, and help others do the same.
Action step: Let everyone in your circle know what your work hours are. Post them on your personal social media profiles, in your email signature on your website, and change your voicemail to reflect the hours. To help kids learn when interruptions are okay, make a red light and a green light out of construction paper. Hang the green one when interruptions are okay and the red one when interrupting is a no-no except in an emergency.
Do you have some work at home productivity tips that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments!
This post originally appeared on ProductiveWAHM.
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