Are you working from home for the first time? Or maybe you’ve been working remote for months and just can’t get the hang of it? These five simple ways to be more productive when working from home are the reason for my success as a remote employee. I’ve been working my corporate job from home for over a year (pre-COVID) and I can’t imagine going back into an office every day.
Remote work is becoming a new normal for many of us. It takes time to adjust but these tips are sure to make that transition easier!
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1. Create a dedicated workspace.
To me, this is the #1 most important thing you can do to be successful working from home. Having a dedicated workspace helps signal to your brain that it is “work time”. I know it’s tempting to plop down on the couch with your laptop, but I’ve found that sitting down at a desk and being able to shut the door helps tremendously to stop distractions from people, snacks, and housework. Even if you don’t have the space to dedicate an entire room, pick a corner of the dining table that you can set up shop and settle in for the day. This also makes it easier to shut it down at 5 pm, leave your work behind and relax! Once you claim your territory, check out this post for all of my home office essentials.
2. Keep a routine.
Chances are, you’re used to functioning off of some sort of routine. This shouldn’t stop just because we’re at home! Keeping a routine is SO important to stay productive and motivated to work from home. If you used to get up and read for an hour before getting ready and heading to work, keep that going! Or if your routine includes a morning workout before work (I wish I was like you), find space for an at-home workout before logging on for the day. PLUS, not having to commute to an office likely means you have some extra time in the morning! This truly makes a world of a difference for me. Getting out of bed and heading straight into my office in my pajamas makes me feel sooo lazy and unmotivated to work! This leads me to my next point…
3. Change out of your pajamas!
Trust me, I know how tempting it can be to stay in your pajamas all day. I did that for the first few months that I was working from home. But eventually, I realized it was making me feel more tired throughout the day. Changing into “real clothes” really helped to skyrocket my productivity. Now, when I say “real clothes” I don’t mean you need to be fully clad in business casual. My rule of thumb is “would I answer the door in this?” It’s okay to be comfortable. Comfort is my #1 goal most days. Athleisure and simple dresses have quickly become my go-to WFH wardrobe! Plus, it is so much easier to get out of the house if you already have clothes on!
4. Get outside every day.
This tends to be tough for me – especially in the Florida summers when going outside means instantly sweating. But it really is important! When working from home, it’s SO easy to accidentally not leave the house for 4 days straight. Especially in these crazy COVID times. But getting outside for some fresh air and vitamin D is a great way to reset and refocus on a long workday. If you live somewhere temperate, a lunchtime walk or bike ride is a great option! If going outside in the middle of the day is simply not an option where you live (I feel you), try a quick morning walk around the block or a post-dinner bike ride. Get the whole family in on it! Our family has started going on “happy hour walks” where we all grab our drink of choice and go for a sunset walk together, so fun!
5. Plan your meals.
Restraining yourself from eating all of the snacks in your pantry can be one of the hardest things about working from home. To be completely honest, I gained 10lbs in the first 6 months I was working from home. Anytime I felt hungry or bored I walked over to the kitchen and grabbed some chips and salsa (or a scoop of cookie dough…). The incessant snacking paired with moving my body SO much less throughout the day, was a dangerous combination. I found that if I didn’t have my meals planned out, I would just eat all. day. long. If you have time to meal-prep, that’s great! Otherwise, just try to have an idea in your head about what you want to eat for breakfast and lunch and STICK TO IT. Buy what you need for the week on Sunday so you have it all on hand. Having your meals planned (at least in your head) makes it much easier to put down the chips and wait until lunch.
I know what you’re thinking… half the fun of working from home is being able to hop out of bed and get to work on the couch in your pajamas! It’s just simply not sustainable. If you’ve been struggling to be productive at home, give these a try. While it can be a major adjustment from working in an office, these five things have made me a happier, healthier, and more productive employee over the last year and I think they’ll do the same for you!
What is your biggest struggle when working from home? Try these out and let me know if they work for you!