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Tips for Staying Productive While Working From Home

Nick Hiley April 5, 2024 · 5 min read

For many, the idea of working from home sounds like the dream job. You wake up when you want, work in your underwear and watch reruns of Friends in the background while checking Twitter between productivity sessions. These are the kinds of things I did for the first couple of weeks when I started, and it soon became clear that I wasn’t productive enough or motivated to do the work. In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how you can start your career from home while staying productive, motivated and healthy, because the truth is, working with the TV on is very distracting and wearing nothing but underwear all day really gets depressing!


tip-1

With any regular job, you wake up (usually in the morning), get dressed, have your breakfast then off you go to work for the day. This routine prepares you for what work you do throughout the day. I however, would wake up around 10:00am, open my laptop while slouched on my couch half dressed and start work. After about a week of working like this, my workflow deteriorated and not much work would get done. Remote work should be treated like any other job. I don’t mean you have to wear your best suit, but wake up at a reasonable hour and wear something respectable. It’s also very important to never skip breakfast and as you’re working from home, you could have whatever you like!


tip-2

At the end of a day’s work, no matter how much I got done, I would feel like I hadn’t accomplished much. I didn’t give myself goals to aim for and this allowed me to do the bare minimum and simply call it a day. Before starting work, try writing down a checklist of what tasks you want to get done in that day. Each task doesn’t even have to be a big or complex one, it essentially gives you a clear path to work on throughout the day. Plus, if you manage to complete a full checklist before you check out, you can sit back and relax feeling very smug about yourself.


tip-3

Working on your couch doesn’t get you in the right frame of mind for work. There are too many distractions like television and, in my case, family members. Instead, head on down to Ikea and grab yourself a desk and all the essentials of a professional work environment. Get set up in a room where there won’t be any distractions. Working like this really makes you more productive. However, it also gets boring, and being isolated drives me crazy so it’s a good idea to vary where you work once in a while. Working remotely means you have more freedom than a regular job, so you could spend your day at the local coffee shop and take advantage of their free WIFI (as long as you buy a coffee every twenty minutes). You might even want to hire out a personal workspace with ShareDesk. If all else fails, libraries are the perfect place to get stuck into your work (and yes, they still exist).


tip-4

Sitting at your desk for hours at a time can get really frustrating. You become less focused and your work slows down. Avoid this by doing what you would do at any other job and take a break. I tend to give myself 30 minutes break for every 4 hours I work. During this time I have my lunch and do an activity that doesn’t involve a screen of some sort. Another good point to make is that you could stick to a set amount of hours to work in a day. This would help you organize your time better and to make sure you don’t over work yourself. I prefer to work in 4 hour blocks and try not to work more than 16 hours in a day.


tip-5

When you mix your work life and personal life together, there aren’t many reasons why you should leave the house. In order to stop myself from going insane, I would go for a run each morning a dedicate some time per week to spend time with friends, go shopping or whatever was on the cards. Although there is a blurred line between professional and personal life when working remote, it is possible and important to keep them separate.

What Works for You?

To conclude, I want to say that this article was not intended to put your off the idea of working from home because once you get the ball rolling, remote work is great! You have so much more freedom than working at a regular job, you just need to make sure you’re paying the bills by staying productive. These are just a few things I do to stay productive and healthy when working from home. I’d like to hear what it’s like for you at home and what you do to stay on top of work. Leave a comment below!


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About the Author
Author
Nick Hiley

Founder of King Digital, a digital design studio for small businesses and startups.

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