Hello friends! Today I’m back to talk about how to be productive while working from home and how to handle the pull to social media, Netflix, and wanting to do literally anything but work.
Let me back up. After starting my new job a little over a month ago, I had a few weeks of downtime where I did online learning modules and training. Training, getting situated, and waiting for a project, I was pretty bored. This is typical of an entry level campus hire at my firm. When I finally was on a project, I was ready to start racking up those miles and hotel points, and being productive. However, the excitement got shut down since my first project was remote!
After talking to a few others, apparently, this isn’t all that common. So of course, with it being my first project, I want to make the most of it and learn as much as I can from the experience. Since I just came out of a three-month summer vacation, it was hard to getting back into the swing of things without the sudden jolt of working at a client site every day with a team. Working from home can be difficult and I’m still getting adjust to it but here are some of the top things that have been helping with productivity!
Create a designated work space
Although I need to reserve a space to work if I need to go into the office, there’s always the break rooms on each floor with coffee. However, there isn’t really a reason why I’d go in since I’d be working alone since my team is remote and parking is insanely expensive. So, my alternative plan is working from my desk at home.
I moved in with a desk, office chair, and the remainder of my school supplies from grad school so I was technically all set up right away. The issue was that the first few weeks when I wasn’t doing much, I sat in front of my TV, on my couch, and put extra boxes, papers, and knick knacks as I settled into my new apartment. When I did focus on my project, it was pretty cramped and I was tempted to migrate back to my couch.
If you’re in the same boat, resist the urge! Take 10-15 minutes and clean up the mess. A decluttered space makes for a productive space. Find a good, bright spot in your home that has enough room for a desk, chair, and anything else you need. Having this spot is the first hurdle, the second is to make it a place you actually want to sit at. Get a comfy chair and personalize the space to your taste with plants, photos, nice stationary, or a cool desk lamp. To get focused, create an environment without distractions… that means no Netflix! Whenever you sit in that chair, it’s the switch to turn on work mode.
Pretend like you’re going to an office
Instead of heading to an office all day, you’re just going to head to your distraction-free desk!
Set your alarm for a reasonable but early time like you would if you had to go somewhere first thing in the morning. Do what you need to do to get ready for the day like taking a shower, wearing real clothes (no pajamas!), and putting on makeup. I wake up around 7:30, shower, eat breakfast, and start my day.
I wear comfortable clothes like jeans, leggings, or a casual dress so I still feel like I’m doing something during the day but I’m not so comfortable that I want to lay on my couch or in bed. I’m not really a “morning person” but waking up at 7/7:30 am is early enough for me to feel like I’m starting the day early and making sure I have enough hours in the day to work, workout, relax, and make dinner.
Set a schedule
Since we’re pretending like we’re working, let’s set a schedule while we’re at it. Obviously setting your exact working hours can vary depending on your job or lifestyle but doing so will help you prevent burnout and be more productive.
I think the two most important times to schedule is lunch and the end of your work day. This is because both can seem to drag on and mess up your entire day of productivity. If your lunch time is thirty minutes to an hour, friends can’t turn lunch into a day of fun. Alternatively, if your work day ends at 5 or 6, you won’t be working all night long preventing you from decompressing (necessary for not burning out!) or missing out on fun family time.
At the end of your day, separate yourself from work. This goes for any working individual but taking a walk, going to a fitness class, or cooking dinner with roommates or family will help you get out of “working” mode into relaxing and decompressing mode.
How are you productive when working from home? Leave your tips down below!
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