Last updated on March 19th, 2020 at 05:10 pm
Never thought I’d be talking about this, but here are a few tricks that might help you if you need to be working from home and actually getting things done.
I don’t quite remember when my transition to this full-time work from home situation happened. All I know is it took me quite a while to figure out how to stay productive when working from home and not just go down a rabbit hole of watching videos and making myself snacks whenever things got challenging at work and I didn’t feel like doing what I knew I was supposed to do.
How To Work From Home
So if you need to be working from home right now, here are my best tips:
1. It’s still work
That means wake up on time, get dressed, put makeup on, keep your desk tidy and be disciplined to do what needs to get done. Working from home doesn’t mean watching Friends in your PJs. Treat it as work and get ready – it will put you in that work mode.
2. Avoid distractions
You’d think this shouldn’t be that hard when you’re alone at home, but today distractions are everywhere whether you have kids, parents or dogs or plants living in the same space as you. I’m talking about your phone, the 10 open tabs on your computer, social media and the kitchen. Make sure to have a minimum amount of tabs open and to use a Pomodoro timer to stay focused on your tasks and as a reminder to take mini-breaks.
If you are distracted by others, either set actual boundaries by saying “I work from…until… we can talk later.” Or wake up early before those people and get your most important work done when it’s quiet.
3. Define your priorities
One of the most challenging things about working from home is that it’s hard to draw a line. Work never ends and it’s hard to choose what to do next. Therefore you need to define your priorities every day and stay focused on them. Define 3-5 important things you want to get done, things that will have the biggest impact when it comes to reaching your work goals and work on them first.
4. Use your breaks
And by breaks, I don’t mean taking a break to look at Instagram. I mean breaks to get up, move a little bit and do something that will rejuvenate you. Maybe you go out on the balcony a little bit, meditate or even do a 5-minute yoga workout. If you’ve got a 20-minute break you could even nap. You’re at home after all.
5. Have a plan
I usually make a plan for the week. I define my top 3 goals for that period and I list the tasks that need to get done. Then I work off of that list every day. This is super simple, but it has changed everything for me. Being clear on what you need to do and why you need to do it, is key.
Whether you schedule things or not – depends on what you like. I like flexibility, so I decide what to do at the moment. If I have, let’s say, 20 minutes I can look at my list and choose a task that I can finish within that time frame. I don’t need to start a task I know will take me 3-4 hours, because I know I won’t finish it. Speaking of…
A half-way done task isn’t done. Finish whatever you start within that day. Always keep this in mind when you’re starting to do something – that you have two goals: do your best and finish, don’t overpolish.
It’s easy to start something new. It’s exciting and it seems like it will change everything. Finishing is the hard part. Once you get to the things you don’t feel like doing and you’re 2 hours into work, you’ll want to quit. Take a break, then get back.
If the task is too big – break it down into a checklist and work on that checklist. It’s better to have finished one thing, than to have 5 half-done projects. You might never come back to them.
7. Procrastinate On Non-essential Work
We’ve all heard this, but it’s true. Cleaning up your inbox, looking at your social media and doing small nice-to-do tasks shouldn’t be on your priority list every day. You could dedicate an entire day to small tasks like that or have an hour for that later in the day, but don’t start with these things too early.
Now, it’s time to get started and go ahead and do what you need to get done today. You’ll feel happy and accomplished if you start with your priorities!