Oh my gosh I just realised I haven’t published a blog post in over a week? I’m so sorry! #BadBlogger
I do have a good excuse though, I promise. Last week (actually in the space of four days) I applied for a job, got an interview, had a second interview AND WAS OFFERED THE POSITION.
That’s right guys, ya gal is no longer unemployed! Can I get a hell yeah??? It’s been about 5 months since I was made redundant and, to be honest, it’s been the hardest time of my life. I’m SO over the moon this horrible time in my life is over.
I start next Monday (13th March) so this week is dedicated to getting as much blog content scheduled as physically possible seeing as I doubt I’ll be wanting to come home and blog in the first few weeks of a brand spanking new job.
Anyway, enough about that, on to the point of the post! Staying productive when working from home is hard, especially if you aren’t used to doing it or struggle with self-discipline.
I started writing this post a few weeks ago and just never finished it. It’s almost completely irrelevant to me now (BECAUSE I GOT A JOB – DID YOU KNOW??) but it may be useful for some of you out there who do work from home and struggle to get motivated. Or if you’re at Uni and struggling to write that essay when you could just binge watch Netflix instead, or if it’s a Saturday afternoon and you need to write that blog post but just can’t seem to do it.
I’ve learned a lot about self-discipline when working from home in the last 5/6 months so just consider this post me sharing my wisdom. Lol.
1. Get up early and maybe also have a shower as well
Getting up when Joe goes to work has a MASSIVE impact on my productivity levels. Even if I just sit in bed for an hour answering emails and scheduling some tweets before properly getting up, I know I’ve got a few easier tasks done to start my day.
Also, showers help. Showers always help.
2. Have an actual workspace that isn’t your bed
I do some work from bed first thing in a morning, like I said above. It’s usually easy stuff I can do whilst I’m coming round and waking up like answering some emails or scheduling some tweets, but my actual workspace is upstairs in the lounge.
I sometimes work at the dining table but often work from the sofa, mainly because I have a bad back and the dining chairs aren’t comfy for me to sit at for a log time. This way, I don’t associate bed with work and I can sit in bed, binge some Netflix and properly wind down in an evening, which is very important.
3. Work to your personal schedule
I work better in an afternoon – specifically from about 2pm to about 6pm. I don’t know why, it’s just always been my most productive time. Sometimes I’m more productive from earlier on, sometimes I carry on MUCH later, but that’s generally when I get most done. I work this to my advantage and plan my day accordingly.
By getting “easier” tasks done in the morning, it leaves the tasks that I personally need more discipline and brain power for my most productive hours. For example, I tend to take photos, reply to emails, schedule tweets and bulk edit some photos in a morning then the afternoon and evening is dedicated to writing and scheduling blog posts.
4. Take regular breaks
Go make a cup of tea, do a bit of washing or watch an episode of Friends every so often. And take an ACTUAL lunch break. It’s so easy to forget actual working hours when you’re working from home, and it’s so easy to over-work yourself. Remember to take breaks to give yourself a bit of headspace.
Equally, don’t take too many breaks. It’s very VERY easy to get distracted and not get enough done. There’s definitely a balance to it. (It took me a while to learn this…)
5. Do less stressful productive things when you’re not feeling it
Not feeling it today? That’s fine. Everyone is allowed down-time. Instead of having a heavy work day, get some background bits done. Clean up your inbox, have a brainstorm session, the sort of tasks that are easy to do but you always find yourself putting off until tomorrow.
6. Mix up your workspace
Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, lacking creativity, unmotivated or just generally feeling a bit blah, I mix up my workspace. Whether that’s moving to a different sofa, working at the dining table or taking myself off to a cafe to work, it always brings me back some motivation and get’s me re-inspired and ready to work.
7. Stop working
As I said before, it’s just as important to know when to switch off as it is to know when to keep working. I usually stop working when Joe gets home from work, unless there’s something with a deadline or something that absolutely needs doing. (Or if I’ve had a super un-productive day and I choose to work into the evening instead.) It just gives you the same distance from work as it would with you coming home from the office and switching off.
I also totally switch off from work if I’m getting stressed, flustered and frustrated with something. I’ll go for a walk, nip to the supermarket, go to the gym, do some out-of-the-house errands or anything similar to get myself out of the house and completely away from the work environment to give my brain a break. I can guarantee I’ll come back, get back to work and the task that previously felt impossible is much easier.
If you think I’ve missed out any awesome tips (I read on Sophie’s blog that putting shoes on helps productivity levels??? Not tried that one!) leave them in the comments for other people to read – share your wisdom!