How to Stay Productive While At Home
Updated: Apr 20
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A lot of people have been sent to work from home for their normal office job creating a new shift in their everyday routine. This shift can be difficult and it typically disrupts efficiency so how can you stay productive while at home? I've rounded up some tips that work for MY work-at-home style AND Mark's work-at-home style.
Since we've moved back to Omaha, I haven't picked up a job. Instead, I've been working on growing my blog and starting my own side project to help with small businesses, bloggers, event planners and more. You can learn more about that here. I've been putting in some long hours alongside my husband whose engineering firm sent them home a couple of weeks ago amid the global pandemic. So here are a couple of changes we made to help us focus the best we can while working from home.
Mark got a new desk that's big enough to have his 2-3 computers and monitors on it. To go along with it, he bought a new chair (both from Amazon) to help provide him some more back support. It truly does make a difference because he doesn't feel the need to stand up every 10 minutes to stretch anymore.
2.) Get a Planner
I have always lived off of a written planner. Some people swear by their Google Calendar (from experience this helps tremendously when you're working with clients or collaborating with other coworkers frequently). My planner holds everything I want to do for the month, week, and day. I try to keep the tasks simple since this IS a weird time in history and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have emotional breakdowns every now and then. Give yourself grace, but staying organized does help!
3.) Take Needed Breaks
Our breaks are almost due to our dog needing to go out. We take him out once in the morning, we go for our walk in the afternoon, and we take him out before we go to bed. My schedule is all over the place due to online seminars, blog/social media posts, etc. so these breaks are ALWAYS much needed. Plus they help me reach my daily goal of walking at least 10,000 steps! :)
4.) Update Your Workspace
Adding some art (even your own!), some flowers, or family photos to your workspace truly helps liven up the area. Stay focused and organized by working in a place you feel comfortable in. Adding some more decor can also help spark some creativity if you're lacking in that department from being stuck at home.
5.) Eat Properly
With constant access to food, it's easy to eat, and eat, and eat. Don't do this! Eat when you're actually hungry. Sticking to my normal office routine of eating times has helped eliminate the need to constant snacking or ordering food to our place. Here's my simple schedule:
7:30 AM: Wake-Up
8:00 AM: Make a cup (or two) of coffee
12:00 PM: Eat lunch
3:00 PM: After walk snack (I usually only have one if I do my yoga routine in the afternoon)
5:30 PM: Start preparing dinner
6:00 PM: Eat dinner
9:00 PM: Some ice cream for dessert
This routine helps ME but as you can probably guess, Mark doesn't really follow this rule. He eats meals the same time I do, but he typically will add in other times for snacks.
6.) Create a Routine or Schedule That Works for You
Mark has to stay pretty confined with his company's schedule BUT he has a lot of freedom of when he takes breaks. He has also learned that he can't simply roll out of bed and be productive right off the bat, so he will typically play with the dog and walk around before he sits down at his desk. His schedule aligns with mine on most days (see above). Creating a routine that works for you is important to provide the best results you can while remaining productive even when you don't want to be. The next best thing to go alongside a schedule? Discipline.
7.) Know Your Big To-Do's and Your Little To-Do's
What do you need to get done this month? This week? What deadlines are approaching? (This is where a trusty planner comes in great!) Knowing what your big goals/to-dos are will help you create the little to-do's to keep on track for any upcoming meetings or deadlines you need to hit.
8.) Stay Hydrated!
Adding some art (even your own!), some flowers or family photos to your workspace truly helps liven up the area. Stay focused and organized by working in a place you feel comfortable in. Adding some more decor can also help spark some creativity if you're lacking in that department from being stuck at home.
9.) Go Easy on Yourself
Remember, we are living through a weird time in history. We are all dealing with different struggles. Maybe a family member is sick, maybe YOU'RE sick. Maybe you're dealing with depression or know of someone who is. Do NOT beat yourself up if there are a couple of items that don't get checked-off at the end of the week. Most people are aware of what's going on in the world, and just want you to be okay. I want you to be okay.
10.) Call a Friend or Family Member
Don't just go easy on yourself, but go easy on the ones around you. Call or check-in with friends, family members, co-workers, etc. Not only will this give you a necessary break, but you and whoever you reach out to will feel better after chatting. We need human connection now more than ever. You're not bothering anyone when you pick up your phone.
11.) Keep in Mind That This Won't Last Forever
Everything is temporary, including this working-from-home time in history. Stay focused, stay organized, stay passionate about your work and know that what you're doing is TRULY making a difference in the world.
What are some of your favorite ways to remain productive? Have you learned any little tricks while being away from the office? What does your new schedule or routine look like? I would love to hear any ideas you have! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Again, I would just like to say THANK YOU to all of those who don't get the opportunity to work from home. Those who are face-to-face with this pandemic, whether you're a nurse or doctor, a grocery store worker, or a truck driver. Many of you don't get the opportunity to stay home and instead, you're out there risking your lives as well as your family's lives to help save the world. You're appreciated more than you'll ever know.
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