How To: Enjoy Working From Home & Be Productive

I’ve been working from home for the past 14 months and honestly can say that I love it.

That being said, I have finessed my routine to make it work for me in a way that is enjoyable and productive. This will take a little trial and error on your part. Since there’s no knowing how long many of you will be working from home, embrace it as an experiment and I hope these strategies and insights help you!

The Night Before

A great workday starts the night before! There’s probably some temptation to sleep in later than normal, but I would urge you to still wake up within an hour of when you normally would.

Set an appointment on your calendar for when your workout will be the next day. I highly recommend doing your workout in the morning for a few reasons:

  1. You’ll start the day feeling accomplished.
  2. You’ll get a boost of energy/feel more awake after it.
  3. There’s less opportunities for conference calls to pop up or your lack of motivation to get in the way.

If it’s a rest day, do a walk or some yoga/mobility at this time instead so that you stay in the routine!

In The Morning

As mentioned above, you’ll exercise. This could even be a walk; just do something to get your blood flowing with a little extra luster.

Chug some water before sitting down with your cup of coffee or tea and plan your day. You are going to use one of two strategies (you can test them both).

Two Organizational Strategies

  • The Time Block Strategy: This strategy is best for procrastinators or those new to working from home who need STRUCTURE. It does not mean you have less willpower if you need to always use this strategy. Some strategies just work better for some than others.
    • Plan your day: Take 10-15 minutes with your coffee and schedule out your hours of the day, assigning different tasks or meetings within those time blocks. I recommend trying 35 or 55 minutes time blocks and see which you prefer. You can schedule out these time blocks on paper or on your online calendar. Many of you will think you can skip this step — you would be wrong. πŸ˜‰
    • Start your first time block and conquer the most important tasks or tasks you least want to do first.
    • Reward yourself with 5-10 minutes mini breaks where you can do a quick walk (outside or in your home), surf the web freely, read a book, dance around, whatever!
    • Set a timer for each 35 or 55 minute time block. During this time you cannot text people back, check your email, surf the web etc. Save that for your break time!
    • Enjoy your lunch break and eat it without looking at a screen. Get outside for a walk if you can. (I walk outside in -15 and snowing, so you can probably get out there ;)).
    • Do something to signify that your “work day” is done. Go outside for a walk, call a friend, shut your computer and put your planner away. Go to a different room.
  • The Checklist Strategy: This is a strategy I recommend for those who tend not to be procrastinators or have conquered the above strategy. (I switched from time based to checklist after about 3 months of working from home.)
    • Plan your day: Take 5-10 minutes with your coffee and organize your tasks in your planner or in a google doc from most to least important.
    • Knock off the most important tasks first or depending on deadlines, whatever needs to be done first.
    • Try to have a designated time for phone calls each day (I try to schedule mine in the afternoon so that I have all morning to get other things done).
    • Just like in the time block strategy: reward yourself with mini breaks when completing tasks, go on short walks after completing tasks and do something to signify that your “work day” is done.

Other Tips

  • For me, one of the perks of working from home means I can be in my leggings and a comfy top all day. I don’t think you need to “Dress up” and do a full face of make up so that you still are productive. However, I wouldn’t suggest staying in your pajamas and not brushing your hair. Be somewhere near how you would present yourself for “Netflix & Chill”.
  • Get outside at least once in the day. I don’t care if it’s raining, snowing or super cold. In those times, I throw on my ski pants and tell myself I’m walking for even just FIVE MINUTES. It will be worth it I promise and you’ll feel a little proud of yourself.
  • Put your phone in another room when necessary.
  • Talk out-loud sometimes. SOUNDS WEIRD, I KNOW. But after a few weeks of working from home, I realized that only talking in your head can drive you a little crazy πŸ˜‰ Read something aloud, call someone instead of email or just sing along with a song. I have no idea why, but it feels good to not be completely mute all day.
  • Switch up where you work from throughout the day. Some may say to have a designated work area and that may be great, but I usually work from 2-3 different areas during the day. My favorite is on the floor with my computer on the couch (it’s an oddly perfect computer height set up). Move around, a change of scenery can do us good.
  • Start to feel the energy slump? Energy is created by MOVING. Lying on the couch will not lead to an increase in energy. Jumping around for a minute, take a quick walk or do some bodyweight squats tocreate energy. Don’t underestimate the power of blood flow.

Did these tips help you? Have tips of your own? Share them in the comments!

1 thought on “How To: Enjoy Working From Home & Be Productive

  1. Travers, Martin G. (Marty) March 18, 2020 — 1:15 am

    Great message Katelyn. I am now a work from home person and will put your ideas into my routine.

    Martin G. Travers
    Black & Veatch
    Mobile # 913 226 7696

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