Working from home can prove incredibly convenient both time-wise and cost-wise. However, if – like me – you often work from home, it’s all too easy to find yourself sitting cross legged in your favourite pyjamas at 2PM.
The staple lunch salad, made up of lettuce leaves, chopped tomatoes and olive oil (it’s not basic and cheap, it’s #scandi #minimalism) has been consumed (this was done during an article writeup, of course) and you’re now back to the daily grind; one hand holding your coffee and another typing on your laptop.
Whilst you’ve already spent hours working that day, you can feel yourself reaching a creative burnout. You’re staring at a blank new document and all you can see is the attractiveness of having a nap.
Fast forward to 7PM, you wakeup on the sofa simultaneously refreshed and confused, unsure whether the sun has just set or just risen. Your laptop is asleep beside you, and you wake it up to find out what time it is.
You find yourself staring back at that blank document.
A couple of scrolls through Twitter to see what you missed during your disorientating nap, and everyone else working from home fills your feed with pictures of their beautifully arranged home office space, with captions including how grateful they are to be able to complete so many important tasks from the comfort of their own home.
You realise that it’s time for you to figure out how to be productive when working from home.
I thought I’d talk you through my top tips for bringing your best self to work, when that work takes place at home.
1. Build a consistent morning routine.
This might include working out, but must include a generous breakfast (I recommend belvita, yoghurt, fruit juice and a coffee) and a cold shower that’ll wake you up properly!
2. Get dressed!
As tempting as it is to stay in soft and cosy pyjamas all day, putting on a new outfit (even if it’s simply a pair of soft trousers and a comfortable tshirt) will give your mindset the refresh it needs.
3. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
It’s easy to forget but vital to remember. Perhaps invest in a nice water bottle that fits in nicely with your desk set up or layout.
4. Create a space that allows you to be your most productive.
When you sit down to work, your desk area (or kitchen table) should be totally clean and clear. There are, of course, the exceptions. Here’s what I’d recommend for the ideal working space:
– Your laptop
– Your daily journal
– A pen/pencil
– Your mobile phone (face down to avoid distraction, but within reach should you need to make a quick call)
– A cup of coffee
– Your favourite snack (anything from vegetable crisps to chocolate digestives – you do you!)
– Task-related essentials (notes, USB, memory card, etc.)
– Stay cool – invest in a small, silent fan (I’d recommend this one from MUJI!)
5. Minimise potential distractions.
Don’t turn the TV on. Work in the quietest room in your home, if possible. If you want to listen to music, use a Spotify playlist so that you don’t need to keep skipping tracks, play songs that don’t have words, and try to listen to songs you don’t know so that you can’t distracted by singing along!
6. Take regular breaks away from your screen.
To avoid digital and creative burnout, as well as square eyes (did anyone else get threatened with that as a child?), make sure to take regular breaks that involve doing non-work-related activities, from baking to reading to getting some fresh air.
7. Set yourself working hours.
Despite the paradox of the outdated 9AM to 5PM format, it is worth setting yourself certain hours to stick to. Make sure to schedule the aforementioned breaks, too.
8. Make a list for the following day.
At the end of each working-from-home day, take the time to make a list of things to do the following day. Whether that’s tasks that are only be able to be started then, or tasks that you didn’t quite manage to complete today. Either way, you’re taking the pressure off yourself the following day so you can avoid struggling to remember key priorities and enjoy your morning routine for what it is – time to refresh, reenergise and recharge.
I hope you find at least one of these tips helpful – let me know your advice for maximum productivity when working from home!
photos: www.theannaedit.com (her office is the dream!)