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How to be productive working from home

If you're working from home, freelancing, or working remotely, here are my top tips as a work from home pro to stay productive during the day.

We all had to figure out a way to work from home this past year. Some of us are slowly going back into the office while some are still working from home. I think it’s safe to say we all thought working from home is a lot harder than we thought. There are so many distractions at home.

Here are 5 tips on how to be productive while working from home. 

1. Name the distractions

What is the distraction? Where to even start. We are constantly distracted. For me, its having the TV on as “background noise”. Something will catch my eye, and I’ll sit, watch a little bit. Then next thing I know, it’s been an hour. Or I’ll go to post on TikTok or Instagram and end up scrolling for an hour. Ah!

A tip that I learned from my life coach is to name the distraction. Remember a time when that thing wasn’t a distraction. Visualize the environment, and recreate that environment so it’s no longer a distraction. Now I play background music. Spotify is amazing because they have so many options. I wouldn’t recommend listening to a book or podcast in case you want to take notes.

2. Plan your day

Plan either the day before or as you get started for the day. Find what works best for you. I personally do a combination of both. Before I end my day, I make a list of the top 3 things I want to get done tomorrow. Then before I get started I check the list again to see if everything is still a priority.

Another tip is batching like items. For example, Wednesday is when I do the majority of my writing. I call it Writing Wednesday. Batching items have made life so much easier and freed up my to-do list. I read in a book (I don’t remember the name) but the author said our brains are lazy. The more options we have the more overwhelmed we get and nothing gets accomplished.

Do the hardest thing on your to-do list first and you’ll feel so accomplished to get the rest of your list done. You can also block out your day in 2-hour increments or whatever time block works best for you. My trainer recommends I get up and walk around every 2 hours, eat a protein bar or drink a shake to break up the time I spend sitting at my desk.

3. Have a Specific Spot to Work

Get out of bed! The bed is made for sleeping. If we do our work from the bed, it confuses our brain. When it is time for sleep the brain won’t want to turn off. Having a specific spot for work lets our brain know that we are going to work. Even with small spaces this still works, I set up my laptop on the kitchen table. Getting my “office” set up, go grab my drink and come back ready to work.

Another great tip is getting ready for the day. If we stay in our jammies, the brain doesn’t realize that we need to work. Getting up and getting ready like we are going into the office helps prep our day. When I am working, I leave my shoes on.

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Plus when we look our best we feel our best and in turn are more productive!

4. Set A Timer

Similar to planning your day. There is a study that says how long you dedicate time to something is how long it is going to take you. For example, if you say you are going to dedicate 3 hours to a certain task you are going to take all 3 hours to complete the task. Even if it might only take you 2 hours. You are going to use all the allotted time for the task. Schedule shorter times to see how much you really get accomplished and use a timer!

A popular techinique is Pomodoro. Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on certain tasks, when the timer goes off enjoy a 5-minute break. Then continue for 4 more rounds. Every 4 increments, the breaks get longer.

5. Stand Up

During the breaks in the previous tip, STAND!! Walk around. Our body is not meant to be stationary. We are made for movement. Try to stand for at least 5 minutes every hour. Need something to do? Try 10 reps of squats or lunges.

If moving and exercising aren’t you, use this time to fill up your water, pick up around the house. Whatever you want to do with that time, use it wisely. Then get back to work.

What works for you? Drop your productivity tips below.