Can you wear yoga pants and still be productive when you work from home? Maybe!!!
I have been working from home since 2004, with the exception of the years we were in Germany. I have done quite a few different things from home, from operating an eBay store to freelance writing. These days, I work full-time from home. I have deadlines and things I have to do each day.
There have been times when I have been working from home when I had more flexibility as I was trying to figure out ways to make money online and to build up my income. There have been times when I had very little kids at home and had to work around them, and their needs. Such is the life of a work at home mom.
I have learned a lot from my years working from home. I have made plenty of mistakes. And I feel like I have found some ways I can be productive while working from home. And while working from home when my kids are home is more of a challenge, I am trying to stick to my working from home plan as much as possible.
Here are some tips on being more productive when you working from home:
1) Make lists
You are going to need to stay organized. For me, that is making a lot of lists. I try to make a list every night of what I have to do the next day, breaking it down between my different jobs. I have to see it in writing, otherwise, I start to get a bit panicked about what I might have to do. Writing it all down keeps me grounded and lets me know that I can, in fact, get my to-list done.
2) Watch your time
Time is an interesting thing. When I have nothing to do at home, time can drag. It’s only 2:30? Wasn’t it 2:15 HOURS ago? But when I am in work mode, time seems to fly by, which is both good and bad.
I love having a job where the time goes by fast but that also means I really need to be on top of my time. When I start my workday matters when I plan to quit for the day matters. And I need to be careful I don’t waste time during my work hours. Another reason a list is such a good idea.
3) Wear what YOU need for success
You know how people say you need to put on “real clothes” even if you work from home? Well, I only sorta believe that is true. You have to dress for what YOU need for success.
For some, that means dressing just like you did for the office, for others, yoga pants and pjs work just as well. I know for me, I have to get up, take a shower and put on clean clothes. But I love my yoga pants and wear them often.
I don’t usually do my makeup if I am not going anywhere, but sometimes I do. But figure out what works for you and your work day. What things do you have to do each morning to get into work mode?
4) Connect with others
Connecting with others is a must if you are working from home. Right now, while we all have to be at home, we can’t go out and meet people for lunch or coffee. But, when life goes back to normal, I suggest making plans to do so on a regular basis.
It’s hard to be working without co-workers, but being able to see other people during the week will help with that. Sometimes I can get pretty lonely when I am in my home working during the day. It is so nice to have a little break.
While we all have to be at home, it is important to still connect with others. From video chats, to text messaging, those ways of connecting will help you feel a little less lonely. I find that I need to reach out to my people during the day, even if it is sharing a meme or for a quick chat.
5) Save the big chores for off-work hours
This is something I have played around with a lot. Do I work for two hours and then work on a house project? Should I take cleaning breaks? What about throwing in a load of laundry during the day?
I think what works best for me is to save any big chores for off-work hours, evenings and weekends. I might do a load of dishes, or fold some laundry but other than that I try not to do too much around the house while I am in the middle of my work day.
I want to be in work mode and it is hard to stay that way when I have to take some time for big chores. Again, you have to do what works for you and your schedule.
6) Have work boundaries
This can be SO hard if you are working for yourself. You can literally always be “on” with checking social media or doing other business tasks. However, it is a good idea to have work boundaries.
Don’t take calls after a certain hour, only check your work email before dinner, or figure out other ways to get some of your non-work time back.
When you work from home it is very hard to create good boundaries between work and home. My office is in my living room, so it can be hard sometimes to keep things separate. It’s like I work in my home and my home is at work.
I try not to open my laptop on the weekends if I can help it. That way, I can truly enjoy my time off. I can relax a bit and take time for me and my family, creating a more work/life balance.
7) Take breaks
One of the things I am working on is taking an actual lunch break during my work at home day. Getting off my computer, and eating away from it. It’s hard though.
I think taking breaks is key. I also try to take a break to go work out or take a long walk. When my kids are home, I have to take a lot of kid breaks, but when they are off at school, breaks are still important.
If I was working at an actual office, I would be taking regular breaks. Just because I work from home doesn’t mean I should ignore taking them. Breaks can help you be more productive and make for a healthier work environment.
What do you do from home?