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6 Ways To Stay Productive When You Work From Home

15/04/2019

One of the things I never thought would be a problem when I started working for myself was being productive. 

I always thought it was something I was good at. 

Almost ever project I’ve ever created has been finished at least a week before the deadline, and I’ve managed to balance this blog, a relationship and three different university projects all at once before. 

6 Ways To Stay Productive When You Work From Home • Black New Look Bag and Beige Scarf

But that was when I had been given a very clear brief and goal to work towards. 

When you’re self employed you’re the one making that brief, which can be a lot harder to do than I originally thought it would be!

[Related: 4 Reasons That I Love Being Self Employed]

Its hard to keep yourself motivated and productive when you’re the one in charge of everything, and I’ve had to do a bit of trial and error to find the things that work for me personally.

Get Dressed 

If there’s one thing I’ve realised since becoming self employed is that sitting in your pjs all day is the death of productivity. 

Plus the novelty wears off pretty quickly! 

This year I’ve made a conscious effort to get dressed, do my hair and even put a little bit of makeup on every day. I’d seen a lot of other freelancers talk about how it helped them feel more productive, and shift them into “work mode” when working from home. 

Ways To Stay Productive When You Work From Home #1 - Get Dressed

I always thought that something as small as what I was wearing wouldn’t have an effect on my productivity, but I’ve actually been surprised at how much of a boost its given me. 

The only time I don’t is if I’m ill, in which case I think I can be forgiven for having a pj day!

Take Regular Breaks 

I used to struggle with taking breaks until I came up with a few ways to take them, while still feeling productive. 

I break my to-do list up into little goals and tasks, and then intermix them with other tasks that I need to do like ironing, putting a wash in or picking some bits up from the local shop. 

These are all tasks that I need to do anyway, but doing when between tasks means that I’m taking a break from business related tasks and also resting my eyes from constantly looking at a screen. 

However I make sure to take a real break at dinner. 

I’ll grab a book, make a drink and take an hour out of my day to let my mind relax and enjoy some time to myself. 

[Related: The 5 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To In 2019]

My brain has a way of subconsciously working on ideas while I’m doing something else, so usually I come back from this break with lots of new ideas and a few paragraphs of a blog post written! 

Drink Enough Water 

This is so important and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t drink anywhere near enough as I should. 

Drinking 8 cups of water a day sounds difficult, but one of the ways I try to make sure I hit that is to have a big bottle of water next to me wherever I’m working. 

Ways To Stay Productive When You Work From Home #2 - Take Regular Breaks

It sounds daft but just having it next to me does actually encourage me to drink more, and I’ve noticed I get a lot fewer headaches since I started drinking more throughout the day. 

Plus I’ve noticed my skin isn’t anywhere near as dry as it used to be! 

It might not seem like an obvious step to take to improve productivity, but keeping hydrated has helped with my energy and motivation – especially now I’m not getting constant headaches. 

Avoid Netflix 

Okay so confession time; I’m actually typing this while watching Making A Murderer…again! 

While I will occasionally have Netflix on in the background if I’m just designing graphics or answering emails, but if I’m doing something like writing a post or creating a new product for my resource library I try to avoid it. 

It’s just too distracting! 

[Related: The Top 5 Crime Documentaries You Need To Watch On Netflix]

I can quite happily just work in silence and in fact I do most days, but I know a lot of people can’t, which is why sites like Coffitivity are brilliant. 

It makes it sound like you’re in a coffee shop, which means you have some kind of background noise without the risk of it distracting you. 

Time Block 

This is something I’ve used before when I was doing my undergrad, but I never really got on with it. 

I’ve always preferred to just get stuck into a task and see here the flow takes me, rather than blocking out stick times to do things. 

Not exactly the most productive use of my time!

Then Holly explained on her instastories how to use time blocking properly and I finally found something that worked for me. 

Harry Potter Books • Coffee • Keep Cup • Hygge

I block out the general structure of my day on Google Calander and then use the “Tasks” section on the side to write out any tasks I have to do. 

I start out with big tasks such as “write new blog post” and then I’ll add little sub tasks such as “write first draft”, “take photos”, “edit photos” etc. 

This is something I’ve started doing to stop myself getting overwhelmed by everything I have to do – something that I’ve struggled with quite a bit in the past. 

But when it comes to the time blocking itself, I keep it really vague such as “admin”, “university” or “content creation”. This means that I know what I want to be doing in that time, but still gives me flexibility and freedom to do whichever task I want. 

Keep Track Of Everything 

This is important as a business owner anyway, but keeping track of each project or idea separately is something that has been a real help to be as a business owner. 

I originally used to use Trello (and I still do for some things) but after reading one of Vix’s recent posts, I’ve made the switch over to Airtable. 

I love being able to separate everything while still keeping the overall project in one place. 

the cozy club banner

It has so many other features such as drop down menus, tick boxes, creating formulas like in Excel, pulling information from other sheets in Airtable and even creating forms. 

I’ve spent the last week building up an entirely new system for my business on there, and its been a brilliant way to keep track of coaching clients, eBook sales and new ideas for my resource library. 

They also have a huge library of templates you can use for free to get you started! 

How do you stay productive when working from home?

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6 Ways To Stay Productive When You Work From Home

9 responses to “6 Ways To Stay Productive When You Work From Home”

  1. Nyxinked says:

    These tips are so helpful. I used to sit around all day in my PJ’s during my time at home, but now I get up and get dressed, hydrate, do yoga and try my hardest to force myself into breaks!

    Pinning this for all the bloggers / writers who might need some tips 😉

  2. As someone who also works from home, I know what you mean about struggling with productivity. I never imagined it would be a problem before, but there are definitely days where I don’t want to get out of bed or do anything other than chill with my family. In fact, I’ve just had one of these days today, but these tips are super useful to make sure it doesn’t turn into a week of similar days! I love the idea of time-blocking the way you mentioned; I did try the other way, where you’re super specific about things, but nothing went to plan and I found myself getting so frustrated that I would have been without it. I’ll definitely have to look into the Google sheets way of doing it, though!

  3. Great post! As you know, I’m self employed but thankfully, I’ve always been good at staying productive. I have my odd days here and there where literally NOTHING will help but I’ve learnt to accept them and not force it because anything I try and create when I’m in that mindset is going to be rubbish haha! Drinking enough water is a big one – getting dehydrated in the middle of the day can really do you in!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

  4. Kim says:

    These are some great tips. I don’t work from home but I do work on my blog at home, so these were definitely come in handy. Staying well hydrated is very important, I find that I’ll end up with headaches otherwise.

  5. Anuja says:

    Hello dear, Amazing post.I really searching for this and here i found your amazing tips..Hope your tips will work.Thank you for useful tips.

  6. Elen Mai says:

    I needed this! I’ve got a lot of free time over the Summer so I’m using it to focus on my blog but I’m SO rubbish at staying productive when I work at home. The time flies by and before I know it it’s 9pm! xx
    El // Welsh Wanderer

  7. Jade Marie says:

    I hope these tips can help you then! It’s so easy to get caught up in other things when you work from home though, especially if you don’t have a dedicated office room 😅 xx

  8. I really enjoyed this post. Everything you said is doable and I will definitely be using some of these ideas when I’m working from home!

  9. Jade Marie says:

    I’m really glad you enjoyed it and found some helpful tips to use yourself 🙂

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HI THERE!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m a twenty-five-year-old digital media graduate with a passion for writing and a desire to change the way we view mental health and autism. I’ve owned jademarie.co.uk for nearly two years now, and its slowly changed from a place where I would brain dump whatever was going through my head that day, into a place where people can come for help, advice and hopefully a bit of a laugh. I do occasionally come out with a witty sentence or two. Mostly by accident.

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