It’s crazy to think that we’ve been home since March and it’s almost August! Somedays I’m bored out of my mind and other days I have so much work to do but I don’t have any motivation to get what I need done. Not to mention that I am distracted by ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. But after 3 months I think I finally have found a way to stay productive while working from home that will get me through the next couple of months.
Making a schedule has literally become my life and now since I’m home 24/7 it has become an even bigger part of my life. Since I work from home and there’s not many places I can go to have fun, I’ve created a schedule that helps stay productive while letting me have breaks and “get off work” at a decent time. For example, since I’m home it’s so easy to get distracted during lunch especially when I decide to watch a show. I’ve fixed this problem by limiting my lunch for an hour (typically between 12-1 PM). This helps me to stay on task; and even if I am watching a show it helps for me to mentally tell myself it’s time to go back to work. Having a schedule has truly help me stay on task during this time where home has also become the office.
In addition to creating a schedule, I’ve found it super useful to get a second planner just for my personal life. I know it sounds a little crazy to keep up with two planners but let’s face it, working from home can get hectic. I use my planner that I was using for the school year as my work planner. This is where I add in Zoom meetings, phone conferences, and everything in between. I picked up a self-care planner from Michael’s and I absolutely love it! I used this planner in order to help me with my personal life, such as doctor’s appointments, vet appointments, birthday’s, and family functions. I highly suggest using two planners, it will make your life so much easier!
In the beginning of working remote I noticed that I was getting burned out by 2:30/3PMish. I realized that I was working straight through the day and since I was home I was eating while working and not taking any breaks. I’ve found it important for me to take breaks throughout the day even if it’s just for 15 min. to walk my dog. It helps me get my blood flowing and have like a mini re-energizing break. There’re still some days where I have to work straight through the day, but overall I try to take a break so that I don’t become burned out.
Since the majority of us are used to going into work and then coming home to relax, I’ve found it important to make some type of separation between home and work. Whether that be you sitting at a specific table or putting your desk in a corner and calling it your “office.” My apartment floor plan is 2 bedroom/2.5 bath townhome, so I use my downstairs as my office area and my upstairs as my “home.” Luckily our half-bath is downstairs, so I have no reason to go upstairs during the day since everything I need for work is downstairs. It helps a lot, because I originally had my desk in my bedroom and being so close to my bed constantly made me want to take a nap; or seeing clothes I need to put up would distract me, so I would have to do that right away. Having a separate space for work helps balance out what is work and what is play.
Working from home can get boring really quick, so I like to give myself mini rewards for staying productive while working from home. Whether that be having food delivered from one of my favorite restaurants or rewarding myself with a glass of wine later that night, I try to reward myself. It may sound weird to reward yourself for doing things that you’re supposed to do, but you 100% should. We’re all navigating work, school, relationships, mental health, and everything in between in the middle of a pandemic. We’ve been quarantined for almost 5 months! So reward yourself, because each day is a HUGE accomplishment!
I hope some of these tips help you stay productive while working from home. What are some of your ways you like to stay productive while working from home?