How To Be Productive When Working From Home

I really enjoyed sharing what a day in my life looks like with you all a few weeks ago.

I love posting things like this (and just posting in general) because it sparks conversation and allows me to hear what you guys do on a day-to-day basis. I feel like I “know” so many of you by screen name and Instagram handle, but I’ve only been fortunate enough to chat with a handful of you in person.

I did learn that many of you work from home! Whether you are working remote or just pursuing your side hustle this summer, I know that many of you spend the 9-5 work day in your apartment, attempting to make your dreams come true and/or launch your career while trying not to get too sucked in to Fixer Upper re-runs or the pint of Ben & Jerry’s in your freezer.

I’m very familiar with working from home. During the school year, I blog and study from my desk in my room most hours of the day and last summer I interned for my dad’s company and worked from the garage-turned-home-office. This summer, I get off work around 2:30 and get on my laptop for blogging, video editing, and emails for CWH until about 6 p.m.

You have to be dedicated and diligent, and I’ve found that there are a few key tips that have really helped me.

Let’s consider this an update to this post where I shared some tips over a year ago. I’m adding to the list now because, like I said, I’ve learned more as I’ve continued to work from home, and want to share that with you girl bosses.

Prep your meals and have designated meal times

You will have to continue to step away from your work if you need to fix an entire meal or go out for food because you don’t have any groceries. Try meal prepping some simple items on Sunday that you can grab throughout the week. You could make hard boiled eggs and quinoa to add to salads or grill some chicken for wraps and nourish bowls. Then, set designated meal times. It’s important to give yourself a break. And make sure it’s a real one! Don’t continue to respond to emails or chat on the phone. Go to the kitchen table, grab your meal, eat mindfully, maybe listening to a podcast or reading a book for fun as you do so.

Switch up your work space

I think in the last post I did on tips for working from home, I mentioned that you should have a designated work space, but this was before I moved…5 times. I was constantly changing up my work space. I went from the desk in my room, to the living room (so I could watch Mysteries of Laura while working), to one of several coffee shops near me because I was living in a tiny 300 sq ft. above-garage studio. I couldn’t stay in one spot every day with the amount of work I was doing, so if that’s going to hinder your productivity and creativity – don’t do it. It’s ok to switch it up, it’s ok to have the TV on, and it’s ok to have a latte and a cinnamon roll as you work. You write the rules!

Meetings are meetings

You may work for yourself, but you are a business. You may be a sole proprietorship or a collaborator for a larger business, but when you are working from home, you run the show during those hours. That means: business is business and meetings are meetings. If your girlfriend wants to meet for coffee, that’s a meeting. Schedule it, plug it into your planner, and work around it. If you’re not fond of interruptions, try to turn the coffee dates into after-work drinks, so you only step out after the day’s work is done. But even a phone call that you have to make to track down a lost package or a run to the dry cleaner’s – these are errands/meetings that should be time blocked.

Be comfortable

It’s up to you – if you feel comfortable in a wrap dress in heels, wear that. I come home from my internship and am normally too lazy to change out of my work clothes (normally something from my summer internship capsule wardrobe) so I’ll stay in that as I work. Maybe on that particular day, you want to wear a t-shirt. Do it!

Know how to “clock out”

Back in my sophomore year of college, I really struggled with this. I started to get really, really serious about blogging, and this left me waking up at the crack of dawn to blog, taking pictures and making edits all afternoon, and then not being able to really shut things down when it came dinner time. I missed out on time with my friends, my boyfriend, and myself. I eventually snapped out of it, and now I make sure I set a designated quitting time. But it’s more than just shutting off my laptop. I wash my face, change into comfy lounge clothes or even my pajamas, light a couple candles, and crack open whatever library book I’m currently devouring. Find out what your quitting time looks like and make it happen every day.

Do you have any tips to share on working from home?