Work from home is probably one of the biggest changes (or challenges) of 2020. Without the variety of office life and human interaction, the days can blur together and it can be hard to get motivated. I’m sharing these tips that make working from home, or even studying from home, more enjoyable and more productive.
1. Wake up early enough to have a calm morning before you log on.
When you work from home, it’s hard to separate work and life. By walking up early and taking time for yourself before the work day begins, you will set yourself up for success. Use this time to create a morning ritual, like reading with a cup of coffee or doing some journaling. If you like to workout in the morning, that’s another great option before the work day starts! Try to keep a routine similar to the one you had when you went into an office.
2. Get dressed.
This may seem like a very simple thing, but when you work from home it sometimes doesn’t happen. If you dive straight into meeting and calls without glancing in the mirror, your pajamas might never end up back in their rightful drawer. I’ve found that I’m much more productive when I get dressed, even if it’s just to put on workout clothes because I know I’m going on a lunch break walk. If I have any Zoom meetings, then I get dressed as if I was going into the office! You could even designate certain days of the week for a specific type of dress. I always like to dress up on Fridays, simply because it’s the start of the weekend!
3. Find your favorite coffee or tea.
When I have coffee grounds from my favorite coffee shop, it makes my day ten times better automatically. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I stocked up on my favorite teas for an afternoon treat. If it’s available to you, visit your favorite coffee shop once or twice a week to start your day with some human interaction, and support local businesses. I like to sit outside my neighborhood cafe at least once a week, before heading home to work the rest of the day.
4. Change location throughout the day.
I know this may not be available to everyone who is working from home, depending on what background you need for Zoom or how big your living space is. But if it’s available, try to switch work spaces at least once a day. I like to change things up and move downstairs in the afternoon, or outside if the weather is nice. Sometimes I allow myself an hour to work from my couch, if I’m doing a less demanding task.
5. Walk or read over your lunch break.
I think it’s important if you work from home to make your lunch break a true break. I like to walk over my lunch break, to ward off that inevitable afternoon lull that always seems to come over me. Getting outside and moving is the perfect anecdote, and I always return refreshed and ready to get back to work. If it’s too cold or you’d rather just relax, try reading while you eat. Or if you reading really isn’t your thing and you’d rather watch Netflix, allow yourself one episode before you return to work mode.
6. Have playlists and podcasts lined up.
Depending on what kind of work I’m doing, I like to listen to podcasts or music to keep me going. Work from home is nice because you don’t necessarily have to wear headphones and you can sing along in a way you never could at the office! If you have focused work to do, I recommend a lofi playlist or classical music. I’ve found some great jazz playlists for when I’m working late and have poured myself a glass of wine to sip on while I finish things up for the night.
7. Stock up on office supplies and notebooks you love.
I have way too many notebooks at my desk, but honestly they all serve a purpose when I’m working from home! Think about stocking up on some elevated office supplies so you have everything you need, and so that your workspace is inspiring rather than depressing. You might miss running to the supply closet for that new pack of post-it notes, but now you have full freedom to stock your own office with the supplies you prefer!
8. Move around every hour.
It’s not healthy to sit for eight straight hours, though I know hardly anyone is doing that while they work from home. However, it’s important to make sure you do get up, to take bathroom breaks and drink water, if anything. My favorite productivity hack is to set a timer on my phone, for 30 minutes or one hour, and focus on one task for that time. Then I put my phone away until the timer goes off, at which point I take a well-deserved break and walk around before my next project.
9. Clean your workspace at the end of every day.
This is important, especially if your desk is in your bedroom or another shared area of the house. My desk is in my bedroom, which is a blessing and a curse. When I wrap up for the day, I make sure to organize everything neatly and set out my journals for the next morning. It helps me to feel less mentally cluttered about working from home when my physical space is tidy.
10. Allow time for extracurriculars.
When you work from home, it’s easy to just slide into the evening without really turning off work or logging off, especially if you have a busy work life. Try scheduling time with friends or to devote to things you like throughout the week, so that you have a solid reason to log off at a normal time, just like if you would be leaving the office before dinner time. This will help you have a better work life balance, when everything is happening at home these days.
If you have other tips for making the work from home experience better, drop them in the comments below! I’d love to know your favorite tips for staying productive while out of the actual office.
Featured Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/146296687878140595/?nic_v2=1a3zhqfg8
Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.