Working at home is often painted as a dream job. And, in many ways, it is. You get to set your hours, you get to avoid rush-hour traffic, and you get to stay in PJs!
But there are plenty of obstacles to actually getting your work done when you work at home. After all, PJs aren’t the most energizing clothes to wear. And your bed is literally RIGHT THERE. Plus, there’s the fridge and the TV and all the online news you could be keeping up with, and yeah…it can be a challenge to get anything accomplished.
I’ve been working from home for the past seven years and I know that being productive from home is a challenge. Over the years, I’ve found some really useful work at home productivity tips that help me meet my deadlines and stay focused, even as an adult with ADD. Try these tips to motivate yourself too!
3 Work at Home Productivity Tips
Create a daily ritual.
Having a daily routine to begin the workday is easily the biggest help to getting me in the mood to work. No matter how distracted or overwhelmed I may feel, my daily ritual centers my thoughts and prepares me for the day ahead.
Here’s how I begin each work day:
- Make coffee while listening to a news podcast
- Write a to-do list on my office whiteboard
- Read emails for five minutes
After that, I’m ready to go, even when I have tasks ahead that I am not looking forward to. And, by the way, you can easily adapt this ritual if you prefer to work in the afternoon or evening.
Swap out the coffee for hot tea, listen to an entrepreneur podcast – the point is: do whatever helps you get going, but for no more than 15 minutes. Otherwise, you can lose your working mojo.
Use a website blocker.
I love Facebook. It’s literally my connection to the outside world. I find out about breaking news there. I keep up with longtime friends there. I vent about life with my kids there. And I use it to connect with work partners, learn about opportunities, and market my content.
But it is also a huge time suck. I can easily spend 45 minutes just scrolling through my news feed. Which is the opposite of being productive.
I found a Chrome extension called StayFocusd that allows me to limit the amount of time I can spend on specific websites. I set my daily Facebook limit at 30 minutes, which keeps me from mindlessly clicking around instead of working. After 30 minutes on Facebook in total during the day, the extension blocks me from returning until the next day. Trust me, it’s effective.
Try timed sessions.
I’ve been using the Pomodoro method for years and it really does work. Basically, the Pomodoro method is to work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, work another 25 minutes, take another 5-minute break, then get up from the computer. Pomodoro works well for me when I’m working on small tasks (reading emails, advertising, social media promotion, editing photos, etc.)
When I’m creating a product or writing an important post, though, I need a longer stretch of uninterrupted work time. In those situations, I use a 48-minute work session, followed by a 17-minute break. I’ll do two of those back to back and then step away from the computer for a while. That gives me more time to let my creativity flow without losing my train of thought.
There are plenty of other tips for working at home, but these have been my go-to’s for the past few years and they WORK. After all, I managed to get this written, right?
Selena Robinson is the owner of Look! We’re Learning! – an education website featuring learning ideas, educational printables, and parenting support for children in grades preschool through sixth. You can follow Selena on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.