When God put it on my heart to work from home, one of my biggest fears was that I would become an unproductive hermit. I am also aware that I have a horrible habit of isolating myself from the world. I’m here to report that I am still an extroverted, social butterfly, who is very productive at my four jobs (praise Jesus honestly!). Here are my top 10 working from home tips so you can do the same.
1. Routine, Routine, Routine
Setting a daily or bi-daily routine was crucial for my productivity (your girl likes to watch YouTube, okay?). I highly recommend using Microsoft’s Outlook Calendar because you can use it on both your phone and computer. You can easily edit your appointments and meetings for the day, and it sends you helpful reminders for your activities coming up. I have a tangible paper planner that I use as well, but unfortunately in 2019, tangible planners can’t send you notifications.
I have just about every single activity scheduled on my calendar. Here’s a look at my daily routine according to my Outlook calendar:
6:00 AM – Coffee and Bible Time
6:45 AM – School Work
8:15 AM – Freelance Work
9:00 AM – Break or Walk (I’ll explain this later)
10:15 AM – Different Freelance Work
12:00 AM – Lunch!
1:30 PM – More Freelance Work
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do blog work at 3:00 PM, and just keep writing until I get writer’s block. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday, I will either do more school work, or I will go do something fun like laundry or grocery shop.
Setting an hourly schedule and managing my time keeps me accountable and helps me to remember all that I have to get done in the day. I’m not going to lie, it helps my ego a little bit knowing that I got so many tasks done (I want to say I’m kidding, but I’m not).
2. Take a Break
One of the most important working from home tips I have is this one. I take over an hour-long break to take my dog for a walk, watch YouTube, do my nails, meet with a friend, whatever I want to do. One of the amazing things about doing freelance work is that I’m able to take long breaks like this. If you have a job where you cannot take such long breaks, then I recommend taking 15 to 20 minutes breaks throughout the day to take a quick walk around the block, pet your dog, or even just make some fresh coffee. Don’t brush this tip off, because it’s important for your mental health to take time to not focus on work.
This point is geared toward the introverts who need the extra reminder, or those like me who have a bad habit of isolating themselves. Schedule time to socialize with people other than your significant other and your dog (I’ve mentioned dogs three times already… oops). Even if this means only serving at church and talking to the cashier at the store. Make a point to socialize and have fun. I try to meet with at least one friend a week for coffee, in addition to my other socializing activities. Don’t become a hermit. Been there, done that, it’s sucky.
4. Get the Proper Equipment
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you work from your computer or laptop. If you are working from home, you should have a designated workspace and great equipment. After two days of working from home, I realized typing on my laptop hurt my neck and made me have a double-chin from looking down. So I ordered this Bluetooth rechargeable keyboard and this Bluetooth rechargeable (rose gold) mouse. Being comfortable and happy is priceless, but both of those combined were about $30.
5. Fill Your Kitchen Healthy Foods
Working from home gives you two opportunities. You can eat healthy because you’re not getting free donuts in the office, or you can be unhealthy and eat an entire bag of Doritos every day. Don’t even let the temptation of eating unhealthy food creep in, and stock up on cashews, veggies, hummus, and your other favorite healthy snacks.
6. Work Out
I’m sorry, I had to do it. You don’t have to go to the gym and power lift to work out. As mentioned earlier, go for a walk and get your heart rate up. Do some yoga. Go on YouTube and look up some at home workouts. Just do something to get your heart rate up.
7. Listen to Music
By music, I mean music that’s good for your soul. I love listening to worship music when I’m working. You should steer clear of worldly music anyways, but listen to uplifting music to make your workday more pleasant.
8. Get Out of Your Pajamas
Sitting around in your pajamas is super comfortable, but it may decrease your productivity. I always feel more productive when I change out of my pajamas and start working. It can really mess with my mindset if I’m still wearing the clothes I slept it. I’m not saying put on real clothes, leggings are my daily attire, but just change your clothes to change your mindset.
9. Open Your Windows
Let the outside world break its way into your home by opening your windows. The first thing I do is open my blinds in the morning and I let the natural sunlight shine in. I find that this boosts my mood and my eyes feel better when they’re not relying on artificial light.
10. Recognize Your Blessings
Yep, I did it again. Working from home is an incredible blessing that a lot of people wish they could do. You don’t have a long commute. You don’t have to deal with (as much) office drama. You can sing as loud as you want to. God placed you in your position, and there’s a reason for that. If you aren’t exactly pleased with working from home, then pray and ask God to guide you in your career. You got this.
Thanks for reading! I have a blog post that lists eight ways you can increase your productivity this year that you may find helpful. Do you have any working from home tips to share? Let everyone know what your secret to being productive and happy is in the comments below!