This weeks blog post is a guest post from the amazing Alicia Grace
As creative entrepreneurs, most of us work from home, which is absolutely brilliant – yay for not having to commute! – but it can also be really dangerous for productivity. One of the biggest hazards is that there are lots of distractions, from Netflix to unexpected visitors.
So, what are my top tips on being productive while working from home? Read on to find out.
Wake up early
Just because you don’t need to commute to work doesn’t mean that you should wake up 10 minutes before. Studies show that your brain takes a full two hours to wake up. Be sure to wake up at a decent time each morning (a bit earlier than noon please).
You don’t have to jump right into work the moment you wake up, unless you really want to. Instead, use the time to prepare a healthy breakfast, get your blood pumping with a workout, or even catch up on the news. Your brain has been asleep for the best part of eight hours, and it needs some time to warm up (and caffeine!).
Create a solid routine
One of the good things about working in an office is that you have quite a set routine. When you start working from home, however, that’s all suddenly thrown up in the air.
That’s why you have to take control of your day and set your routine straight. Plan out the times when you want to work, what you’re going to focus on during those periods (email? brainstorming), and what time you’re going to take lunch.
Having a routine in place means that you’ll be able to resist temptations to do things you really shouldn’t be doing throughout the workday, so this is a really important step.
Set working hours
When you’re working from home, it’s so easy for your personal life to spill into work, but the opposite is also true. Set working hours for yourself, and check out of work outside of those hours.
This is something that I’m working on myself. Especially when you’re working on your own hustle, it can feel like you’re connected to work 24/7, and that’s why it’s even more important to set boundaries.
Remember to shower!
Not having to see people (who actually care if you smell) every week day is no excuse to let your personal hygiene slip. Dressing up for work, whether at home or in an office, is important psychologically because it sends a signal to your brain that you’re serious.
Create a specific workspace
Make sure that this is separate from your places of relaxation, like your bedroom. Set up a desk somewhere with good lighting where you can concentrate on your work. If you don’t have space in your home, get creative, and think about whether you can get out and go to a public library or coffee shop around the corner. The goal is to have a specific space where work is your main focus, and distractions are kept down to a minimum.
Use a different browser for work
This is a method I devised several years ago. Using a different browser can completely shift your mindset – similar to having a separate workspace. Make sure that you don’t use social media on this browser, and that you don’t have personal bookmarks or links here.
I like using Google Chrome, where I can sign in with different accounts, and always have one window logged into my personal account, and another for work.
Plan out what you’re going to do
The thing about working in an office is that you always have someone reminding you about what you have to do, whether it’s sending you an email, or adding something to your calendar. When you’re on your own though, that’s all up to you. Write down your schedule and your tasks the day before so that you always know what you have on your plate.
- My Productive Life Kit has everything that you need to organise your workday!
Alicia is the founder of Alicia Grace Co, where she designs printable planners that enable women to achieve their goals with productivity, planning, and time management tools. She has a Law degree from the University of Cambridge and enjoys engaging with goal-getters, especially creative entrepreneurs. In her free time, she is either digging into a good book, food hunting, or snuggling with her very fluffy puppy.