Kaitlyn is a freelance writer who writes articles that teach people how to lean on their minds, bodies, hearts, and on those around them.
Whether it is starting our own online business, taking on freelance jobs, or bringing work home with you, more of us are starting to explore the option of working at home. And it’s very understandable. Who doesn’t want to earn a living without having to leave the comfort of your house?
But working from home can also be difficult. The number one hardship is often getting distracted and giving in to the temptation of procrastination. So how can we create the perfect work environment at home that will maximize our productivity?
10 Ways to Be More Productive When Working From Home
- Designate One Spot Just for Working
- Come Up With a Productivity Plan
- Don't Work in Your Jammies
- Get Out of the House
- Complete Your Work in Batches
- Determine Your Business Hours
- Know Your Vices
- Control Your Technology
- Make Yourself Comfortable
- Choose the Right Colors
1. Designate One Spot Just for Working
We’re creatures of habit, so if we engage in a particular activity in a specific location, our brains will come to associate that location with that activity. So if you normally like to binge Netflix shows on your desktop computer, you’ll find it very hard to switch to work mode on the same machine.
To take advantage of this, choose a part of your house or apartment where you will only do work. Ideally, choose a space with a door that separates yourself from the rest of your house. Equip your home office with the same or similar tools that you would normally have at the actual office.
2. Come Up With a Productivity Plan
When you’re working at home, it’s even more important for you to know exactly what needs to be done and when. That way, you’ll know you’re always working towards your goal and not veering off course. Use a to-do list and a calendar to keep track of your tasks and deadlines. To-do lists are also a great place to dump any distracting thoughts and tasks that come up while you’re working.
Set aside 10–15 minutes at the end of every day to map out what you need to accomplish the next day and set your weekly work and personal goals. Visualizing what you need to do for the next week will decrease stress, clear your mind, and help you sleep more soundly.
3. Don’t Work in Your Jammies
As nice as it would be to roll out of bed and start working in your comfy onesie, you may be sabotaging your productivity. Even if you’re not heading out to work, it’s still important for you to go through a morning hygiene routine and to get changed into something other than what you wear to sleep.
When you’re groomed and dressed in something you can go out in, you’ll feel refreshed, confident, and more prepared to tackle your to-do lists. Having a designated lunch break and a time when you’re going to stop all work-related activities will also help to create more structure in your day.
Maximize your productivity by grouping similar tasks together and knocking them out in one go.
4. Get Out of the House
Working from home can make you feel a little stir-crazy after an entire week spent in the house. When you’re itching to be anywhere but at home, it can be hard to focus on anything else. So for a change of scenery, take the work to your favorite cafe or have your lunch break outside to get some fresh air.
5. Complete Your Work in Batches
Maximize your productivity by grouping similar tasks together and knocking them out in one go. Do you have lots of e-mails to write and people to call? Get all communication-related tasks done in one go before taking a break and moving on to the next category of tasks. As you organize your tasks by category, you’ll be more able to prioritize and clear easier to-dos more quickly so you can devote more time to your essential tasks.
Poll: Working at Home
6. Determine Your Business Hours
If you have other family members at home while you’re working, post a copy of your schedule on the door or in a prominent place in your home so your children or other loved ones will know when you should not be disturbed. When you have your work schedule posted up, your family members will also be more likely to respect your work hours and less likely to ask you to do household tasks when you’re trying to meet a deadline.
7. Know Your Vices
Identify what distracts you. When you know the things that undermine your productivity, you can take steps to eliminate them from your work environment.
If you know you can’t get any work done when your house is a mess, make a point to clean up before you start working. If you have an urgent deadline to meet, put cleaning up on your to-do list and find a neat workspace where you can’t see the mess. That way, you can temporarily forget about the things that distract you and focus completely on the task at hand.
Buy a chair that provides good back support and is the perfect height that allows your feet to rest comfortably on the floor.
8. Control Your Technology
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texts, personal e-mails, our phones are constantly buzzing with non-urgent, and often irrelevant notifications. It’s distracting enough when we’re not working, and can be devastating when we need to. Scrolling through our Facebook and Instagram feeds can easily suck up hours of our precious time.
So, either turn off or silent your phone and put it somewhere out of your line of sight. And if possible, do as much work as you can without connecting to the internet. Turning off the wifi on your computer will further help to eliminate the temptation of logging on.
9. Make Yourself Comfortable
When you’re working at home, you’re likely doing most of your work on the computer and staring at screens all day. Your neck can get stiff, your eyes can get tired and won’t focus as well, among other symptoms of fatigue.
So make sure you’re working comfortably. Buy a keyboard that’s comfortable for you to type on, position your screen directly at eye level, have your arms at a comfortable height, and buy wrist supports if needed. Buy a chair that provides good back support and is at a height that allows your feet to rest comfortably on the floor.
10. Choose the Right Colors
Colors can have a profound effect on your mindset. Certain colors can make you feel more energized while others are calming and relaxing. So make sure the place you choose to become your home office is decorated with colors that are not too bright. It’s best if colors blend into the background and are harmonious so they don’t draw attention and distract you from your work.
Poll: Designated Work Hours
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 KV Lo
E Kyle Morris from Tennessee on December 02, 2019:
Hi Kaitlyn, While every point of your article is valid, I especially enjoyed point #2; plan, plan, plan. I work from home some myself and I can attest to the fact that planning your workday and workweek is crucial. I do what is called 'Sunday Planning'. I take a few minutes on Sunday afternoon or evening and plan my week. This really helps me to hit the ground running first thing Monday morning. I already know what I am doing and not having to figure it out Monday morning. A quick going over the evening before the next day, as you point out, is a great way to keep on track. Thanks for sharing.
Courtney Pagan on April 13, 2018:
I loved all your tips! I work from home part-time, but can hopefully go full time here pretty soon.
Marjie Mare on April 13, 2018:
Thanks for your informative post. When I started working from home, I said I would not work on my jammies but it is so convenient. I have to go back to the good habit.
Stephanie on March 14, 2018:
These are all great suggestions. I completely agree on dressing up, it doubles my productivity.
Amanda on March 13, 2018:
Very good tips! Especially on setting certain hours and working from a certain spot. I know I get distracted at home all the time
Steven Shakeshaft on March 13, 2018:
These are great points. I have the same issue that Kathryn does with my kids. They're at the age where they won't leave me alone and I don't have space elsewhere to work.
Kathryn Maher on March 13, 2018:
Great pointers here on working from home. I have a problem when it comes to being firm with the amount of time I designate to my work load online and my kids are always complaining. From now on I must work with certain hours and stick to those hours.
Laura Dove on March 13, 2018:
GREAT TIPS! I work from home and I really struggle with being productive, I am so easily side tracked!
Ana De- Jesus on March 13, 2018:
That is what I found difficult at first, as I am very easily distracted and being at home can sometimes hinder your productivity. I agree that doing tasks in small batches can help but I find that getting fresh air is even better for increasing your productivity. If you do too much at once it will make you less productive. I also find that prioritizing the most important tasks for the morning helps as that is when you are at the most productive.
Amalia on March 12, 2018:
When I first started working at home it was so hard to take ti serious! Would often work anywhere in the house or on my pajamas but nowadays things have changed and actually adapted many of your advice!
Dalene on March 12, 2018:
It is very easy to be distracted when working from home for sure, and in fact, falling into the doom of procrastination can be so easy. Thus, I agree that having a proper schedule for all your planned work is so important. This is a very applicable list especially for bloggers. Nice read!
Jana on March 12, 2018:
This is a post that I needed to read. I work from home for two years now and I am so guilty of doing it with my pj's. Also is so hard to get me out of the house.
Veronica on March 12, 2018:
Very true on all your points. I can either be unproductive at home or very productive.
Lindsay on March 12, 2018:
I needed this! Thank you! Working at home is new to me and staying productive is something I needed help on!
whatcorinnedid on March 11, 2018:
I am usually super productive when I work from home but last time, i did not accomplish anything! And i did not know why. My work space was a mess, might be a reason! Loving all those tips and will make sure to use them next time i work from home! xx corinne
Motivelina on March 11, 2018:
I'm a student and a blogger so I spend a lot of time working from home. I find it extremely difficult at times and I chose library instead. Time flies by when I'm trying to focus at home! Very useful tips, I will try implementing them from... tomorrow :)
KV Lo (author) on March 06, 2018:
@gajanis786, Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
gajanis from Pakistan on March 05, 2018:
Very informative hub. Highly practical tips which can be followed easily. Thank you.