Whether you are self employed or work from home for your job, it can be difficult to stay on task and not get distracted from all of the freedoms of being at home. Working from home comes with a plethora of distractions…this can mean sleeping in, watching television, getting distracted with non-work tasks, etc.
I’ve found that starting my day with purpose and a plan can help alleviate any anxiety or distractions from what I need to get done. Here are a few tips that I use daily to ensure I have a productive day.
Tip 1: Start your morning with a cup of coffee
There’s nothing better than my morning cup of coffee… or four… lol! Now I don’t recommend everyone become addicted to caffeine, but I know personally without my pot of coffee brewing I am pretty much useless in the mornings.
For me, the best part about working from home is that you can start your work day in your pajamas and enjoy your morning cup of coffee from the couch!
Eating a good breakfast or having tea can also give you a nice boost of energy without the caffeine. All perks aside (coffee pun), having your morning cup of coffee or a nice breakfast to start your day can help nourish and prepare your mind and body for the day ahead.
Tip 2: Set your intentions for the work day
As you are having your morning coffee or breakfast, think about what you would like to accomplish for the work day.
Are you in the middle of a project or do you need to start something new that you have been putting off? Visualize in your mind what you would like to get done for the day and set your intentions to accomplish that goal.
Tip 3: Make a list!
Now that you know what your goal is for the day, be it completing a project, signing a new client, etc, now it’s time to make a list of what you need to do… i.e. the steps you need to take to accomplish your goal.
Writing (or typing) down what you need to do in a list format can help you visualize the tasks at hand and help you manage your time. By listing them in order of easiest to complete, you can finish the majority of your smaller tasks before you complete the bigger, more time consuming ones.
Or if you have a lot of tasks you need to get done and are feeling overwhelmed, try writing a list of the tasks in order of most to least important. By putting the most important task on top you can make sure you finish what needs to be done first before getting sidetracked with all of your other tasks that can be completed afterwards.
Sometimes it helps to break up your big tasks lists into smaller, more manageable lists. Try writing a list of the top three tasks that need to be done. Once those are done, move on to the next three.
Also, once you start making lists, it can be useful to go back and make sure you’ve completed tasks from a previous day(s).
Tip 4: Limit your time on social media
This one is a doozy. Some people’s whole job (or the majority of it) is to be on social media.
But really, but not really.
Say you’re an influencer… yes, your job is to be on social media, like ON it, but not on it. Ya know? Like yeah, you need to engage and like other photos and respond to comments and yada yada yada, but your main job is really to be creating content for social media. All the BTS that goes into posting a picture or video is your job. Your job is everything that goes into you posting on it rather than mindlessly scrolling on it…see?
So, my point is, whether you are actually working as an influencer, or a social media manager, you actually have tasks and jobs to do rather than scroll through the realms and realms of “internets”.
But trust me, it can be hard, especially working from home and having no one watching over you to make sure to see if you’re “really working”. I try to limit myself to a few scrolls here and there, and if I’m not being productive or start watching sad animal videos then I force myself off.
Most of the time, when I’m on social media, I’m looking for inspiration, I’m finding new accounts to follow, I’m finding new people or companies/brands that I or my clients may want to work with.
Without social media I wouldn’t even have a business. I started an account for Naturally Beautiful on Instagram before I even had a website, and found all of my sponsors, special guests, and followers all through Instagram. Without Instagram and my hard work and dedication, my business would not exist!
Tip 5: Create Your Boundaries
Working from home or for yourself usually means working all the time, and not having scheduled days or hours…on or off! Some people can get really burnt out because they work 7 days a week and don’t take the proper time to rest and recharge.
Of course you want to work hard and you have to work hard, especially if you are the one responsible for creating your source of income, but if you are not mentally or physically healthy it can be difficult for you to focus or to even complete your work. Self-care is super important!
Creating boundaries for yourself like not working after a certain time or making sure you take breaks during the day to eat or relax can really make a big difference. I like to watch my favorite shows on my breaks to help put me in a good mood before getting back to work.
Sometimes if there is an issue or problem that I am having a hard time working out, my favorite thing to do is to walk my dog. We both get to enjoy nature for a bit and get some fresh air, and usually walking around thinking about the problem helps me think of different ideas/solutions/responses. Which is another perk of being at home (with pets) and being able to take a break whenever you need to!
You can even create boundaries in your home. For example, try not to do any work in the bedroom. Your bedroom should be a relaxing space where you can unwind after a long day of work in your living room (haha). I like to work in my living room, on the coffee table or at the kitchen bar area. I feel more productive in the living room than in the bedroom. I used to have a desk in the bedroom but I didn’t like having my work area so close to my bed.
All though working from home has its distractions, you can still get your work done if you focus on the tasks at hand. I personally love the flexibility of working from home and being able to be my own boss. I worked for over 7 years in the financial industry with managers that used to be on top of us 24/7. I am sure that working in a high pressure retail environment did attribute to my work ethic as well.
In the end, having time management skills is the most important part of working from home – you have to know what needs to get done and then make sure you do it! Aside from that, having all of the equipment you need to do your job is also very important. Luckily for me, most if not all of my business can be done as long as I have WiFi and either my iPhone or laptop. I actually used my iPhone for everything when I first started – emails, graphic design, social media, you name it!
What are some of your tips or struggles with working from home? Comment below!!
Thanks for reading!! Talk soon!