Working from home has been introduced by employers at growing levels. As wonderful as it may sound it hides certain risks such as loosing motivation and decreasing efficiency, and as a result falling behind your work schedule and feeling overwhelmed…
Don’t stress and don’t give up! Here are my ten tips on how to stay organized and productive during your workday at home :)
1. Wake up on time
This may seem pretty straightforward but waking up on time is very important. Set your alarm clock at one and the same time on a working morning, your internal clock will adjust to that and as days go by it will become easier and easier for you to wake up at that time.
So what is the benefit of waking up on time? You may like to sleep and hour or two longer than usual and that is fine… on the weekends :) Remember that your work is not going to get done by itself and starting early means you will get finished early and, surprisingly (or not!), get through more of your tasks for the day.
To me, waking up on time is crucial – I never got the idea of wasting morning hours. This is the time I feel most focused, motivated and energized to do things, or in one word – productive!
2. Get ready for the day
Now, this tip I really like. Getting ready for your day is not just a boring sequence of actions – it is your small ritual for falling in the right mindset for the day.
Refresh yourself, put some make up if you like and get dressed – I like to choose clothes that are comfortable but also look pretty on me, you never know what the day may hide ;)
Leave good time for breakfast! I cannot stress enough how important breakfast is for our bodies. This is the meal that will fuel your body for the morning and keep your energy level high during the most intensive hours of the day. Make a nutritious portion of your favorite breakfast and appreciate it with a nice cup of coffee or tea.
Enjoy this time for yourself, think positively, align your expectations for the day – get your mind and body prepared.
3. Establish a designated space for working
Having a place where you feel like ‘Yeah, it’s time get some work done!’ is essential. Again, this has to do with putting your mind in the right prospective. Reaching your designated work place, will magically put in order all your thoughts and will allow you to pay all of your attention to your workday. And if this means your bed that is okay – as long as you feel you are prepared to spend some time working you are good to go. Just make sure you’ve made your bed and have followed my #1 and #2 advises :)
4. Make your work space functional
Depending on your work you will need some ‘little helpers’ to make it all happen. See for yourself what those are and have them around you. Make them easily accessible and keep them organized! For me, my laptop, my laptop charger, some sticky notes, my journal and a pen are vital. And yes, I do make another cup of coffee or tea, depending on my mood, to help convey my ideas and thoughts in a more coherent way :)
5. Make your work space cozy
Having functionality is precious, but having some good vibes around is so comforting! Have a lovely smelling candle near you, some fresh flowers, a cute postcard or a small souvenir received from a friend, a colleague or a colleague-friend… :) This will help you feel pleased and reassured with yourself. And marvelously will diminish the stress building in you during the day every time you look at your ‘cozy’ corner.
6. Declutter around you
A clutter-less space will do wonders for your mind! A well-known fact is that your surroundings affect greatly your mindset and your emotional state. If you see that everything is where it belongs to, you will instantly feel secure, organized and composed. Your thoughts as well as you emotions will be in perfect order. This, on the other hand, will let you direct your focus and effort more towards your work than anything else. Don’t underestimate the power of tidying up! And do it regularly ;)
7. Write down your tasks for the day
Writing down a list of your work related assignments will speed up your productivity. Having everything you need to do in front of yourself will allow you to focus quicker and be motivated to get things done. It is so satisfying to tick away a task and be done with it!
I like to mark differently tasks with higher priority and start with those if possible. Another tip for task management would be – try to do the most difficult ones at the start of your day. In this way, you will have the energy and mental strength to overcome obstacles and to deal with issues demanding some crazy thinking.
Making a list for your work will also save time and put things in order. I am sure we all know how chaotic a day can get without a plan. Write your lists and be happy!
8. Stay disciplined and keep promises
Now these two go hand in hand! :) One very important quality you will develop over time is to be self-disciplined about your work and this will also reflect on your personal live, believe me. So how this chilling word ‘discipline’ could be a good thing for you? Well, very simply, this is a conscious choice you make to not distract from what you are doing and to suppress your other desires (like spending a good hour on Facebook /Instagram/Pinterest) or in other words – to fallow your goals and to achieve results. Yes, you’ve guessed it right – to certain extent, self-discipline is a synonym of motivation.
To keep your promises is a natural outcome of being on top of everything you do. This will make you a reliable co-worker – when you are honest about what you can do and deliver your promises, people tend to respond in the same way. Work becomes easier and goals are achieved faster. There is another benefit here – this will make you feel able, accomplished and genuinely good about yourself.
So stream your thoughts and actions in a constructive way and positive direction, and keep the promises you make to yourself and to others. This will guarantee your accomplishment in work and in life in general.
9. Snacks and meals shouldn’t happen randomly
Nobody will argue that it is important to get your nutrients for the day regularly and in good quantities. However, staying at home will make it easy and tempting to snack on something at all times and this we should make a conscious effort to avoid.
Make your meals at certain times during the day – this will give you a sense of order and your body will know when it’s time to work and when – to relax.
The only major meal you will have during your workday will be lunch. My advice is – DO NOT have your lunch and work! This practice may help you fuel your body for the rest of the day but won’t get you the good rest your mind needs to be better functioning in the afternoon. In addition, no work gets done faster or in good quality while you are munching on a sandwich or trying not to get your soup on your laptop :)
Stopping your work to grab a quick snack or two, or three… when they are not necessarily needed will disturb your concentration meaning that you will need more time to get back in the swing of what you were doing before the ‘snack break’. Now this is reflecting directly on your productivity. Think about it, try to limit your ‘snack breaks’ and will find for yourself how things can go smother during your workday.
10. Decide on your working schedule
Agree on your working hours and try to follow your schedule. Make time for both work and personal things. If you focus on one side only, you will soon understand how unhealthy that is for a person.
Too much work can damage your relations but can also strand you from the human-like activities we all enjoy like spending time with family, catching up with friends, adventuring on a new trip, reading a good book, etc. On the other hand, spending too much ‘off’ time will spoil your self-control and is never a healthy option when you have big goals ahead of you.
My advice – aim at finding the balance that makes you happy!
These are my good practices on staying organized while working at home. Let me know whether you have experienced working from home and what your tips and advises are! I’d love to hear from you :)