Photography by Shadi Garman
Hi Guys, as a lot of you know, I work from home a few times a week…every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. You can read more about my schedule and routine in this post. I have been doing this consistently for over a year now and have figured out a few tips for staying focused. If you don’t work from home, a lot of these tips can be applied to just being more productive in general! I hope you all enjoy!
Time Blocking: I first heard about time blocking from my insta girl-crush Purely Pope. She mentioned that time blocking was a game changer for her time management and productivity so I decided to do some research. Basically, time blocking is exactly what it sounds like; Blocking out specific time for specific tasks. For someone like me, who is super ADD and jumps from one task to another, this can be super challenging. That said, it has taken a few months of practice and this method really helps me stay focused and productive! Not only do I time block my days, I actually time block my entire week in regards to work and social events etc. starting on Monday. Doing this helps me visualize what is in store for me that week and allows me to be fully present in the current task or event without getting stressed about things I need to get done. I make sure to block time for all my tasks so things get done. It sounds simple, but it has made a big difference for me!
Create a to-do list at the beginning of your day: This is the other part of time-blocking that is super important. I sit down at my desk when I start my work day and write a list of priorities I need to get done. Then I set a time for those tasks. I always start with an hour of email catch up, then go into more specific tasks that require more focus after I have sort of checked the maintenance items off my list. I also love checking things off my list, it weirdly makes me super happy haha!
Eat breakfast: I always take time to make myself breakfast before I start working. I like feeling satiated so I don’t get distracted in the morning. I find that I am more productive first thing and being fed keeps me focused.
Take scheduled Breaks: It is so easy to just plow through work especially with no people around you potentially distracting you. I find that if I take at least a full 5 minute break every hour, I am calmer and more focused.
Get dressed…don’t work in your pajamas: I know this sounds weird, but I always get dressed and ready before starting work. Doing this helps me mentally check in 100% to work. Doing this also keeps me from taking “work time” and using it to do my hair or makeup.
Take a lunch break: This kind of goes into the scheduled break category, but it’s really easy to fall into the trap of sitting in front of your computer and eating your lunch. I find that by making myself leave work for 30 minutes to eat and focus on something totally different helps make me more productive!
Designate your workspace: Matt and I recently purchased a desk and storage unit from West Elm and it has been a game changer. I love my workspace and look forward to sitting down and getting to work in my little home office. I also have a really comfortable chair that I sit in which is also super important.
Go outside: When I first started working from home, there were a lot of days where I literally didn’t go outside at all until I left to pick up Charlee at 3. The days that I do go outside I am just a happier person! I actually like to work outside on nice summer days. Nothing better than a little fresh air to put a pep in my step.
Start your day with a clean workspace: This is huge for me. Before I even think about starting my workday, I make sure my bed is made, the dishes are put away and the house is clean. If I don’t, I find myself distracted by housework.
Allow yourself to indulge the pleasure of working from home: Working from home is amazing and something I consider a luxury and one thing I do not take for granted. I love being able to throw a load of laundry in, or do a quick load of dishes. I also like to workout during my lunch break. Working from home is awesome and by integrating the tips above I find I am actually more productive at home than I am when I go into the office!
Share in the comments any tips that you recommend in regards to working from home!