4 Tips for Work From Home Productivity

How to Make the Most of Your Work From Home Days

With the recent 'safer from home' regulations, social distancing, and all-around chaos from the COVID-19, we know many of you have a new normal: work from home. Or on the contrary, you already work from home and now you might have a house full of your loved ones interrupting your normal work schedule. The sudden changes can make it difficult to focus, remain productive and get things done. As someone who works from home myself, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my own work-from-home management tips that help me get through the day.

blonde woman with glasses working from home

1. Clear a dedicated space for your work

Whether it's a spare room or a spare corner, find an area within your home that you can rid yourself of distractions, and focus on what needs to be accomplished for the day. Not only will you get things done, but you'll hold yourself accountable because you are free of the noise and distractions of anything non-work related.

Video Meeting Tips: 

  • Make sure you have everything you need in arms reach of taking your video calls
  • Preferably somewhere with good lighting so the person on the call can see you clearly
  • At the very least have a blank wall behind you (an awkward plant behind you is a big no-no)
  • If there’s noise in the background, mute while someone else is talking and only unmute when it’s your turn to speak or you need to chime in, then mute again.

Here's a great article from Entrepreneur.com on establishing a workspace.

2. Dress comfy from the waist down. Be video-ready from the waist up.

woman, brown hair, working from home

Working from home, it's easy to fall into a habit of wearing your pajamas. However, for your sanity (just trust me), there is something about 'dressing for the part' even from home that will put you in the right frame of mind and set the rest of your day up for success. If wearing your full work attire is a bit overkill for you, then keep it casually comfy from the waist down, and look work-appropriate from the waist-up so you're video-ready no matter what. Plus, you'll feel good about yourself that you put in the extra effort ;)

woman sitting down, writing a list

3. Adjust your schedule to set time out for you

It's amazing how quickly working from home can turn into an all-consuming thing. But I cannot stress enough, do not let your work consume you for the entire day. It's important to take time out of your day for YOU. Make a dedicated time slot for some form of 30-min exercise, block out a window to sit down and eat lunch, and two 15-minute breaks (just like you would in a regular 9-5 job).

  • Check-in with yourself mid-day. If you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take 15-20 minutes to meditate, journal, read a book, or go for a walk.
  • Eat healthy snacks every 2-3 hours to fuel the energy you need to stay productive
  • Hydrate! Drink lots of water all day long. Use lemons or other citrus to flavor your water. 
  • Make sure to stand up throughout the day to keep the blood flowing and squeeze in a bit of muscle activity while you're 'in the zone'. Sitting for 45-minutes, then standing for 10-15 gives you the opportunity to do squats and calf lifts while you are working, reduces strain on the lower back from prolonged sitting, and burns more calories compared to sitting (20% increase). (Source UCLA)

4. Make a list.

woman wearing yellow shirt writing to-do list

As simple as it may sound, it's so important - whether it's hand-written or entered into a planning tool or your iPhone notes section- write it down!

Make a list of everything you need to get done for the week and then break it down into days. Organize by order of importance, with the least important for Thursday or Friday. This will allow you to prioritize your time each day and manage your time wisely. Some examples include: answer emails, create a content calendar, check inventory, expense business receipts, research prospective clients, finish the online courses or video tutorials for x,y,z. and so forth! It can even be as simple as making sure to order groceries online to arrive by a certain delivery window. Write it down! Check them off as you go. No task is too small and even the smallest wins are a success! And as we know, success breeds success. 

Take a look at your calendar for the week and by the day and craft your to-dos and your schedule around that. I personally use an iOS app called 'Calendars' that allows me to sync all my calendars into one so I can have a general overview and create to-do lists all through the app. In addition, I have a morning brief that's emailed to me every morning using CRM and a personal assistant tool called Cloze. It lets me know who I need to follow up with, what leads I have in the pipeline, and what calls I have scheduled for the day all in one place. Sometimes it helps to set small goals for yourself for the day. "I'm going to answer & send out 100 emails by 11 am to prospective clients." Then give yourself a pat on the back. Mission accomplished!

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