Working from home is amazing! You get to plot your own schedule and work the hours that you like. Plus, you get to choose your own clients and work on your freelancing career every day.
The most obvious difference between working from home and at the office is you get to work in the comforts of your home. This means home-cooked meals, no traffic, and less stress. I mean, just check this video of a productive working from home set-up:
However, there are lots of distractions when you’re working from home. So how do you find work-life balance when you’re working from home? Here are 11 tips to become 100% productive while working from home:
Find the Ideal Time for You to Start
It helps to start your day with the ideal time for you.
If you are an early bird, you’ll get more things done in the morning. Start working through your to-do list to gain momentum. Sometimes, I find it easier to jump out of bed and dive right into my to-do list and then stop and have breakfast when I’m done with what I have to do.
Other people are what we call “Night Owls.” They are more productive at night and are able to produce more work in the late or wee hours. It doesn’t matter when you start as long as you’re comfortable and you are aware of what time you work best.
Prepare Like You’re Going Into the Office
You need to set your mindset to feel like you’re going to the office. Set your alarm clock and start at the same time each day. This routine will help you feel like you’re in the office.
After a quick shower, prepare your mindset that your working in an “office”. Set up a separate pseudo “office space” in your house. You may even put on office clothes to make you feel like working. This will create an office feel that can trigger you to focus on work for your freelancing stint.
Schedule Activities Like You’re in the Office
Working from home means you own your schedule. But it’s a double-edged sword. Freedom without structure can lead to work undone.
So, to become more productive, you should create personal events and reminders in your online calendar. And then, you should follow your own schedule religiously.
Creating your own schedule means you’ll be prepared and guided to work on those tasks in your calendar. This will help you shift gears and move on from one task to another.
Find a Quiet Workspace
It helps to find a quiet and cool workplace where you can do your tasks without any interruption. As a remote worker, you need a corner that you can call your “workplace.”
Find a spot at home where you can work comfortably without being interrupted by family or friends or even by your pet.
Cook Your Meals the Night Before
Working from home means you get to enjoy home-cooked meals. However, your busy schedule may not allow you to cook during the day while you’re working on projects for your clients.
You can always cook your meals the night before and then just heat up your meals when you’re ready to eat.
Log Out of Your Social Media Accounts
Social media can be your number one distraction. It helps to turn off or log out of your social media accounts so you can focus on work.
Then you can reward yourself with social media when you log out of work or during breaks.
Accept Calls Only in the Afternoon (If You Can)
If you find yourself inundated by calls all day, try to schedule calls only in the afternoon. That way, you’ll find yourself more focused on your to-do list, especially during mornings.
You can save calls, video chats, online meetings, and the like for your afternoons. This way, you’ll be able to work through your list with fewer distractions and interruptions.
Write a To-Do List the Day Before
You need to schedule your tasks each day. Write your to-do lists the day before and tick off items the next day one at a time. This helps you go through the more important tasks and will keep you guided and motivated.
Plan your daily schedule the day before so you’ll be ready and able to work on your daily tasks the next day.
Get Away From Your Desk During Breaks
When you’re working online, you need time apart from your PC or laptop. Take a 10-minute break every hour. Or you can use the Pomodoro technique.
Step away from your computer and do something random like going out for a quick stroll, getting a cup of coffee, or grabbing a bite to eat. This provides the needed rest for your brain for the succeeding tasks ahead of you.
Connect With Colleagues Using Technology
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit – far from it. You can always connect with colleagues and friends using apps and software that allow video calls and chats.
There’s Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and other software that allow you to communicate online. Anytime you have the luxury of calling someone, these apps will help you.
Relax and Recharge
Working from home may sound comfortable and stress-free but that’s not the case. Work is work – it can get stressful. So make sure to find time to relax and recharge. Take a break from work.
Go out and commune with nature. Go on a bike ride. Play music. Do what you love. Learn a new hobby. The important thing is to step away from your work for a while so you can relax and have fun.
In the end, you will surely enjoy the benefits you get from home-based work as long as you know how to manage your tasks and eliminate distractions.
There you have it. Follow these tips to be more efficient and productive in your work and happier in life.