Today I’m sharing some awesome productivity hacks for working from home!
I’ve been working from home for a number of years now and I’ve found a way to work efficiently. Even when I have the kids at home with me!
At home I work as a writer, do social media management and blogger outreach. I’m lucky that the work that I do allows me to work from the comfort of my home.
It means I have more freedom and flexibility in the way I complete my work. It also means that I need to be really disciplined and find ways to stay motivated too.
Today I’m sharing my top 5 productivity hacks for working from home and some awesome tips and tricks. I also asked the experts, others who work from home, to share their favourite productivity hacks too!
My productivity hacks for working from home:
1. Stick to your working hours.
Whether it’s the usual nine to five or another block of time that works for you. Set your hours and stick to them as much as you can. It’s so easy to get carried away and continue to work into the night otherwise. Know when to turn the computer off. Also, find the time of day that works best for you and tackle your most difficult tasks then.
2. Plan your day or week.
I plan for my week on a Sunday morning. That way I can relax and go to bed that night knowing exactly what needs to be done the next day. Each morning, I look over the To Do list for that day so I know what my priorities are. You can watch my weekly planning videos here to see how I plan.
3. Be professional.
Remember once you’re working from home, you’re no longer in hobby-mode, you’re in work-mode. Set your alarm, get up, get dressed. I tend to live in loungewear when I’m working from home. I’ve shared some of my other work from home outfit ideas here.
4. Create the right work space.
If you’re lucky enough to have a separate office then I’m so jealous! I have a corner of my living room that I’ve kitted out as a home office. However for years, I worked from my sofa or dining table because I had no other option. When I was working though, I’d make sure I had everything I needed close by. Create an uncluttered environment that meets your working needs and where you’ll be most productive. Whether that’s total silence, or day light, or music in the background.
5. Get some fresh air.
I find that taking a break during the day and getting some fresh air or sunlight really helps my productivity. Otherwise in the afternoon when I often start to wane. So schedule in a quick walk, errand or appointment to get away from your desk and take a breather.
Here are some awesome productivity hacks for working from home from others who do it:
- Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you’re all of a sudden free to meet friends for coffee, clean the house or do the laundry. Focus on work first and then the personal stuff after your work is done. Eva at The Multi-tasking Woman
Work in a separate room so the dishes and laundry don’t mock you as you work. Em at Em Hawker
- Utilise the Pomodoro technique. I find this 25-min timer method such a productivity booster. During the 5 min break, I step away from the computer and don’t do anything work related, e.g tidy up the desk, wash the dishes, etc. Christine at Closet Planner Addict
My top tip is to get out of the home for a couple of hours and work in the library. Most have free Wi Fi these days, it’s quieter than a coffee shop (although I do like to pick up a coffee on the way) and I get so much more done there in a few hours than I would at home. Josie at Mumpreneur Inspiration
- I wake up early each morning and try to squeeze an hour or two of work in before my daughter wakes up and the chaos starts. I can work in the quiet and know that no matter what happens the rest of the day, I have at least ticked the most important tasks off my list. Sara at Kid Magazine
- Write down what you need to do with paper and pen, you’re more likely to remember what it is as the day progresses. Cate at Life Behind the Purple Door
- Block off time to do things. I have to say to myself “okay, I’m going to print and cut until 5pm and then go and cook dinner” because otherwise I can get carried away and it’s 9pm and I haven’t eaten! Cyndi at Cynamin Designs
- If you’re struggling to get started on something and are getting distracted by other tasks, set yourself a 15 minute timer. Until it’s up, you can’t do anything else (so no getting distracted by social media or emails) – once the timer’s up, you can take a 5 minute break then do another 15 mins. Chances are once you’ve got going and are focused on it, you’ll carry on anyway but if not that breaks it into manageable bites. Cathy at Mummy Travels
- Pre-prepare lunch & snacks for the kids in the morning while making their breakfast. That way they can help themselves to cut up cheese, vegemite crackers etc and I don’t have to keep getting up. Kate at Australian Mum
- Write a list of 25 goals you have for your business. Pick your top 5. Avoid the other 20. Your good ideas are the enemy of your best. Get your top 5 done to the best of your ability. Simone at Play With Food
- Batch work as much as you can. Learning to batch my work saved me heaps of time rather than doing one process and then another and then back to the same thing the next day. Christine at Closet Planner Addict
- I don’t work well at night so that is when I do all my non-brain power tasks like Pinterest searches for photo shoot inspiration or updating plugins on my website – anything simple I can do on the couch and often tasks I put off because they aren’t as fun as others! Sara at Kid Magazine
- Getting things done earlier in the day when you’re more awake. If I’ve planned to work 9-12 on a Saturday morning but I’m awake at 7 then I shift it forward to 7-10. Cyndi at Cynamin Designs
- Make a dedicated work space away from distractions like the television or living room, preferably with a door that can be shut at the end of your work day and which will keep out the noise when the family is home (and to indicate that you are busy). Eva at The Multi-tasking Woman
- Turn off your social media notifications in your phones settings so that you don’t get distracted easily. I could spend hours browsing otherwise. Becky at Hectic Diabetic
- Automate your process. There are plenty of tools out there that helps you to automate your work. I love social media schedulers like Tailwind for Pinterest, Buffer for Twitter, Planoly or Later for Instagram. Christine
- Set an alarm clock for school pick up time or you’ll get so engrossed in work that you don’t notice it’s time to collect the children. Not that I’ve done that. Ever. Honest. Joanne at Kids Days Out Reviews
- I make the most of ‘quiet time’ or when the kids are in bed to get housework and dishes out of the way. That being said, anything can happen with kids so I try to be as flexible as I can! Mel at Mellie Macks
- If you need adult contact, arrange to attend networking events or business mum meet ups where you can take your kids. If you can’t get to physical meetups, try joining some Facebook groups in your niche and get chatting. Eva at The Multi-tasking Woman
- I write a list of everything I need to do that day but in priority order, so I know what needs doing first and I can meet any deadlines. Emma at Sophie Ella & Me
- I write my top three actions to achieve the night before a work day. When I start work in the morning I can clearly see where I need to focus. Also, I build in a bit of time each day to do ‘stuff’ like online banking and social media so I do that in a specific time slot rather than letting those little jobs get in the way of my work day. Karen at Smart Steps to Australia
- Close internet browsers that you don’t need (so you don’t waste ‘working time’ lost on YouTube videos!) but give yourself a 5-minute ‘browsing break’ every half an hour as a reward Cyndi at Cynamin Designs
- If you have to do housework, leave it for your breaks, then you’re less likely to muck about for ten minutes and actually get things done. Cate at Life Behind the Purple Door
- At the start of every day, write down 3 tasks you must complete and don’t start on anything else until they’re complete. Also – give yourself a lunch break away from the desk (if you can squeeze in a 10 min walk that’s fab). It will give your brain a rest and you will be more productive as a result Samanta at Samantha Rickelton
- I’ve found trying to set up a business around 2 little ones challenging. I try to most things that I need to be in my office for while the kids are at school/kinder/daycare. E.g. printing and cutting stock and taking photos. Designs and sketches can be done around the little ones with either my sketchbook, tablet or laptop. Mel at Mellie Macks
Do you have any tried and tested productivity hacks for working from home? Share them in the comments below!
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