As a freelancer, the fact that I can work from home has always been both, my favorite and my least favorite thing. On one hand, I have all the freedom to work when I want, to take as many breaks as I want, not to mention naps, and to ‘leave’ from work when I feel like it. However, the one thing that’s bugging me the most has always been the lack of productivity when I actually work from home. Compared to my office work, where I have strict working hours and the amount of work I have to complete for the day, working from home seems like a joke from time to time.
I’ve noticed that many freelances and from-home workers have been struggling with the same thing; staying productive in the environment where you usually spend the most time in your life is quite an unexpected issue. One would think that working from home is the best-case scenario, but trust me, sometimes it can get pretty bad. So, how does one actually get stuff done while working from home? Make sure to continue reading for some tips and tricks that have worked for me.
Stay away from social media.
This should be a staple in everyone’s productivity routine; however, you’d be surprised to see how many people procrastinate because of social media. We all know that social media is addictive; hours of endless scrolling through Facebook and Instagram seem to be a getaway from work for many people. Because it is so easy to open the app and browse quickly, social media is probably the main detriment of anyone’s productivity, especially of those who work from home and have a loose work organization and schedule.
There is a way, nevertheless, in which you could fight off the urge to check every person’s latest posts on Instagram. The first thing you have to do before starting with work is logging out of every account. That might not be enough sometimes, because you can still look into other stuff on the Internet and your phone. So, the next step is leaving your phone far away from your working area. Next step is to avoid social media on your PC or laptop by working in the Incognito mode, and of course, turning off Facebook and other notifications as well. Also, working in incognito means that your typing won’t be autocompleted, so this might be a bonus when you actually feel tempted to take a peak before completing the work.
Work in the morning.
Regardless of whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, in order to stay productive while working from home, it is always the best to work in the morning. Of course, if you’re an early bird, this won’t be a problem for you. However, to all my night owls out there, I feel your pain. It took me a few months to even start considering working in the morning because I felt I was the least productive in the early hours. However, once I finally started committing to getting up early and actually getting things done as soon as you wake up, my whole life changed.
According to HubSpot, getting started early is one of the best ways to work from home productively. The choice to actually start working as soon as you get up can be the key to your productivity for the rest of the day; you can start with some simple tasks early in the morning, as see yourself progress effectively to some more serious stuff gradually, throughout the day. Some even skip breakfast and use it as an excellent excuse to take a break later on during the morning. If you’re a night owl reading this, please stay with me. It will be hard, but with the right amount of coffee and the power of will, you can be sure to turn into an early bird rather quickly.
Create a home office
Just because you don’t have to go to work, and you work remotely at PapersOwl UK, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an office in your own home. Having a home office in an excellent way to get yourself into a productive mindset, even when you don’t feel like it. One of the main advantages of working from home is the ability to create your own, personalized work area. According to Business, you can use this opportunity to create a cozy, warm and perfectly suited working space that will help you stay productive and inspired even when you least expect it.
In the working are of your home, make sure to add elements and decorations that promote calmness and inspiration, but also help you stay sharp, focused and not distracted. Moreover, fresh flowers, plants, candles, and lamps can also promote productivity in people who usually have a hard time staying productive or focused. Your home office can become the place of comfort, and not something you associate with obligations, boredom, and tiredness. Not to mention that you can work in your pajamas, and not stress every morning whether you look presentable or if you have a bad-hair-day.
These tips and tricks are the holy grail of my successful freelancing career. I’ve been working from home for years now, and by following the tips above, I’ve managed to blend my work into my day-to-day life without stressing about it or neglecting it from some housework and other distracting stuff. I’ve come to realize that my productivity has become at its best when working from home, so make sure to slowly and gradually start adopting these recommendations, and soon, you’ll see it for yourself.