7 Ideas on Staying Productive and Sane While Working from Home

Some people know the joys of working from home. It doesn’t matter whether your freelancing, self-employed or telecommuting you may have experienced the pleasures of a non-existent commute however additionally the crushing lows of procrastination.

Working from home tends to blur your personal and work-life, there’s no point letting the ostrich effect take over and fall behind in your work.  So how do you stay productive and sane? Let us help you with some quick tips 

1. Define Your Work Space

Separating your work from home life is critical. Have a room dedicated to working, don’t just do it from whenever you happen to be. Having a space that is dedicated to working allows you to go there and when you enter it, you know consciously what you’re there to do.

It changes the state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work”.

Adopting these physical boundaries can be your make or break. Having work spilling over onto your kitchen table can create feelings of always ”on”.

This can create feelings of resentment or guilt towards your work and even avoidance. If working from home isn’t working, try a co-working space or a coffee shop.

2. Find Your Most Productive Work Hours

Not everyone fits well in the traditional 9-5 setting. It first came about in the industrial revolution, to increase productivity. However, with the ever-increasing time, we spend in front of a screen and this schedule doesn’t suit everyone. 

We need to establish our own schedule based on our own most productive hours. If you have that flexibility to choose your own work hours, make sure that you’ve gone for the right ones. Working smarter not harder is the key element in working from home.

Take a week and observe when your energy levels and how it translates to your productivity.  Tim Ferris mentions that by working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable, the perfect example of having your cake and eating it too.

3. Make Sure You Get Out of The House As Much As Possible

So, try working from a coffee shop, a co-working space or any other place with other people around you every now and then. If you prefer to be alone and concentrated, at least take a break during a day and go for a walk in the park or meet up with a friend for lunch.

Human contact is important for clearing your mind and getting away from your own thoughts for a bit. 

Whilst the convenience and privacy that you find when working from home may seem great. However, it can quickly spiral being too comfortable at home all day, this can begin to eat into your productivity.

A good option is working from a coffee shop or co-working space, it doesn’t have to be every day but breaking up your work week with different location might be the key to your productivity.

Here are some ideas for getting out of the house when you work at home:

  • Take a walk around your nearest park.
  • Drive to the nearest supermarket and pick up your shopping.
  • Get lunch or coffee at your favourite place nearby.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Go to a yoga class, or head toward another destination where you find inner peace and solace
4. Don’t Work In Your Pajamas

Setting yourself a morning routine is imperative. Whether it’s heading out for a run, grabbing some breakfast and showering or showering and stumbling to your desk with a coffee, you need to have a routine.

While you’re working from home, just the simple act of changing your clothes in the morning can also brighten your spirits. This can also help with the transition from sleeping to day time activities. You don’t have to dress business causal, but just put something on your comfortable in.

5. Create A Work Schedule For Yourself

This seems very self-explanatory but most people will struggle to be productive if they don’t have at least some sort of regimented schedule guiding them.

Finding your most productive hours can tie into this and help increase your output. Playing around with a combination of work hours and breaks will yield different results and it good to test this.

A good tip for keeping your tasks organised is keeping a list of three. The first list has three things you will do today. The second is three things you aim to get done if possible but aren’t essential. The third is three things that need to be done at some point.

6. Team Chat (Not Just For Work)

If working remotely, using programs like Slack or Groove can help you feel more connected to your team. The is a lot to gain from the causal social interaction and it can help you feel included but grateful you’re not being distracted in the office.

7. Invest in A Standing Desk

Avoiding the soul sapping commute might seem all rosy. However, it’s movement that you may not get otherwise. If you’re heading straight from bed to your kitchen then onto your home office, you are spending a lot of time sitting. One way of alleviating this can be investing in a standing desk

Aside from the health benefits, which there is no contest about how good it does for your body. It allows you to move about and not feel hemmed in by your home office

You might feel yourself going a crazy at home in your endeavours, however, it’s a brave step to take and you will reap the benefits. Employing all these strategies or just a few will help you achieve a level of success you didn’t dream was possible.

Written By
Brittnay was an HR professional before making the move to Dublin. Now spends her days writing & exploring the beautiful canals, food and beaches of Dublin.