Working from home can be hard. It can be even harder to be productive while working from home. Given the present circumstances of COVID-19, we are all faced with the challenge of working from home. Some of you may find it refreshing. It’s a change of pace from your typical clocking in and clocking out. Some of you may find it really difficult to not wander into the kitchen or binge the latest Netflix documentaries (Tiger King, anyone?!). As a full time wedding photographer for 3 years now, I’ve had a lot of time to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to being productive while working from home. Here are my top tips to making the most out of your day when working from home!!
Have a sleep schedule
Sleep is so important. Not just for the energy it gives you the next day, but for your overall health. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule will really help you stay on track when working from home. Think about it, if one day you’re waking up at 6am to get going, but the next day it’s 8am and then next it’s 9am, your work time isn’t going to be consistent. Remember, consistency is key!!
Have a morning routine
Once you’ve mastered waking up around the same time everyday, start to develop a consistent morning routine. One of my favorite educational books is called The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg. Charles talks about the importance of habits in our daily lives. Having a morning routine is one of the easiest habitual things you can do that can have an impact on your overall productivity. Here’s what my morning routine looks like: wake up and head straight to the kitchen for breakfast. I’m a creature of habit, so I eat the same thing every morning. After eating breakfast, I spend about 30 minutes doing my devotion. Then I put my workout clothes on and push play! My home workouts range from 30-60 minutes! Once I finish get my sweat on, I shower and get dressed for the day. I will say, my morning routine is pretty long. Yours can look as short or as long as you need it to!
Get dressed and ready for the day
This one may be the most important. Studies show that those who make their bed every morning are more successful people. I would argue this could also be true for putting on real pants in the morning!! As enticing as it might be to stay in your yoga pants and t-shirt (and totally give yourself grace every now and then) I can assure you will have a much more productive day if you get ready for the day!
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind
You’ve heard it before “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind” pretty sure Michael Scott said this! If I’m being completely honest, my desk and office area isn’t Pinterest worthy everyday. I do find though, that when I take 5-10 minutes to just clean it up a bit, I feel less stressed and ready to get to work!!
Know when you are most productive
Some say that your most productive hours usually fall in the morning time. I however find that I am most productive from 1-4pm. I know, so random. Maybe it’s because it’s right after lunch, but I just get so in the zone during this time. I try to really hone in and tackle as much as I can during this time. Give yourself some time to figure out when you’re most productive!
Take small breaks
You may or may not find this one to be helpful. You’ll either find that it gives you a little boost of energy, or you’ll get distracted and your 15 minute break turns into hours of laundry, cleaning and binge watching. If you need to, just get up from your desk, walk to the kitchen and fill up your water bottle and then head back to work. Or, skip this one all together!!
Have a “clock-out” time, and stick to it
This one is SO important. Especially if you find yourself really getting into your work. It can be so easy to just sit at your desk well passed 5pm and continue working. While this can be okay every now and then, you’ll end up neglecting those things or even loved ones that you could be spending time with. Personally I would feel that if I stopped working at 5pm and took a short walk with my husband and then started dinner at 5:30pm to be more productive than cranking out 30-45 minutes more of work.
Know that the to-do list may not get finished today
All this aside, have grace with yourself and know that not everyday is going to be super productive. Some days you may find yourself putting in a ton of work and others you may not, and that’s okay. Think of it like a diet. You can allow yourself the occasional cheat meal every now and then. Give yourself grace, while also pushing yourself to reach your goals!!
Here’s to being productive while working from home!!