Guest Post by Nikki Stephens from Mommy My Way
Working from home can be a pretty sweet set up: you wear whatever you want; sleep in a little longer than usual; don’t have to fight traffic into the office; and, if you’re a parent, you even save a little on daycare costs. What’s not to love about working from home? Well if you aren’t disciplined, you run the risk of being unproductive. The laundry, the television, the sleep, oh how beautiful the sleep is, all of this can hinder your productivity when you work from home.
Here are a few tips to combat the comfort & distractions and maximize productivity while working from home:
Get dressed in the morning
No, you don’t have to go full business professional, but at least change out of your pajamas. By putting on a fresh pair of pants and a blouse, you’re tricking your body into thinking you have somewhere to be. This mindset will help you be productive.
Designate a workspace
This goes hand-in-hand with getting dressed in the morning: being too comfortable can cause you to treat your work-from-home day like any other day at home. One minute you’re sitting on the couch in your PJs with your laptop in your lap and the next minute the TV is on or you’re upstairs vacuuming. Counter this from happening by designating a space in your home that is strictly for work during work hours. Whether it is your dining room table, an in-home office, or a bench/table on your patio; transform that area into work only. This will again trick your mind into being more productive.
Leave household chores for breaks
When working from home, it is inevitable that your attention will be shifted to chores and honey-do items. The dirty dishes in the sink are glaring at you across the room, and you can’t focus, so take some time to tackle them, but do so during a predetermined “break” time. By treating your remote home office as similar to your on-site office as possible will help you stay on track. You can either schedule these breaks ahead of time or take them as you need them throughout the day, either way, be uncompromising with yourself about the length of time you choose. 20 minutes; 15 minutes; 45 minutes; whatever you need to refocus, but stick to the time frame you designate.
Know your work from home To-Do list before you start
This is one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for working from home. Know what you are going to be working on before the start of your day. If you go into it with the mentality that you will figure it out as you go, EVERYTHING will be more enticing than getting those little tasks done. You’ll convince yourself that they can be handled quickly when you are back in the office, and you’ll end up accomplishing nothing at home. Naturally, tasks change last minute and what you planned to work on may not be what you actually work on, but start your day with a plan, and you’ll be more equipped to tackle those projects.
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WFH MOMMY BONUS TIP + Take full advantage of nap/sleep time
Your kids’ schedules can be unpredictable, and even the most routine baby will upset the plan on occasion. So don’t break when the baby breaks (naps), use that free time to crank out as much quality work as you can muster. Hopefully, your employer can be flexible and understand that your work from home days may not always be 8-5 when you have a little one. If they are, you can wake up early or stay up late to get in your 8 hours per day. Toddler sleep time is more precious than gold in more ways than one, don’t let it go to waste.
Visit Nikki Stephens at Mommy My Way for more career and parenting advice. Nikki is a 25-year-old single mom who works full time both in a corporate setting and from home, owns a small business, and blogs. You can find Mommy My Way on Pinterest, Instagram, Faceb