Working from home can be a great way to stay comfortable and confident in your work but can also be a big source of distractions. The motivation to get up and start your working hours instead of doing household chores can be difficult if you don’t have a plan or routine. The following 5 points are a handful of many great ways to make sure that your distractions and struggles are reduced or eliminated. 

  • Try to create a separate working area. By having a dedicated space to just your work, you can avoid seeing things around your home that could deter you from working (i.e. laundry, trash, dishes). Investing in an adjustable desk can also add variety into how you segment out your working hours. You can find options for full desks at Poppin.com or more affordable tabletop converters at StandUpDeskStore.com. By forcing yourself to stand and work you can plan out certain tasks you have to achieve before you allow yourself to sit, or even set timers so you are in a back and forth of standing and sitting to keep your body moving. 
  • Set working hours, just like you would in an office environment. When you set specific hours during the day that you will be working, you can train your brain to not worry about things that need to be done around your home or errands you need to run. Applying the use of day planners or online calendars such as Google Calendar can streamline the tasks and meetings you have throughout your day. Scheduling your day can also allow you to work when you are at your most productive. Everyone has varied times they like to get things done, so plan your work during yours! If you are a morning person, afternoon person or night person, work when you can get the most work done. Keep in mind that if you like to work early mornings or late nights but you have calls to make, you should schedule those when the time is convenient for the other person(s) as well. 
  • Interact with other people. When you work in a secluded area like your house or apartment, it can be easy to only interact with the people who may live there with you. If you live alone, you may not talk to anyone all day! Try to plan a day where you work outside of your house at places like Starbucks or co-working spaces. Even just the conversation with the baristas at your local coffee shop can brighten your day and boost productivity.
  • Avoid getting sucked into social media for hours. Unless your business directly links into working in social media, try to avoid mindless scrolling. It is very easy to check one notification and then it’s suddenly 45 minutes later and you haven’t been doing your work. Tips for avoiding the addicting pull of Facebook and Instagram can include (but of course are not limited to):  • Always logging out after each session on your computer and NOT saving your account information in the browser. By logging out, you would have to spend the time typing in your username or email and your password before you could scroll.
  • Turning off notifications on your phone. If your phone is constantly vibrating with social media, you have the immediate temptation to check out what is going on.
  • Get dressed. There’s nothing better than staying in your warm pajamas all day long, but it could actually decrease your productivity by not allowing your body to fully wake up. If you get up when your alarm goes off and prepare yourself as if you were going to work in an office, you can get so much more accomplished feeling ready for the day. Of course, if you have meetings planned throughout your day where you have to leave your home, getting dressed would definitely be a requirement rather than a suggestion.

While these points were written with working from home or telecommuting in mind, these also can be used when working within a traditional office space. While we all hope you always show up to a public place wearing clothing, you can customize your working area to bring a little bit of home and comfort into your work. The addition of one of your own coffee mugs, personal photos or a desk toy will personalize your space and improve your experience and productivity.