When people hear that I work from home, a lot of them automatically assume that means I lounge around on my couch in pajamas all day watching Real Housewives of New Jersey reruns with a Macbook in my lap. Not only are they dead wrong, but in some ways working from home is trickier than going into the office everyday. When you head into an office, you are forced to remove distractions and are given a dedicated chunk of time to get your work done. When you work from home, you’re combining all aspects of work, home and social life into your daily routine. It’s super easy to fall into a pitfall of yoga pants and distractions, which is why I’m here to share with you my favorite tips for staying focused while working from home.
1. Start with a healthy routine
For me, this means starting my day with warm lemon water, coffee and supplements. I’ve made this such a routine that my entire day now feels thrown off if I skip it. Once you wake up, take some quiet time to yourself to grab a green juice, take your vitamins, or go for a walk. This will really allow you to clear your mind and set your focus for the day.
2. Get a fresh start
I don’t care if this means just changing out of one pair of yoga pants and into another, but do not start your work wearing what you slept in! The simple act of taking a shower, brushing your teeth and changing your clothes will signal to your brain that it’s time to switch gears and you’ll automatically feel refreshed and a new boost of energy.
3. Set your intention for the day
Before you start your daily tasks, sit down and decide what it is that is motivating you this week and what you need to do to accomplish these goals. Setting clear goals will inspire you to move forward with your day with intention and will put you in the right headspace to get your work done.
4. Create a dedicated + streamlined workspace
Speaking of sitting down, creating a designated workspace is incredibly important to staying focused while working from home. Your couch may be comfy, but it lends too easily to distractions. Create a workspace that you love and that you’ll be comfortable, yet productive in. Set yourself up for success by creating a clutter-free space that has all of the tools you need easily accessible to you. If your workspace needs a bit of TLC, check out our tips for Spring Cleaning Your Girl Boss Office
5. Separate your work time and your personal time
It’s easy, a little TOO easy, to switch gears when working from home. In order to stay focused, you’ll need to go a bit incognito throughout the day. This means not taking personal calls during dedicated work hours and not checking email when at lunch with friends. You are the gatekeeper of your time, so be protective of it and know your limits when trying to check tasks off your list.
6. Diversify your work tasks
Mix it up! If you just work on the same task all day long you are way more likely to get distracted and not put in your best effort. We all have tasks that we enjoy doing more than others, so make sure to sprinkle your day with work you enjoy doing throughout those tasks that might not be as enjoyable. Everything needs to get checked off the list, but at least you don’t have to dread doing it if you know there’s light at the end of the tunnel!
7. Set dedicated time for chores + home-related tasks
When I first started working from home I thought “this will be great, I can get laundry done and work done at the same time!”. Oops. All of a sudden it would by 6pm and my laundry was still sitting wet in the washing machine because I got too focused on work and forgot to move it to the dryer. It isn’t easy for our brains to switch between housekeeping tasks and work tasks and can interrupt our workflow and make you lose steam. Set dedicated time everyday for tasks around the house like laundry and walking the dog. Working these into your day will also give you a nice little break to look forward to when working on a project. Who knew laundry was something to look forward to?
Working from home is so wonderful for creative entrepreneurs and boss babes, but it takes real dedication and discipline to make it work for you. But if you can put these tips to use, you’ll be living the dream in no time!
Need a visual reminder? Check out this infographic we created for you to make sure you're staying as focused as possible!