1. Set To-Dos
Pre-planning the day before beginning work will help to accomplish targets and complete tasks. Write down a list of tasks the night before to be achieved by the end of the next working day, or make a time schedule to divide up different projects. Check off to-do’s when completed, to get that satisfying feeling.
Example pre-plan for a morning person:
- 06:30 AM – Yoga
- 07:00 AM – Breakfast
- 07:30 AM – Work on project A
- 12:00 PM – Lunch
- 12:30 PM – Work on project B
- 15:00 PM – Self-learn time
- 16:00 PM – Work out
2. Routine is key!
Working from home comes with major benefits, such as flexibility! However, it comes with the risk of having no routine and irregular working hours.
Staying motivated can be hard without someone watching over your shoulder or the usual office routine. To ensure productivity is high, develop daily habits and structure. For example, set deadlines to work to and introduce routine habits such as exercise or set break times.
Another great tip to work from home is to schedule breaks. A drink water reminder app can remind you of your short break and drink.
3. Get dressed-as if you’re not working from home!
As nice as it can be to lounge around in pyjamas all day, it minimizes productivity and can make you a bit sleepy.
One key tip to work from home is to get dressed and ready, like a normal workday. This can immediately make you feel more ready to take on the day, and increase efficiency.
Luckily: There is no dress code when working from home!
4. Choose a time frame
The great thing about being a freelancer is the potential to have flexible working hours. Choose the working hours that suit you personally. For instance, if you’re a morning person, wake up early if these are your most productive hours. If you’re a night owl, adapt your schedule to suit this. Or if you’re both, carve out these hours in the morning and evening and allow the middle part of the day to relax!
Get ready or close off your day with a good workout! Exercise is a great way to get endorphins going. It ensures you work from home productively for the rest of the day or helps you to clear your mind after. Plan to go to the gym, or do an at-home workout, before looking at your laptop. Looking after neck and back health is crucial when sitting down all day, so try some yoga to minimize tension. Doing this in the evenings can also be good to unwind and switch off from the day of work.
6. Set a timer to train your focus
Focus better by working for shorter periods of time. Take breaks by allocating 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break. This means during the 25 minutes there is a clear focus on work, with no outside distractions. A fun way to do so is by using the Forest App. The app ‘plants’ a tree that starts growing when you keep your focus.
Focus on one thing at a time
Focus on one project at a time, this improves work quality. The quality of one finished project will be far greater than the quantity of several unfinished ones.
7. Invest in an office chair when working from home
Posture is key while working from home. Investing in a good office chair is good for the back and shoulders, as a poor sitting position results in fatigue. Make the office chair an enjoyable place to be!
8. Change your environment
A designated area to work from home provides more structure. However, it’s also beneficial to change the environment sometimes, in order to get a fresh perspective. This could be to a new area in the home (with a new outlook), or by setting yourself up in a cafe. Most cafes have WiFi and electric sockets now, in order to cater to freelancers and those working from home. Additionally, seeing other people working in the cafe can help motivate you to stay on track with your tasks.
9. Join a co-working space
Working from home can feel isolating. It’s important to interact with other people as it increases happiness, and, eventually, helps you to work from home effectively.
Co-working spaces are popping up worldwide. Pay a monthly fee to join a communal workspace, with a high-speed internet connection, printers, and sometimes added extras, like a gym, swimming pool, classes, or free tea and coffee. The main benefit though is being able to socialize with other people, who work within different sectors. Making friends and being a part of a co-working community can be very inspiring and greatly increase your efficiency.
10. Arrange video calls
Regular video calls, with colleagues or clients, are essential if you want to work from home effectively. Emails and messaging can take up an unnecessary amount of time and sometimes results in miscommunication, because it’s hard to understand emotions via text. This makes a video call the best option for faster and more effective communication. It’s also a great way of generating ideas with each other. Two brains are better than one!
11. Eat tasty but healthy meals while working from home
Good food is a good mood! Eating healthily, and getting creative in the kitchen, forces you to take a good ‘break’ from work. Skip those easy-to-grab sugary snacks, as they will cause tiredness and decrease productivity. Instead, eat healthy foods to keep the brain in focus.
Just because food is ‘healthy’, doesn’t mean it can’t be tasty. Mix together a delicious bowl of fruits, nuts, and seeds, or make a natural peanut butter banana sandwich.
12. Avoid distractions that come with working from home
Distractions that come with your personal life can take up time without you even noticing it. It’s a good idea to make an agenda of personal chores that need to be done and set a time for this after finishing the day of work. Avoid mixing ‘business with pleasure’ in order to work from home productively.
Work from home but avoid social media
Social media can be the biggest distraction whilst working from home. Unless social media is needed for work, try to avoid having it open on the computer or phone. This will ensure you don’t lose valuable work time by endlessly scrolling.
13. Listen to your favorite music!
Who doesn’t love music? Playing music has been proven to increase productivity and help to focus the brain. Choose your favorite tunes to listen to whilst working, to renew motivation throughout the day. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones also helps to block out any background noise that may be present while working from home or in a cafe.
14. Know when to switch off
Keep personal and work time separate. It’s very easy, when working from home, to let work-life blend into home life. This can be detrimental to productivity and happiness. Make sure to follow your schedule, so at the end of the day, you close the laptop and leave the workday behind. Everybody needs to rest, and this will positively impact your next working day.