How to Work From Home [Successfully]

Skylar Wooden and Katie Butler

December 17, 2017

Working from home sounds like a dream. Imagine it. No one knows if you wear sweatpants at the computer or if you type with Cheeto dust on your fingers.

Dreamlike as it is, working from home comes with certain challenges. Everyone on the P&F team has worked at home at one time (or still does).

We set out with the intentions of having a productive day and quickly get sidetracked by the phone, the chores that need to get done, or one of the million things in the house that can distract a person. A cat sitting on the keyboard, anyone?

We’ve put together our top five tips that keep us as focused and productive as possible.

Make a to-do List

However you start your day, whether drinking your coffee at your kitchen table or sitting at your desk, make a to-do list during that time. This is great way to organize your thoughts and jump start your morning brain. If you already incorporate this practice, amp up your morning mindfulness with The Happiness Planner, which you can purchase here.

Because you aren’t leaving the house to go to an office, your brain needs a way to clear the fog.

Pro tip: Your morning ritual is the most important part of your day. Make sure it’s something that leaves you happy, balanced, and alert.

See also: Do it, Delegate it, or Discard it

Keep a Consistent Schedule

If you’re going to work from home, it’s important that you keep a consistent schedule, just as if you were headed into the office.

We aren’t saying wake up at 5am, just that whatever your schedule is, keep it consistent. If you enjoy sleeping in, keep your schedule later in the day. If you like getting up early, plan your day around when you wake up.

Your body loves routine, whether you naturally gravitate toward a schedule or not.

See also: How to be Productive (When You’d Rather Just Go Home)

Create Deadlines for Yourself

Imaginary deadlines can help to keep you on track and keep you from wasting time. Setting personal deadlines may seem arbitrary since you are in charge of them, but let’s think of them as goals instead. Set small goals for yourself to keep you on schedule, especially if you have a habit of procrastinating.

See also: How to Effectively Set Goals

Separate Work From Home, AKA Have an Office

It’s not always best to just roll out of bed and over to your laptop. Having a separate workspace can do wonders to minimize distractions. As much as it seems like working from your bed or couch doesn’t make a difference, you aren’t in a ‘work’ frame of mind.

Not only do you not want your home life interfering with your work, you don’t want your work life spilling over into your home time either. If it all feels like work, or it all feels like home, your life has no balance.

See also: Ten Steps to Mastering Work-Life Balance

Remove Distractions

It may be tempting to watch television or sit on your phone, but resisting these temptations will be best in the long run. Nothing ruins a plan to be productive like realizing you spent the whole day re-watching Scrubs for the 10th time.

See also: Five Things to Consider Before Asking to Work Remotely

Working remotely can be as good as it sounds, in the right setting. What are your best tips?

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