How to stay productive when working from home

I’ve been self-employed and working from home for a good 3 years now. I started my own online book touring business up from scratch, gained a client base and continue to grow and grow and get evermore busy. I also make a small income from my blog, which also requires more working from home, on my laptop. I’m not complaining though. I absolutely love what I do and hope to grow even more over the coming years to make a solid monthly income which I’ve created all by myself. But it hasn’t always been easy and it still isn’t sometimes. Working from home takes a lot of discipline and there are an awful lot of distractions to interrupt with your work too. Today I wanted to chat about how to stay productive when you’re working from home something that I’ve certainly had to learn, work on and continue to work on over the past 3 years.

Take care of your “space”

If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, making it your space and somewhere you want to spend time in can have a huge boost on your productivity. Companies like Penketh Group can give you tips, advice and help on how to create your perfect working environment. If you don’t have a home office, you can apply the same concepts to wherever you do work. Even adding small things like scented candles, comfy cushions and fairy-lights to your working environment will make it feel that little bit more special.

Keep things tidy

I start the beginning of every single day tidying up. I cannot begin to get things done when I see there’s a mess around, washing to do and things to tidy up. I’ve always found a tidy working environment equates to a tidier mind. But maybe that’s just me? It doesn’t have to be a deep clean, just get rid of any old tea cups and chocolate wrappers lying around from your Netflix binge the night before.

Stay organised

It can be so easy to slip when it comes to organisation. Leaving papers around, not keeping things in order and even letting your document folders on your laptop / computer get a bit of a state. As boring as it can be sometimes, I always, always, always stay organised and I know where everything is that I need and you’ll never find me scrambling around looking for that notebook with that important thing written down in. Also, this is a great opportunity to invest in some new, pretty stationery and notebooks!

Remember to eat & eat well

Again, very easy to forget to do when you have your entire fridge full of food right at your disposal! But keeping a normal, balanced diet whilst working from home can certainly keep the energy up and stop you feeling that mid-afternoon slump. Which can be dangerous when working from home because your bed is right there to take a nap on if you feel tired – which you can’t do in an office! Breakfast, lunch and dinner and stock up on the energy inducing food!

Keep a routine

When working from home, it can be incredibly easy to have that lay in or just catch up on that show you missed the night before or just stop for a million tea breaks and not actually make any proper progress. As if you were getting up and going out to work, set yourself a schedule. It doesn’t have to be strict but just “wake up between 8 and 8:30”, set a time for lunch and a time to do something “non work-related” and set an end time for your day. When work is t your disposal, it can e easy to get caught up and not allow yourself any time to switch off.

Remember to switch off

Which brings me to my next point, remember to switch off. Chances are, if you worked in an office in London, you would finish at 5 or 5:30, get home and not think about work for the rest of the evening, enjoy a meal with your partner, go to the cinema, go out with friends- whatever. When you work from home I’ve found it incredibly difficult to witch off sometimes and find myself doing odd bits of work well into the evening and straight before I go to bed. Which isn’t healthy. It’s good to enjoy your work but it’s also good to enjoy some down time!

Do you have any tips to add to this post? Do you work from home or would you like to?

* This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions here are my own.
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43 thoughts on “How to stay productive when working from home

  1. Totally agree with all of these. I would add to have clear boundaries, I guess this overlaps with some of yours but it is really easy to let work spill into personal and vice versa when you are self employed and work from home. I would sometimes find it helpful to rent a desk in a co-working space just to remind myself I was a professional and to spend time with other freelancers which helped with maintaining those boundaries.

  2. These are some great tips! It can be so easy to let things slip when you work from home. I’m guilty of not eating well; snacking throughout the day rather than having breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, like you, I like to start my day by tidying up from the day before, I can’t stand mess/clutter!

  3. I have been working from home for over 25 years now and i will add that, as lovely as it is to work in your pajamas, it helps to actually get dressed and “go” to work, even if it is just in the other room… you are then ready for anything the day brings and not caught off guard if a courier arrives at the door.

  4. I need to get into a routiene and a space! I also have to clear everything away, im really messy when i work so i cant pile up! There is a company in liverpool where you can rent out office space or go on a freelance day which I have been meaning to try out- maybe this is the future?
    Jen xxx

  5. Firstly, a huge well done to you! You’re amazing! I’d love to pack it all in and be self employed forever, but I’d weep and cry and stress (whilst simaltaneously living in denial). I love how well you’ve done! And I definirely agree with looking after your work space. I have a workspace upstairs annnnd haven’t used it in forever. Oops. I really should, but the sofa is so comfy!

    Claudia xo

  6. I have never thought of adding fairy lights and scented candles to my home office – why not?! I agree with all of your tips although I am sadly nowhere near as organised as you, haha. Maybe a splurge on some pretty stationery might help! And the tip about remembering to switch off is one I should really print out and stick to the top of my laptop! Lovely post, Jenny, really helpful! X

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  7. As a PhD student who works sometimes in the library and other times in my bedroom, I know the importance of a good work routine! It makes me ten times more productive and helps me keep out of writers block! I couldn’t agree more about having a lovely interior setting too, gimmie all the fairy lights, candles and pretty prints hehe!

    Abbey 💖 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  8. I agree with all of this. I would like to work from home a bit more but haven’t figured out how to do it yet. I work part time as an administrative assistant but I want to get back into creative writing. Because life is busy and now I workout regularly, it’s harder to find time to write/work for myself. As far as adding anything to your list I would say getting some form of exercise is a good idea. Even if all you do is stretch very now and then. I write best after talking a short walk if I’m feeling blocked or just kind of mentally drained or sluggish.

  9. What a great post! I think if I worked from home I’d probably take a trip to the fridge like every hour haha! I think you deffo have to make your ‘work space’ aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, or else you won’t get much done! x

    G

  10. I work from home quite a lot so a post like this is REALLY helpful. Although I’m not exactly great at sticking and remembering each pointer. I’m really bad for forgetting to eat and not sticking in a routine, but sometimes I find I’m more productive in the evening and other times in the day… its strange really!

    Lots of Love, Debra-Bow xxx | http://www.debrabow.com

    • I think it’s important to work to your advantages as well though – so if you work better in the evening definitely utilise that and make that part of your routine! Not everyone’s routines need to look the same 🙂 xxx

  11. Keeping a schedule and a routine is crucial to me. If I don’t have a schedule I get nothing done! I’ve started blocking off time in my google calendar and get alerts when it’s time to start working on the next thing. It really helps! xx

  12. I cackled so much at your ‘chocolate wrappers from your Netflix binge’ comment because that is me 100%. I don’t work from home but all of these tips are extremely useful for blogging in general and I need to get into the habit of them – especially of forming a routine and staying organised… and perhaps *less* of the eating haha!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  13. I don’t work from home often but i when do i also find getting everything tidy makes me a lot more motivated. I can’t concentrate with messy surroundings!

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