What I've Found Helpful While Working From Home: 5 Tips

Today marks two and a half weeks working from home for me.  In some ways it doesn't seem that long, and in other ways it seems like it's been forever.  

For most of my career, I have been lucky enough to have the ability to work from home.  Up until now, though, those working from home days were few and far between, mostly due to inclement weather or feeling ill, with the odd house (electric, cable, etc.) appointment thrown in there.  

Since those times were always random, I never really got into a really good routine when working from home.  But, since it's been a couple of weeks now, I feel like I have discovered a few tricks that have helped me work better from home.

1.  Keep a similar morning routine.  Mine isn't quite identical to what I would do if I were leaving the house to go to work, but it's super similar.  

Here's what my morning looks like:

  • Wake up - This is one of the things that has changed a bit.  Since I am not going into work, I can sleep in a bit longer!
  • Read devotional, write in gratitude journal - I truly think getting into a routine of doing this has made me a happier person.  It just starts the day out on the right foot.
  • Workout - One benefit from working from home is that I can get in a longer workout since I am not as tied to the clock!
  • Read a blog or two, tidy up, and/or catch up on some local news.  
  • Get ready for the day - I am so much more productive if I actually get ready for the day.  Don't get me wrong - I am still in sweats or leggings, and I can't remember the last time I curled my hair - but I shower, put on some makeup, and dry my hair to do something with (braid, bun, etc.).  Looking even somewhat put together does wonders for my productivity.
  • Start work at my 'normal' time.  While I do log in early sometimes, I try to keep to my regular start time.  Keeps things more normal!
Again, basically everything is the same as before, but on a slightly altered time schedule.  

2.  Take a break.  Whether it be a coffee/tea break, or a break to get up and move, take one!  Usually once in the morning and once in the afternoon I get up just to walk up and down the stairs five times.  This keeps me from being too sedentary, and can also help me refocus.  Also, at the office I usually would have tea mid-morning, and that's something I have been doing regularly, too.  I feel like every bit of normalcy can help, and it's a nice way to again, get up and move.  

3.  Use work time for work, not housework.  I feel I do best working from home when I am solely focused on work.  It is tempting to throw in that one load of laundry, or do something house related real quick, but I find that more often than not, that 'one thing real quick' isn't always as quick as I think, and then it starts my mind turning to all the other chores I want to get done.  Not the best way to have a productive workday.

4.  Step away from work during lunch.  Give yourself a true lunch hour (or half hour or 45 minutes - whatever your lunch time is).  Previously when I worked from home, I rarely did this.  I would just plop my computer next to me while I ate, and constantly check emails.  This stretch of working from home, I have been taking a true lunch break, and I think it's made a big difference in how my afternoon goes.  I make lunch, watch a show, and take that time to turn off my brain for a bit.  Then, when it's back to work, I feel more refreshed and ready to go.  And, by the end of the workday I am less antsy for the workday to be over than if I would have stayed 'on' during lunch.

5.  Have a post-work routine, something that helps signify the workday is over.  For me, that is fully shutting down my computer, and lighting a candle. While small, both those things help my mind shift from work mode to relaxation mode.  I also have been changing out of my 'work clothes' to my comfy clothes.  Which nowadays are one and the same, but the act of changing helps - even if is just from leggings to joggers.   

My days haven't all been smooth, but these five things have definitely have made a difference.

Any tips or tricks you have?

Linking up with Lindsay.

6 comments

  1. I think marking the end of the day is so important, for me it's when I start to make dinner! My day is sort of all over the place with G and I making sure we have our days lined up to take care of Sophia. xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. An end of the day, actually gives you something to look forward to and these are such wonderful tips my friend! Stay safe, sane and healthy!

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  3. These are awesome tips! I think you really hit on that although you work from home you need to still have a work life balance and try to keep the two separate. Tweeting now!

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  4. I work from home all of the time so this season of life isn't too unusual for me BUT because I can't wrap up the work day by going to run an errand or go out for dinner, etc. I have been making myself set a hard cut off for the work day and getting outside ... the weather is finally getting nice enough here in Minnesota so I can go for a walk rain or shine and that time outside in the fresh air lets me clear my mind and if I need a good cry about this crazy world ... I am not all cooped up in my apartment at the same time! :)

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    1. That's a great idea. I haven't been getting outside near as much as I should - it is such a mood changer! Plus a good cry is never a bad idea, especially at these times!

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  5. Continuing with a normal routine is KEY. I've noticed on the days where we don't stick to a morning routine, I feel like total crap most of the day just because I feel "off."

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