This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Chelsea Brotherton
How to Stay Productive While Working From Home
Now, more than ever, figuring out how to work from home is a challenge many people are navigating. We know how difficult it can be to stay productive while working from home. However, there are some tips and tricks to help keep you focused on your work and getting things done.
Create a Specific Workspace
Creating a space that is solely for work will help keep your mind from distractions. As tempting as it may be to lie in bed and work, we all know that is not the way to stay productive. Working in a dedicated space can help to keep you focused on the task at hand.
Try to create an office space that is quiet, comfortable (but not _too _comfortable!), free from distractions, and stocked with any work supplies you might need, such as paper, pens, or a printer, to minimize breaking focus to find necessities. Having organizational supplies will keep your space easy to use and clutter free.
Set a Schedule
Whether you live alone or you juggle activities with multiple family members, scheduling should be a top priority. Getting into a routine can help to keep you motivated and focused. If you need to work with other people's schedules, establish office times and needs. Set a schedule with yourself to wake up, start working, take breaks, and finish working. Establishing a set routine will help your body and mind know when it is supposed to be in work mode.
Breaks are important. While it may seem counterintuitive, breaks are absolutely necessary. Your brain needs small breaks from a full day of focusing. As important as it is to set up a space for working time, it is also important to set up a calm place to take breaks.
Set up a space free from television or social media, as that can distract your mind a little too much. Modular sofas work in any space for comfortable seating, and a room with bright natural light can help your mind relax and recharge during a break.
Put Your Phone Away
To limit digital distractions during break time, leave your electronics out of your workspace. Outside of computer use for work, cell phone and television usage will do nothing but distract your mind and make you much less productive. If you are struggling with staying disciplined, there are many apps designed to keep you off social media and games for a specified time.
Listen to Music
Listening to music can help to keep you focused and productive while working from home. However, you will need to be smart about your musical choices. Choosing a loud, lyrical party music might not be the best choice for office time. Generally, music without lyrics is great for concentration; classical music is, well, a classic, but for a more contemporary alternative try Lo-Fi beats. Anything that can play in the background of your workday without distracting you should help keep you focused.
Make a To Do List
Staying organized is very important, and creating a to do list can help organize your brain for the day. Set out tasks you hope to accomplish for the day, from most to least important. Then, you can work on your list knowing you accomplished the most important tasks of your day first. Additionally, be realistic with yourself when making your list. Setting out to accomplish 50 tasks during one day might be too much of a workload and leave you feeling frustrated and unsatisfied with the work you have done. Write a list of tasks that are challenging but reasonable to accomplish during the day. Checking off your list as you go will keep you motivated and productive.
Create a Morning Routine
Starting out your morning in the right way can be one of the biggest factors to success. Just as creating a schedule for your work day can have a positive impact, getting into a morning routine can lead to more consistent motivation to work. This could be a routine that you established before working from home. If you're used to exercising before work, having coffee, or eating breakfast, continue to do those things while working from home. Keeping these routines gives signals to your brain that it's time to get focused and prepared to work.
Along the same lines, getting dressed for work can help transition your brain into work mode. While the allure of working from PJs daily is strong, getting up and getting dressed can lead to a more productive and focused morning.
As important as it is to do these things above, taking the time to care for yourself is still vitally important. Just as when you're working from the office and need time to unwind and step away from work, it is important to take time to decompress while working from home, too. Just because you're home doesn't mean you don't need a respite from the stresses of working. Be sure to take time for yourself after work. Read a book, go for a walk, spend time on a hobby you enjoy. Setting time aside for these things regularly will keep you centered and keep you from feeling overwhelmed by your job. Think of this like maintenance for your workdays; keeping your mind clear in your personal time will spill over into clear minded work days.
Many people around the world are transitioning into working from home and struggle to find a balance that works for them. Jamming one more thing into your already busy personal life and home can feel like a wrench in the works. Fortunately, there are so many strategies at your fingertips that can help you stay productive while working from home. We hope these tips help make working from home a little more stress free and a lot more focused.
Chelsea is a 27-year-old writer based out of South TX with a Bachelor's degree in English writing from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Professionally, she has experience creating and maintaining online content for small- to medium-sized businesses, researching, writing, and editing technical pieces, and editing materials ranging from blogs to video scripts to marketing materials, and more. She is proficient in SEO best practices and has worked closely with many businesses to meet their continually growing needs. Chelsea is an eager writer and editor looking to expand her experience.