6 ways to stay sane and be productive when you work from home
Yes, you can work in your yoga pants, but the lack of human contact can start to weigh on a person.
When you think of working from home, what comes to mind? Gracefully breezing through your workday in fuzzy pink bunny slippers, checking things off your to-do list left and right, without your annoying cubemate telling you about the best fish tacos he ever ate? Sounds pretty great, right? Well it is great. For the most part.
I’ve been working from home for over 5 years, and while I would NEVER want to go back to a traditional office environment, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t always all it’s made out to be. It takes a lot of discipline to do it full-time. And sometimes you’re going to want to invite the mailman in for lunch because you haven’t spoken to another human all day. Yes, you can work in your yoga pants, but the lack of human contact can start to weigh on a person. And the temptation to just watch the Kardashians for the first part of your morning can be a real struggle. But if you can figure out how to stay productive without totally losing your mind, working from home just might work for you too.
Here are a few things I do to keep me sane and keep me motivated throughout the day.
1. Get ready
OK, so full disclosure, I don’t do this every day—BUT—on the days I do actually get up in time to get ready, I feel so much more prepared for the day. Bright pink lipstick and a little mascara can do a lot for a girl!
2. Have a dedicated space for your office
You need to be able to mentally and physically separate work from your personal life; so dedicate an area in your home as your “office” and make sure you feel inspired and focused when you are in there.
3. Make a schedule and stick to it
This one is important to create consistency in your days. Set a time that you need to be at your desk working and be there on time. Just as important is to set a time to wrap up your day. When you don’t have to worry about how long you’ll be in traffic on your commute home, it is easy to stay hulled up in your office until it gets dark.
4. Take breaks
If you were in a traditional office setting, you would naturally have the proverbial “water cooler” breaks throughout the day. So build these breaks into your work-from-home days as well. Throw a load of laundry in or take your dog for a quick walk. You should embrace the flexibility, but don’t take advantage of it.
5. Remember to eat
Just because you are home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still pack your lunch and snacks. Having these things prepared helps on those busy days when you need to just grab something and eat at your desk.
6. Set yourself up for success every evening
Before you call it quits, tidy up and double check your schedule for the next day, just as you would before you headed home from the “real” office.