From school, to running a business, to writing a book and managing a household, working from home can be a challenging feat. And not just working from home, but making the most out of your day and getting done what needs to get done.
Below I explore various practical ways that you can maximize your space, and brain power, and get the most out of your day when your motivation and drive is ready to meet the expectations of productivity.
Be Comfortable: My typical ‘dress’ for a work day includes sweats and an oversized hoodie; my hair in a bun so not to be distracting, and some blue light glasses so that the screens don’t give me a blasting headache. For some however, this means getting into formal office attire, with a full face of makeup because that is what motivates them. Being comfortable implies everything from the chair you sit in to the clothes you wear to the food you eat. Working from home can have its own set of issues due to the plethora of distraction and potential procrastination, but being comfortable can be its own motivator and set a positive tone to the content you are producing.
Stay Tidy: A clean space creates a clean mind and I find myself more motivated when my space is organized. When everything has a place and I can reach for whatever I need whenever I need it, there is a satisfying feeling. I am also easily distracted and procrastinate by cleaning and sorting through miscellaneous drawers. Staying tidy also means cleaning up at the end of your ‘work-day’ and putting everything back where it is supposed to go. Starting fresh the next morning, as opposed to waking up with mess and clutter, is going to keep your mind clear and settled for your content creation.
Delegate Space: I feel like this is something that people are told a lot, but rarely do because it can be a difficult habit to adopt. However I feel that, subconsciously, if you delegate specific spaces with specific tasks in your home, you are more likely to succeed in your work, and get more out of your relaxation space. This is because your brain associates specific activities with specific spaces, therefore you are more likely to be productive at your desk, and have your brain relax and turn to fluff while sitting on the couch. I also would recommend removing mobile and tablet devices from your bed, and while hoping for sleep, try to read a book or practice yoga and increase your natural melatonin levels.
Take Breaks: Don’t push yourself. If you feel as though you are hitting a wall, or feeling unmotivated, it is important to step away from your work and clear your mind. Don’t feel guilty. It is better to take short breaks between production you love, rather than pushing through and enveloping yourself in content you don’t genuinely love. Just taking your dog for a walk, or scrolling through Instagram; clearing your mind and/or letting creative juices flow, away from the pressures of being productive, is where some of the best content is going to expand.
Drink lots of Water: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the work you are doing… and feel as though you need to push through and create a 9-5 grind. With that, it is easy to forget to eat and drink and do so healthily. Have a large water bottle (so that you do not have to fill it up constantly) that is always at your disposal, and remember to stay hydrated. The reality is your brain and body operates better when it is hydrated.
Manage Your Time: This doesn’t mean be productive for as long as possible and push aside your other needs until work is done; it means do whatever works for you. Through scheduling work versus play, or delegating days or going to a specific space. Managing your time means not overloading yourself nor depriving yourself of wants or needs. Delegate time, just as you would space, for specific activities such as cooking, being sociable or working. If I manage my time I find that at home I am more inclined to be productive if I am only accountable to myself or a client deadline. Get shit done in a specific amount of time (being fair to yourself) and reward yourself after.
Don’t beat yourself up: The reality is that we are all still learning a millennial way of working from home and being productive in a comfortable, relaxed environment. However, I want to stress similarly to a lot of articles I have written, working from home should be al about what works for you and is conducive to your job and your content and your lifestyle. If you hit a road block and need to take an hour or a day to decompress or just regroup then that is totally okay. Do what works for you and what makes you most productive.