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7 Tips for Maximizing Your Time While Working from Home

One of the great advantages of being a certified sleep coach is the ability to work from home. You’ll be able to enjoy more flexibility in your schedule, save money on commuting costs, increase quality time with your family, and significantly decrease your annual Starbucks budget!

However, as so many people are finding out these days, managing and maximizing your own time while working from home takes planning and smart strategies. Here are some tips for helping you achieve a happy and productive work-life balance.

Tips for Maximizing Your Time While Working from Home

(Tina Witherspoon/unsplash)

1. Schedule Your Day

Set priorities for each day, and schedule anything that requires your full focus, such as writing, for the times you tend to be most productive. For a lot of people, this will be the first thing in the morning before the distractions start, but not everyone is a morning person. Keep track of the hours in the day that you’re able to get the most done, and note any patterns.

A to-do list can help you keep track of everything and assist in prioritizing tasks. Once you have a list of what needs to be done, estimate the time needed for each task and then sort tasks by urgency and importance. Be sure to mark off each to-do as it’s finished! A big fat checkmark can be good motivation.

You will also want to schedule when your work-from-home days should end. In the office it’s easy to keep track of the beginning and end of a day, but while working remotely it’s easy to find yourself overworking. Overworking can affect your personal life, as well as your productivity. Set an alarm for closing time, and stick to it.

2. Comfortable Workspace

As much as you can, set up a dedicated workspace for yourself in your home. Include comfortable seating and a desk or table and be sure to choose an area with reliable internet access.

Having a separate room or space in your home will help you get into work mode when it’s time to work. Working from bed may seem enticing, but it’s important that your mind associates the space you’ve chosen with work.

3. Communicate with Your Family

If you have kids at home, it is important to explain to them that while you are in your workspace, they will need to respect that you are busy and working. With younger children, this of course will be more difficult. It may help to schedule time in your day for meals and playtime breaks with the family.

As an added bonus, taking regular breaks throughout the day is shown to actually make you more, not less, productive. If you have a partner also working from home, try to schedule your breaks together.

4. Limit Your Distractions

Kids and family won’t be the only disruptions to your at-home workday. While you’re setting up a productive and comfortable physical space, it is also important to aim for peace and quiet. Keep televisions turned off. If silence is also distracting, soothing music or white noise machines may help with concentration.

Your phone and social media accounts may also create disruptions. At the start of each day, mute your phone or put it on “do not disturb.” Try website blockers on your computers to prevent you from absent-mindedly surfing non-work and social media sites.

5. Dress for the Job

Just as setting up a professional workspace can help you concentrate on your work, changing out of your pajamas or sweat pants and dressing as you would for an in-person meeting or a trip into the office may also increase productivity. Even though you won’t be leaving home, you should still get up each morning, shower, and get yourself ready for the day. You may find it helps your mind feel more energized and prepared to get to work.

6. Avoid Procrastination

Much of the time while creating schedules and to-do lists, people underestimate the time it will actually take to get things done. Keep this in mind, and try not to put off till later the tasks that could be done earlier.

Multitasking can be another form of procrastination. Dividing your time between different tasks can produce less-than-perfect results. Instead, go back to your prioritized to-do list and stick to the order.

7. Reward Yourself

Set up productivity goals for yourself each day, week or month, and reward yourself for making them. Goals and rewards can give you an extra boost of motivation, whether that motivation will be in the reward itself or in the challenge met.

In addition to this, make sure you are also practicing self-care. Working from home can be positive in a lot of ways, but it can also be lonely or exhausting. Check in and have conversations with colleagues–either in person or virtually. Do some form of exercise each day. Make sure you keep up with your sleep. And most importantly, take time for yourself.

Interested in learning more about the mostly remote working career of a baby sleep consultant? You can find more information by going to this page.

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My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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