7 Work From Home Hacks for Remote Workers
Flexibility is one of the very BEST things that comes from having a job where you can work from anywhere, but it can also be one of the biggest challenges. Parkinson’s Law says it best by describing, “The amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.” Too much flexibility paired with a lack of discipline can lead to a lack of motivation, no routines, and poor self-care along with little productivity.
Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned along the way and built into my schedule to help boost productivity and add structure to working from home:
Get Outside. Humans are creatures of habit and sitting all day inside at your desk can quickly become a hard to break routine. You may not feel like it, but trust me, it will be SO worth it for you to hop outside and go for a 15 minute walk while listening to a podcast or soaking up some time to yourself.
Figure out your afternoon pick me-up. Have you experienced that inevitable feeling between the hours of 1 pm to 3 pm that steals all of your motivation? You’re finished with lunch, you had a productive morning, and now you’re tired or just not feeling it. Figure out what your “thing” can be that will get you excited for this dreaded part of the afternoon (or whatever part of the day is hardest for you to feel motivated!) and gives you something to look forward to. For me, it’s a cup of coffee (okay let me be honest - it’s coffee with vanilla sweetener and milk, I’m still just a wannabe black coffee drinker) or lemon tea. Whatever it is, plan it into your schedule and use it as a deadline and motivator for your day!
Ride the waves of inspiration. I LOVE the quote, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up to work.” I think there is such an important balance to find as someone who works from home of being disciplined enough to put in the hours when you need to even when you’re not feeling as excited to work. With that being said, some days you’re really going to be feeling it. Other days, you’re not. Give yourself grace on days where things just aren’t clicking and run with it on days where it is.
Get ready for the day. I am so often a total hypocrite when it comes to this, but I can tell a HUGE difference when I get ready for a work day even if I’m just going to be home alone. It plays a big role in making me feel more professional, motivated, and business-oriented. This doesn’t always mean having to put on a really cute outfit or have your hair done. It can be simply washing your face and putting on clothes other than your pajamas. I’m not saying those days shouldn’t happen. One of the many perks of working from home is that you CAN have days where you just camp out in your pajamas or leggings, so feel free to capitalize on that opportunity! Figure out what makes you feel the most beautiful, motivated, and business savvy and make that a part of your morning routine.
Figure out your routine/best working hours. Now that you get to set your own schedule, experiment with what hours work best for you! I am the most productive in the morning, so I enjoy getting started early and finishing up early. However, I’ve worked for or with plenty of creative entrepreneurs who love to work from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am and then start their work day again around 10 am the next morning. There is no wrong way! If you’re a virtual assistant, you’ll want to make sure that you have hours that overlap with your client or open communication about what your normal working hours are so that they know what to expect.
6. Invest in your office space. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the big bucks, but take the time, effort, and whatever budget you have to create your office space into a place where you look forward to working and feel inspired. Fill it with things that you LOVE and that motivate you. You will spend a ton of time in this space, so it is such a worthy investment! If you’re on a tight budget, Ikea has amazing desks and office chair finds! Plus, if you’re self-employed, this can serve as a fun tax write-off! :)
7. Treat yo’ self. Sometimes you need a little something extra to get yourself through a particularly difficult or time-consuming project. When this happens, treat yo’ self! This is a big example, but in order to reach my deadlines for launching this business, I told myself I could replace my Mac once I launched. This gave me a big thing to look forward to while working on a big, extensive task. Is there a pair of shoes that you’ve had your eye on for a while? Find a new client or create a new resource and use that as a reward for your hard work. Is there a big loan you’re trying to pay off that you know will relieve anxiety and allow for you to save for other things? Make yourself a payment goal and use that as motivation to take on extra tasks or put out a new product. Is there a new drink at Starbucks you’ve been dying to try? Give yourself a goal of getting a task done in a certain amount of time and reward yourself with it when you meet it. There are so many different ways to do this, so figure out your own way to treat yo’ self and stay motivated!
The list could go on and on, but I’ll end it there for now! Maybe there will be a part 2 post in the future :) I would love to hear what your favorite work from home hacks are in the comments below!