Working from home is tougher than it looks; luckily, I have a few tips for upping productivity levels (when sluggishness begins to creep in), which have worked in my favour over the past year or so!
Structure your day, and keep to a semi-flexible routine – Admittedly, sticking to an uncomprising, regimental-like schedule is fairly impossible as a freelancer as your work load differs from week to week, but I do think structuring your work days as you would in an office for example, is the best way to ensure maximum productivity. And however tempting it may be to leisurely wake up at 9am every morning, I find that waking up early is one of the best ways to make the most of your day, and to rid yourself of any sluggish tendencies. Structuring your day is also incredibly important if some tasks on your to-do list rely on certain times of the day; for example, some of my freelancing jobs revolve around content creation, and so I reserve 9am until lunch time for photography because that’s when the light is the easiest to work with.
Use a weekly planner – There are so many free printable weekly/daily/monthly planners available online, and so there really is no excuse for at least trying it out. Weekly printable planners really are my saving grace, and they just mean that I can clearly see my weekly workload, which is such a huge help.
Distractions? get rid of ’em – If possible, try to have a dedicated work space, and keep any distractions out of sight. I know all too well that if the novel I’m currently reading is within reach/sight, I will be tempted to put my work aside and just read. I keep my phone faced downwards, and put it on flight mode if I’m tackling a particularly testing task.
One thing at a time – When I first started freelancing, I found that I was trying to juggle – a lot. In lieu of mashing a million and one things in my head that ultimately lead to me having a tantrum come 12pm, I keep a checklist, and try to only undertake one task at a time.
Take hourly 10 minute breaks – Working at a computer screen isn’t the greatest for a multitude of reasons, and I find that taking an hourly ten minute break works perfectly for both my motivation levels and sanity.
Productivity and activity are two very different things – As the saying goes; ‘quality over quantity’. It’s a pivotal moment for a freelancer when this kind of mantra is adopted.
Exercise – I workout every day, and unless you’re unable to do so for medical reasons, I think not exercising when you work from home and otherwise get zilch form of exercise is inexcusable! Even just a 10 minute workout online, or walking to your local shop is great. Working out every day is non-negotiable for me; it keeps me fit and healthy, but is also great for relieving stress and tension.
How do you like to up your productivity levels? Jess x