How to be Productive When Working from Home

I am once again working from home and I love it. Some people don’t do well working from home, and others thrive. I like to think that I thrive.  The freedom to set my own schedule works really well for me.  I am a list maker and a goal setter, so I if something needs to get done, I will get it done one way or another. Sometimes that means I trade off going for an hour walk at 9AM with Aaron and the dog for working a little later, but I am okay with that.

Here are some tips that work for me to be productive when working from home.

  1. Prioritize. Make a list of what needs to get done and prioritize according to urgency. I make lists for everything from work, Girls on the Run, exercise, and things to do around the house. Nothing feels better than checking things off the lists.
  2. Have a designated work space. It is way too tempting for me to work on the couch with Cash on my lap and Aaron next to me. Luckily I have a real office in the house and force myself in there to really get things done. I come out for lunch and snack breaks and also if there is anything I need to get done into the evening always is done on the couch with my boys.
  3. Get in a groove. Avoid distractions by focusing on one task for 25 minutes, taking a 5 minute break (hello, Facebook, Twitter and email).
  4. Use the OHIO method. The OHIO method stands for Only Handle It Once. This is for emails and voicemail and can really help so you don’t get overwhelmed by your inbox or forgetting about that email someone sent a few weeks ago. When you check an email, decide immediately what to do with it – move it to a folder, mark it important, or trash it if it is junk.
  5. Wake up 15 minutes early. Knowing I could sleep until 8 and still hop on the computer and get right to work is tempting. But it works better for me if I wake up a little earlier to ease into the morning with a cup of coffee and some Today show.
  6. Schedule in workouts. Having all day to get in a workout all too often means I don’t get in any workout.  At night, I plan with Aaron on when we will workout, and whether we are going to the gym or exercising outside. It makes it much easier to plan my day that way.
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