Working from home definitely has its perks. No commute to the office, endless cups of coffee and getting to stay in your pajamas all day are just a few of the luxuries we enjoy. While there are plenty of good things about it, it can sometimes be tough to stay on schedule and actually get work done. Since we’ve been working from home for a few years now, we wanted to share some of our tips for staying productive.
Set Business Hours
One of the things that has helped us the most is setting, and actually sticking to, a set business hours. During the week, we wake up between 7:00 – 7:30, eat breakfast, then start working at 8:00. We take an hour break for lunch at noon, and end our work day at 5:00. This schedule works well for us because we are both early risers and most of our clients are working around the same hours, so they are able to get a hold of us if needed.
It took us awhile to stick to this schedule. When we first started Wicky Design, we’d sometimes work all hours of the night or on weekends so we could finish projects faster, but we quickly got burned out from working all the time. Sticking to a Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 5:00 schedule, has actually helped increase our productivity because we schedule our time better.
Schedule Your Day
Scheduling each day is just as important as setting business hours. At the end of each day, I like to make a to-do list for the next day, then actually schedule out blocks of time to complete those tasks. I’ve found setting specific blocks of time to perform tasks helps me actually get through them.
This is especially helpful when juggling multiple client projects at once. I’ll schedule morning hours to work on one project, and afternoon hours to work on another one, so I end up making progress on everything without feeling overwhelmed. We also dedicate Friday to working on things for our business, so we don’t fall behind on those important tasks.
Designate A Workspace
When we were searching for our home, a good home office space was a priority. We knew we needed something big enough to fit 2 desks and still have room for storage. We added fun accents and decorations to make it more inspiring and comfortable. It’s where we spend the majority of our time everyday, so we wanted to make sure the space was awesome.
Having a good workspace has helped us be more productive and creative. We know when we step into our office it’s time to get things done. If you’re going to be working from home, having a good workspace is a must. Make it a place that’s fun and comfortable, so you’ll actually want to sit there 8 hours a day.
Set Boundaries With Family And Friends
Some people think when you work for yourself, you have freedom to do whatever, whenever. While lunch with friends, or an outing with family is nice, we try to save those things for after business hours. We let our friends and family know our work schedule and try not to answer personal calls or texts while working.
Things like social media, your phone and TV can be tempting when working from home, since there’s no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re actually working. We try to eliminate those distractions as much as possible so we can focus more time on work. Our TV is downstairs away from our office, so we are less tempted to take a half day and binge watch a Netflix show. If I really need to focus on something, I usually close out my email tab and put my phone in another room.
Track Your Time
Another thing we’ve found helpful is tracking the time we spend doing certain tasks. Doing this has helped us figure out what we spend the most time on, so we can find solutions to complete those tasks in less time. It also shows us how much time we spent on particular projects, so we know if the time we are estimating in our quotes is correct.
Working home definitely has both benefits and struggles. We hope our experience and tips can help you become a better work from home boss!