If there’s one thing I noticed right away when I began copywriting, it’s that staying productive when you are working from home can be tricky!
Some people do their best when they are in a time-crunch. You may put things off till the last minute and turn in amazing work just minutes before it is due.
Others are the opposite. You may feel that procrastinating is out of the question and would much rather stay way ahead of deadlines.
No matter what your preference is, it takes discipline to be productive, especially when you are not going into an office or answering to a superior.
Here are 7 ways that I’ve learned to improve my productivity and make working from home (or anywhere) more enjoyable.
How to Be More Productive when Working from Home
- Create an inspiring place to work
- Figure out your organization style
- Know when you are most productive
- Create a routine
- But don’t be afraid to mix it up
- Minimize distractions
- Celebrate small wins
We all struggle with productivity now and then, no matter what kind of work we do. These tips can help you take back control of your time and up your productivity, all around making you less stressed and more efficient.
1. Create an inspiring place to work
When working from home, carving out a place that you like working in is crucial. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it’s nice to have an area where you feel comfortable.
Whether you have a large, private office or a small folding table in the living room, try to make your workspace somewhere that you enjoy being. You can set up by a window or put a few plants around you. Pick out colors or artwork that inspire you. Keep all the supplies you need throughout the day in reach.
Keeping this area free of clutter will help you stay focused and productive. It can also be nice to make your workspace separate from an area where you like to relax. This lets your brain know when it’s time to work and when it isn’t.
An inspiring and comfortable workspace is key for staying productive throughout the day.
2. Organize your way
When working from home, it can be helpful to think about what style of organization works best for you. I really like to be able to write things down on paper and use a planner to visualize what my week looks like.
Task management software can also be super useful. Asana, Trello, Clickup are just a few of the platforms that you may find helpful for organizing tasks. These can be great if you work in a team or have several different clients at once.
Take time to experiment with different systems for your own personal projects. Some folks like digital calendars, others need an expo board. Some people get down on spreadsheets; some send themselves voice memos.
Your best organization method is unique to you, so it doesn’t have to be what anyone else is doing. It’s probably a combination of a few different things.
You’ll be happy that you have these systems in place as your business grows or workload builds. Being organized helps you focus and get work done in a timely manner without feeling frazzled.
3. Know when you are most productive
This is something that I took note of quickly. I am most productive and am able to write a lot higher quality and quantity in the mornings. After lunch, it becomes much harder for me to concentrate. Work after dinner time? Forget it.
You may be the opposite. I definitely have friends that get their best work done super late at night. You can definitely be more productive while working from home if you organize your days around the time you naturally have the most brain power.
I try to do as much of the creative stuff shortly after waking up. I save things like answering emails and sending invoices around my afternoon slump since they don’t take too much thought. I tend to get another burst of energy around 4 or 5 so I plan to do reviewing and final edits then.
Knowing when you are most productive and organizing your tasks around that can be a game changer. Truly, work is no fun when you have to force it. When you’re in the flow, ride it out and get stuff done. When you’re feeling stagnant, just do what you can and consider taking on some tasks that require minimal critical thinking.
4. Create a routine…
Carving out a routine (around the times your most productive ^) is key, but it can be hard to do when you are making your own schedule/working on your own time.
I have noticed that if I don’t have some sort of routine in place, then I just bounce from project to project (and sometimes from room to room) without really getting anything accomplished. For me, routine is crucial.
This will look a little different for everyone. You may organize your routine around your clients or base your schedule on what is due soonest. It can be helpful to take calls around the same time everyday or schedule out fifteen minute windows for breaks.
It can be good for your productivity to start and end work around the same time everyday. This means that you are “on” during certain hours, and don’t have to feel guilty about being “off” at other times.
Having a routine can actually lower stress, improve sleep and make you feel more focused during the day. This ups both productivity and wellbeing.
5. But don’t be afraid to mix it up
Routine is good, but sometimes it can get a little boring, right?
The beautiful part of working from home is the freedom to mix things up whenever you like! Maybe you’re feeling a midday yoga class, or decide to go meet a friend for some coffee.
Breaking from your routine every now and then can be nice. It can also help you get back to work feeling more inspired and creative. This can help you prevent burnout and make your workday more enjoyable.
This is definitely a huge advantage of being able to work from home. Spontaneity can keep life exciting and keep you from getting stuck in a rut.
6. Minimize Distractions
Distractions are a big time productivity killer. It’s not possible to eliminate all the distractions from your home, but you can definitely create habits that minimize them.
You may have kiddos running around or a spouse that also works from home. You might be distracted by a pile of dirty clothes or enticed by your big screen TV.
Pay attention to what usually hijacks your focus and make the necessary adjustments. If you find that you’re spending too much time on social media, maybe consider putting your phone in another room for an hour or two. Close all the extra tabs on your computer and vow not to check your emails every five minutes.
You’ll quickly see how much more productive you are, when you are able to minimize your distractions. It may feel like you’re sacrificing something at first, but you’ll actually see that doing this gives you more time in your day as you’ll be completing your work much faster.
7. Celebrate small wins
One of the biggest tips for staying productive is being sure to take the time and celebrate the completion of tasks and the little victories within your workday.
Turn in a huge project that you’ve been working on for the last few weeks?
Treat yourself to a fancy dinner!
Get a good review from a client?
Impromptu dance party!
There are so many small ways that you can celebrate your wins. It could be ice cream with the kiddos or a nice long bubble bath.
Celebrating the strides we make at work can make it easier to stay motivated and can prevent burn out. Pat yourself on the back for your efforts. You’re doing great!
Curious about working from home?
Copywriting may be your answer.
I give you the lowdown in the Copywriter’s Academy on everything you need to build your business remotely. We also talk more about productivity tips and how to optimize working from home.
Working remotely can be a great way to have autonomy and freedom and to get more out of life. We can get even more out of working remotely when we learn how to be productive.
Ultimately, being satisfied and fulfilled with your work is the ultimate productivity tip. For me, working from home has greatly improved my work/life balance and made me a happier and more creative worker.