For the last couple of weeks I have mostly been sat at a desk with my eyes glued to a laptop screen. I’ve spent a lot more time indoors than I usually do and while I’ve enjoyed editing, it seems to have rekindled my natural talent in procrastination.
So, here’s a list of my top five tips for being productive at home! At the moment, I tend to work from home: writing and editing but I think these tips could be really useful if you are studying as well. These are just some ideas that work for me but let me know in the comments if you have any more tips that you use!
1. Have a Dedicated Work Space!
I just bought a desk! Gone are the days where I would be sat at my ironing board, editing. Yep, that really happened. Here’s a photo to prove it:
Just having a space dedicated to work makes it so much easier to concentrate and divide your time between work and leisure. If you’re sat on the sofa with the tv blaring in the background, that’s obviously not going to work out so well. I also find that having a space to work makes it easier to switch off and stop working, instead of going back and forth all evening with whatever you are doing right in front of you. So, try having a space away from any distractions that you can use as your work-place and leave when you want to stop and relax.
2. Get Outside!
This is such a big one for me. I cannot physically begin my day without doing some form of exercise. It also encourages you wake up early, get it done and have a full day ahead of you. I don’t know about you but it takes me a long time to feel fully awake in the morning and yet by the time I exercise, shower and eat, I feel great.
In general, being cooped up inside for an entire day isn’t going to do you any favours either. It sends me a little bit insane and I find that the more often I get outside, the better. Getting your heart rate up in the morning fills your body with endorphins and makes you so much more energetic. Once I’ve exercised, I feel like I’ve already achieved something and especially if it’s still super early, that gives me a lot of confidence going into the day.
3. Put on a Shirt
If I am working from home, I usually try to dress reasonably smart. For me, once I put on a shirt, I enter ‘work mode’ and for some reason it makes focusing that bit easier. If I’m sending emails and yet sitting in my boxers on my bed, I can’t help but feel that’s how the emails will come across. A friend of mine says he does something similar; he wears smart shoes whenever he is working from home. If you do decide to follow this tip, I’d suggest putting some trousers on somewhere along the line too: shirt and shoes probably won’t cut it (especially if you do decide to leave the house). Which leads me onto my fourth tip…
4. Leave the House Once a Day.
I can’t actually stay inside for a whole day. Even if it’s just for an hour or so, I have to get out. Probably my best tip for working at home is actually to not work from home. Cafés are just my favourite place to work and not only because I love coffee. I think it’s so important, especially when you’re often working alone, to go and have a change of scenery, get some inspiration from whatever it is that’s going on around you. Meet people, chat to them and brainstorm ideas. It’s become totally engrained in my everyday life and it just makes being self employed so much more fun. Who needs an office when you have a café?
A couple of months ago I received a Penny Board and learning to skate has been awesome! I love being able to just skate down the road; meet a friend, discuss ideas, take photos and drink coffee… did I mention coffee? It’s such a nice feeling not having to drive everywhere, just picking up the board and heading down to a local café. I am so much more productive in new spaces, new places. This has somehow become one of my favourite ways to stay productive. I waste so much time sitting in traffic, findings somewhere to park, *paying for parking fines*. Instead, I can now walk and even skate to a local spot. Of course, there are always those times when you have to work to a deadline but if you do have a chance, getting out the house can bring out so much creativity and even provide you with some cool new content. In fact, I met a friend last week and here are some photos when we did just that:
5. Have a set time to start and finish.
This is pretty hard to stick to but if I am working from home, I try and make sure I start work as soon as possible which is another incentive to wake up early. I find waking up very difficult sometimes but if you think I’m grumpy at 7:00am, you should see me at 8:30am when I’ve missed my alarm. Waking up at a decent time is the best way to start the day. Once you get into a routine, your body clock adjusts pretty well and when it comes to working in the morning, you are usually so much more productive because you aren’t falling asleep at the desk.
I hope these tips might be of some use to you whether you are working on a project, studying or even revising for something. It’s so nice to get back writing on the blog and I’m sorry it’s been a while, I will be sure to start posting more frequently again!
[Photos by Britt (www.instagram.com/tallbritt) and myself. Huge thanks to Britt for these awesome snaps and to Penny Skateboards for making this blog possible.]