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How To Be Productive At Home: 10 Top Tips

As a full-time travel blogger, the reality is that when you’re not travelling, you’re spending a lot of time at home.

For the past 2.5 years I have alternated long periods of travelling with long periods at home, in either London or Italy, where I spend most of my time at home alone working on my laptop.

Pair that with two years work experience in a corporate office, which at times allowed me to work flexibly from home, and a three year university degree where I always studied from home, and you could say I’m somewhat of an expert when it comes to working efficiently from home.

With the recent changes in the world a lot of us are finding themselves working from home, but not really knowing how to be productive.

I get that. At home there are more distractions and no colleagues to peer pressure you, it can be easy to procrastinate!

I personally love working from home, and over the years have perfected a system to work productively from the comfort of my home. Just think about all the extra time you have in your day by not having to commute!

In this guide I’ve put together my top tips on how to be productive at home. Whether you’re starting a new blog, writing an e-book, practicing your photography skills or planning a trip, this is the guide for you!

I hope you find my home productivity tips useful in making your work from home days more efficient!

Go online anywhere you want thanks to your Teppy device

Wishing this was my home work space more often!

10 working from home tips for success

Get dressed!

I’m not saying you should suit up, I personally haven’t worn jeans in over a month, but you should make sure to change out of your pijamas. Even if it is just changing into comfortable trackies, get out of those pjs!

I’ve spent a lot of work from home days where I didn’t feel like getting dressed and just ended up working in pijamas. I can assure you they were nowhere near as productive as the ones where I changed outfit.

It may sound silly but it’s something that will make you feel ready for the day and make you more productive.

Blonde girl in a grey jumpsuit standing next to a red phone box with London Eye behind her

Jumpsuits are my go-to! Both for going out and working from home, they’re so comfy!

Break up your to-do list into smaller actionable items

One of the biggest issues people have when working from home (or in general, this one isn’t limited to working from home) is setting themselves too many big tasks.

If your to-do list is too long you might find yourself struggling to complete it, which then leads to a “Fuck it, I’m never going to be done with this I’m taking a break” mentality.

When you write your to-do list you want to break up big tasks into smaller ones.

For example if my aim for the day is to publish a blog post, I would break that up into writing the draft, editing pictures, uploading to WordPress, creating pins, sharing on social media etc.

So that I can tick off every little thing as I go along.

Being able to tick things off your to-do list, no matter how small, will make you feel way more productive than having one big task on there that never seems to be done.

Create a schedule (and stick to it!)

Another key element in being productive when you work from home is to create a schedule, and actually stick to it!

It’s easy to think “Oh I’ll edit pictures this morning, then write the blog post after lunch, then upload it after my gym break” and then before you realise it it’s dinnertime and you haven’t completed anything on your list.

Either the night before or in the morning you should look at your to-do list, figure out how long you need for each task, assign them each a time slot and create a schedule for your day.

Having it under hand as you work will ensure that you are completing your tasks within a productive timeframe. I’ve included below an example of what my daily schedule might look like.

If my goal for the day is to publish a blog post I break that up into smaller tasks (as mentioned in the previous point) and then spread them out through the day like you see below.

A sample of my daily schedule when I work from home

A sample of my daily schedule when I work from home

Schedule in breaks

You might have noticed from the above schedule that I have plenty of breaks scheduled in. This is possibly the most important feature to help you stay sane and productive when you’re working from home.

If you schedule in breaks at specific time slots you know you have something to look forward to.

Instead of mindlessly opening social media between a task and another you can power through your to-do list knowing that you have a proper break coming up later.

Have a designated workspace

You don’t necessarily need a home office with a proper desk, extra big screen, plants, printer, or whatever it is you normally have at work. Just find a space in your house that you like working from and turn that into your home office.

It can also be the couch. I personally work from my couch, but I make a distinction between the couch that I work on and the couch that I relax and watch TV from. I know it sounds weird but it makes a difference.

You will be much more efficient and productive when you enter your workspace instead of trying to work from your bed.

Designated home office space - Photo by Alberto Grosescu on Scopio

Designated home office space – Photo by Alberto Grosescu on Scopio

Remove distractions

This is possibly the hardest one for many people, which I personally don’t struggle as much with. When I used to work in an office I would take a million breaks a day.

I always made a point of going to the toilet furthest away from my desk, so I could get a few extra steps in, and I’d walk past my friends desks on the way back so I could stop for a chat.

Add to that a lunch break and multiple coffee breaks a day and that’s a lot of time taken out of your workday.

When you’re working from home there might be more distractions (Netflix and the fridge to name a couple) but you’re in a smaller space without other people around.

I don’t really have that many toilets in my house that I can waste time walking to as a break.

Put all the distractions (TV remote, your phone etc) out of reach in a different room, so you don’t get tempted to check them while you’re working.

Don’t forget to exercise!

This one is super important and one that too many people overlook! You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym, exercising could be something as simple as going outside for a 30 minute walk or following a yoga tutorial on YouTube.

At the moment there are also a lot of gyms and fitness influencers doing live workouts that you can follow. Some of my favourites are @digmefitness and @madfit.

Not only is it good for you, but it will also ensure you sleep better at night.

If you spend your whole day at home sat on your couch or at your desk, working away on your laptop, you are not going to be tired when it’s time to go to bed and you’ll find yourself restless and struggling to fall asleep.

Cycling in Copenhagen, Denmark, shot on Sony Compact Camera

Cycling is a great work out option!

Cook something healthy and eat well

I used to be massively guilty of this one so I know how it goes. You’re on a roll being super productive on a task, until you realise you’re getting hungry and it’s well past lunchtime.

So you’re sat there thinking; “By the time I cook anything it will be even later and I’ll be famished, easier to just make a sandwich or order takeaway”. Stop it with this thinking!

Eating healthy is crucial not only to working from home productivity, but also in general to feel healthy and live better. Working from home is a wonderful opportunity to stop having sandwiches or canteen food for lunch.

You need to look at the whole meal process as a productive break. Cooking a healthy meal can be both fun and a nice distraction from work. Trust me, you’ll feel better and more productive in the long run.

Eating spaghetti carbonara in Rome

Experiment with cooking when you’re at home! 

Find a work buddy to keep you accountable

It’s easy to be productive when you’re in an office and surrounded by people all around you who are also working, it pressures you into doing the same.

But when you’re at home alone it’s easy to drift from task to task (or from task to Netflix) and find yourself at the end of the day not having done much.

Having a work buddy that you can have daily catch-ups with is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Share with them your to-do list at the start of the day, and by the end of the day tell them if you’ve completed it or not.

Having to admit to someone that you spent the day watching Netflix instead of working can be the kick up the butt you need to make yourself productive.

Greta & Marta - your mentors at From Zero to Blog Hero

Me and Marta, my blogging accountability buddy

Set a time by which you stop working

For most jobs once you leave the office, that’s the end of your working day. If you’re working from home it’s easy to let work drag on all evening, and sometimes into the night.

While it may sometimes be essential if you’re on a tight deadline, the reality is that most of the times it isn’t. I’m not saying you should work the standard 9-5 hours.

I personally take a lot of breaks during the day and work later into the evening, as that style suits me better. I have a short attention span and I find it easier to work longer hours but with more breaks.

Set your hours to whatever you think will be most effective for you, but make sure that once the workday is over, you switch off and enjoy a break.

Enjoying cocktails and the sunset over Havana from the rooftop bar of the Paladar la Guarida

When you finish working take a break, enjoy a drink!

Final thoughts on how to work from home effectively

The reality of working from home is very different from the glamorous expectations. In principle it sounds great but how to work efficiently from home is a skill, which it takes time to master.

These days we’re all spending more time at home, and it looks like we will be doing so for quite a while still! So I hope you find these top tips for home productivity useful in making your time at home productive!

Do you have any other suggestion on how to stay productive at home? Let me know in the comments below!

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Collage of a girl working on a couch with a dog and a home office with text overlay saying "10 top tips to be productive at home"

Syndicated content: This article first appeared on From Zero to Blog Hero – Working From Home: Tips For Success