I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer for about a year now and in that time there are a few lessons I’ve learned about productivity and motivation when you’re not working in a traditional office setting. I started off by working from the couch, thinking that I could never possibly get tired of the comfort, and even worked from bed a few days a week, only to figure out the hard way that that’s the worst thing you can do for your productivity and your sleep schedule. After a while, my body began thinking that my bed was a space for work and I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at night and properly rest after a long day.
From there I tried a few other methods to switch up my routine when working from home—some worked, some didn’t, but all of them taught me a bit more about myself and what helps me become more productive throughout the day.
Go For A Walk After Lunch
Getting outside at least once a day is so important not only for your productivity during work, but also your overall mental health. You can start to feel a bit crazy when you’re trapped within the same four walls, so let yourself take a break and breathe in some fresh air. This can be with a quick walk around your area, a trip to the corner store, even just cracking a window and taking a few moments to unwind when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
Work From Different Areas In Your Home
The option of having a workspace or even a home office is amazing, however, sometimes you need to switch up the scenery so that you don’t fall into a mental rut from looking at the same things day in and day out. Instead of working from your desk, spend the day working from your dining room table. This way, you still have a designated workspace where you can stay motivated, but it’ll spice things up just enough to boost your creative juices so that you can keep going with your work. Even taking your work outside to a patio or backyard is a great way to combine this tip with the one above and get outside more.
Work From A Coffee Shop Or Library
This one is a bit trickier to do, especially if you need the utmost focus on your daily tasks, but if you’re feeling like you need to shake things up a bit and don’t have too much on your plate then consider working out of a coffee shop or a library. These spaces offer some well-needed socialization (even if short) while also forcing you to get outside and engage with a different work area. Be sure to pack everything you need with you so that you are able to do all your work when you get there—I like to carry a big tote bag that’ll fit everything, including a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Do What Feels Right (Even If That Means Not Working)
Sometimes you just need a day off, and that’s okay. If you feel like you’ve fallen into a rut or your mind is just a bit too cloudy to do a good job on what you’re working on then let yourself take the day off. Go do something pampering or relaxing without worrying too much about your to-do list or feeling like you are unproductive. A certain amount of productivity goes hand in hand with mental health and self-care, so don’t be reluctant to just spend the day doing nothing if that’s exactly what you feel like doing. Sure, your work might pile up a little later in the week, but at least you’ll be in a better headspace to handle it all a that time.