6 Ways to Stick to a Routine When Working from Home

6 Ways to Stick to a Routine When Working from Home

Working from home is the ultimate goal for many people because you are granted so much more flexibility and you get to stay in the comfort of your own home. However, many people don’t realize that working from home can be a bit difficult because you need to have a strong sense of motivation, a good work ethic, and a way to stay productive.

When you’re working at home, it’s really easy to get distracted by everything from the dirty laundry you’ve been meaning to wash to the newest episode of your favorite Netflix show beckoning you from the TV. But, when you implement a daily work-from-home routine, you’ll have a much easier time staying on task and getting everything done on time.

Even small actions like changing out of your pajamas and throwing on some stylish gold chains or comfy but cute leggings can get your head in the game and put you straight into work mode. Check out some of these other tips for working at home.

1. Wake Up at the Same Time

Using your office as a home gets tricky on those days when you just can’t get yourself out of bed. Your alarm has gone off five times, and you’re still just slapping the snooze button. Office workers feel a greater sense of urgency at the first chime of their alarm (okay, maybe once they hear that second snooze) because they know they have to be at their office by a specific time.

When you work from home, it’s easy to convince yourself to stay in bed longer. Depending on the requirements of your job, you can start your day a bit later if you’re willing to also work later, but you should get into the habit of still waking up around the same time each day. Research has shown that this simple habit can improve the quality of your sleep and your level of motivation.

2. Eat Breakfast and Get Dressed Before Checking Emails

Once you’re awake, try to avoid jumping straight into work. Give yourself enough time to wake up your brain and sit down for breakfast. After you dive into your work, it’s much more difficult to get yourself to break away and eat some food. Instead, enjoy your morning cup of coffee with breakfast and do something to stimulate your mind like reading the paper or listening to part of a podcast.

Although part of the appeal of working from home is also the fact that you don’t have to get dressed up for the office, it’s still a good idea to change out of your PJs and into something else to get your brain into the mindset of “going” to work—even if you change into your “daytime pajamas.” Put on something that makes you feel comfortable but motivated and ready to work. If you’re the kind of person who wants to get dressed for the day, throw on your favorite pair of jeans with a comfortable shirt and a cool set of gold chains.

3. Set Your Goals for the Day

Even if you're not the kind of person who feels inclined to make lists, writing down your goals for the day is helpful because it can keep you focused and help prioritize your work. It also rewards you with a sense of accomplishment as you get to knock tasks off the list throughout the day.

When you first sit down at your computer to start working, you can peruse your emails to see if there are any projects or responsibilities that need to be a priority that morning, and then write down your list and keep it somewhere visible. If you prefer, you can set reminders on your computer or use task management programs to keep you on track.

4. Have Specific Working Hours

One of the most difficult aspects of working from home is the potential to become distracted by your surroundings. You may find yourself wasting valuable work time in the morning by straightening up your home or getting sucked into a show on TV. Next thing you know, you’ve missed the first few hours of work and now you’ll need to spend time in the evening catching up. To avoid issues like this, you should set specific times that are strictly for working to keep you on task and give you a routine you can rely on.

5. Create a Workspace

Anyone who works from home absolutely needs a designated place to work. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a whole office room, but this is the ideal scenario as you can remove yourself from the rest of the house and avoid the many distractions that exist.

If you don’t have the space for a designated office room, you can simply create an at-home office space with a desk and other office supplies that you need to complete your job. If you have other members of your household who are home during the day, you may want to avoid putting your workplace in a common area, as it can be easy to be distracted by others, and your roommates or family don’t want to have to keep it down while you labor in their midst.

7. Work at a Coffee Shop or Co-Working Space

The greatest benefit of working from home is the amount of flexibility you have in your schedule. If you’re trying to get all your tasks done in the house, and you’re just not feeling it, you can move your office to a coffee shop or co-working space. Sometimes simply being around other people in a busy environment can motivate you and help boost productivity.

Plus, placing yourself in different surroundings will stimulate your mind and help avoid those at-home distractions. You don’t have to do this every day, but you can make working from somewhere else a part of your weekly routine.

Find a Routine That Works for You

Everyone’s work-from-home routine is slightly different, but these are some of the top ways that you can implement a schedule and be productive. Creating a comfortable workspace that separates you from the rest of the house improves concentration and lowers your chance of becoming distracted.

If you want to feel as motivated as possible, you should work at the same time each day, do something else before you start work (like eat breakfast, watch the news, etc.), and get dressed to tell your brain “Listen, sleep is over, we’re going to work.” It may take time for these habits to stick, but, once they do, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your at-home work performance.