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Self-Help: How to be productive when working at home

I've been working from home for two years now and it's deffo had its ups and downs. I don't like to blow my own trumpet, but I feel like I've managed to nail down a good working from home routine. Following these, Oh! Ducky, tips will help you to get your working from home grove on too, by Rosa Fairfield. 


Illustrations by Rosa Fairfield


Don't work in your bedroom
This was the main mistake I was making. Most of the time, I'd feel super tired, crawl into bed and just fall asleep. That really wasn't a very productive way of working... unless your job is official mattress tester, but not all of us are that lucky. Having a separate place to work can help to promote motivation. If you live in a one bedroom apartment, have a work area that is as far away from your bed as possible, so your sub-conscience can distinguish between work and sleep.

Have a separate phone if you need it
Your phone can provide you with a massive distraction. If you can, lock your phone away somewhere you can't reach it, whilst you work. If you need it because your job involves posting to social media etc, have a separate phone with your social apps on. This is especially good if you have an old phone lying around. That way you won't receive any distracting messages whilst you work but you can still reach the apps you need.

Work in a bright and comfortable space
Again, this is another major mistake I used to make. I'd spend hours working in a dark room, with the curtains closed. This really effected my mental health. As soon as I started working in my conservatory, with its large glass windows, I felt much better. An open space is good, it helps you to feel less isolated. It can also stop you feeling so absorbed in your work that you forget you have a life outside of it. Being in a good frame of mind will improve your work, as you'll feel engaged and happier about it.


Stay organised
You can improve your productivity by having a system. You can plan out your day using an online system or using the traditional method of having a pen and paper organiser. Start by jotting down the overall task/s that you're trying to complete. Then, break it down into small daily steps. It's good to set yourself, and keep, working hours. Remember to take time to recharge too, letting work take over your life probably won't make you happy in the long run. That brings me too...

Take regular breaks but don't allow yourself to get distracted 
One of the positives of working from home is: you can do it at your own pace. This can be really helpful, and more natural. You can listen to yourself and your own needs. So, if you find yourself wanting to take a break, then go for it (just make sure you're getting the work done too). It's best to do something that you're not going to get too absorbed in on a break. Don't read, if you know you're going to want to read chapter after chapter. Things with a clear end point are great activities, like doing a short online exercise class.