How to Be Productive when Working at Home

I love being productive, and I love working from home.

Even when I worked for an organization where I had a physical office, I always did much of my work at home. I have always had a workspace that included a desk and a designated spot for my computer (usually a laptop, but not always).

Working at home has always worked for me and my professional situation. I enjoy working uninterrupted, and I know that I have more control over my home workspace than I would if I worked in an office with other people.

That being said, it can be a real challenge to stay on top of your work when all you really want to do is curl up on the couch and binge on Netflix/cuddle with the dogs/read the five novels that you have stacked on your end table.

After 13 years of working from home (some of those years working at home and in an office), I’ve learned a thing or two about staying productive at home.

Tips for Staying Productive while Working at Home

  1. Choose the right tools to track your projects and how you allocate your time. I use a combination of my time management tool (to track how much time I have in a day, and how I will allocate that time) and Wrike, a robust project management tool that I use for everything, even personal projects.
  2. Be protective of your time Just because you’re working at home doesn’t mean you have to accept every lunch date, coffee date, midday phone call, etc. Treat your workday as your workday, no matter where that space may be.
  3. Stick to a schedule. Schedule regular breaks to maintain focus, and choose a set time to start and finish tasks and your workday.
  4. Have a dedicated workspace. I’m not going to say too much about how your workspace should look — some people like a minimalist environment, some people like having everything they need at their fingertips. But you should absolutely have just one space that is a dedicated workspace, so that when you arrive at that space you know it is time to work.
  5. Minimize distractions. This is best practice for any workspace — cut down on distractions that keep you from focusing on your work. This can include social media, news sites, your phone, etc.

Do you work from home? What are some tips you have that have helped you stay productive?