Working from home has a lot of benefits. Many of us are more productive and focused when we get to work from the comfort of our own home. There are also many challenges, especially if you have children at home with you. How can you make simple changes to help you get more done while working from home?
Why is it so hard to find time to really focus? Why do we hit the pillow at night and feel so unaccomplished? Why is it so hard to turn off our brain at the end of the day and rest? We all have the same 24 hours in our day so why does it seem like somedays we’re not very productive?
It’s easy to feel like we’re failing. Add in a few children or errands into your day and it seems nearly impossible.
Recently, I’ve made a big career change and made the leap to working on this website full time! In order to be successful and use my time well, I needed to make changes to have more productive days. I knew that I was getting distracted during the day and wasting time and I needed to find out why.
How you are spending your time?
For one week I wrote down what I did all day long. I tried to record every change in focus, location, and task. It was very interesting. I kept a notebook with me and tried to remember to write down what I was doing. I had to be VERY honest and write down every little thing I could.
At the end of the week, I went through each day and highlighted necessary items
I circled “time-wasters” and distractions that I should have said no to.
What I found wasn’t earth-shattering or even a surprise…. technology and distractions at home (cleaning, tidying, etc) were sneaking into my work times.
Simple changes to have better work at home days
With this knowledge, I decided to set up some boundaries and goals for my day
- Wake up earlier (by 6 am)
- Stop checking e-mail all day
- Take Facebook off my phone
- Schedule cleaning times/days
- Limit screen-time before bed!
Once I had this list of goals I went straight to my handy habit tracker and planner and added these items to it.
1. Waking up earlier
It only took a few weeks for me to feel more in control. I began waking up regularly by 6 am. This has been one of the best changes I’ve made. This time works for me but maybe 8 am is better for you, remember you need to find what works best for you.
When I get up before my kids I have a nice chunk of quiet time each morning. I can enjoy my coffee and breakfast and I usually have an hour or more (especially in the summer) to get some work done. I try to do things that require more focus early in the morning since there are fewer distractions.
2. Stop checking email all day
I began only checking work email (marketing work) on those workdays and NEVER on weekends. I also started to check my email only a few times a day. Morning, after lunch, and once before the end of the workday. I usually checked personal email in the evening too.
3. Removing Facebook from Phone
I removed Facebook from my phone and haven’t missed it. What a huge time suck it was. I rarely post anything to Facebook these days so I was really just wasting time and being nosy. Facebook is full of all kinds of nonsense these days so it was nice to clear that mental clutter too. The exception was the HeyDonna Facebook page. I decided to keep the Facebook Pages app on my phone for that.
4. Schedule cleaning times & days
I also recommend having an honest conversation with everyone in your house. Ask them what they think about the state of the house. How clean would they like it to be (many times you’ll find out they actually don’t care as much as you think.) Ask your family how they can help and then tell them how you’ve been feeling. You may be surprised by what you learn when you have an open discussion about it.
5. Limit screen-time before bed
Screen time before bed is still a struggle but I’m improving. I went from staying up way too late to only watching a *few* TikToks before bed. I wish I could say that reading is a good way for me to unwind at night but it’s just not. So for now I have to be ok with the progress I’ve made. I’m definitely going to sleep much earlier than I was and it is making a huge difference in how I feel in the morning.
These 5 simple goals have made a BIG impact on my work-at-home days.
I knew I had plenty of time each day to get everything done, I just didn’t realize where I was wasting time. I encourage you to try writing down what you do each day and really consider what simple changes you can make to get more done while working from home.
Looking for More Productivity Posts?
- Time Blocking 101 – How to get started with a free Time Blocking Template
- Check out my Digital Planner for planning on your iPad
- Finding the Right Block Schedule Template
- Habit Tracking – Get a free printable tracker
- Free Weekly Planner Printables
- How to Create a Morning Routine
- How to Complete a Brain Dump with a Free Trigger List
- Must-Have Productivity Books to Improve your Time Management
- Review Your Year with This Annual Review Template
Your work day is over. You’re exhausted but feel like you’ve gotten very little done. Some nights you crawl into bed feeling unaccomplished, even though you’ve feel like you haven’t stopped working all day. running from one thing to the next all day. Some days are great and you feel super produtive. Other days you need Help to get more done. The needs in our day never seem to be met. The questions, requests, obligations, and distractions have us running from one thing to the next.