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Tips for Staying Productive When Working from Home

In light of the unknown and unprecedented circumstances upon us thanks to the global outbreak of COVID-19, many Americans (and people worldwide) are practicing social distancing or isolation. With that comes working from home, which can bring pure bliss for some and a chaotic confusion for others who are used to an office or other more structured work environment. You might feel freedom in wearing pajamas until late in the afternoon; yet at times, it’s hard to separate your personal life and your professional life. As so many of us are facing WFH situations for the foreseeable future, we’ve curated a list of the best ways you can be productive and efficient when working from home.



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Exercise During What Would Normally Be Your Work Commute


Working from home, it might seem inevitable for you to gravitate toward bum-like behavior (trust me, I’m still in my PJs as I write this, so no judgment). To start the day off with an energetic boost, seize the time in the morning that you would normally spend on your commute to the office and do an at-home workout instead. This could be a sweat session on the Peloton, an online workout class, or as simple as getting outside for a jog or walk around the neighborhood.



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Separate Yourself from Family Members If Possible


When working from home, distractions are all around us, whether it be television, social media, family—you name it. Try to find a quiet place to set up your home office, make it your designated workspace, and isolate yourself. Politely ask family members to be respectful of your situation while you work (within reason). Lock your door if needed—whatever it takes to keep you focused on your agenda.


Shower and Change Your Clothes 


This may seem obvious; however, you’d be surprised how easy it is to stay in bed until the last possible minute and then slog over to your computer to begin the workday. To give productivity a boost, take time in the morning to take a shower and change into more casual, everyday attire. Putting on more functional clothing can help change your mind-set and motivate you in your work.



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Take Up Listening to Podcasts


With no colleagues or acquaintances around you to dissipate the silence, podcasts can potentially become your new best friends. Whether you like listening to podcasts about your favorite guilty-pleasure television shows, getting the hot gossip from a weekly pop culture roundup, or finding a discussion about your favorite book series, bust out your AirPods or speakers and find a podcast that will help fill the silence while you work.



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Make Work-From-Home Friends


It can be lonely working from home, and it’s always uplifting to surround yourself with people in the same walk of life as you in times of trouble. WFH friends are great for bringing structure and accountability as you can motivate each other. In different circumstances, they’re great for meeting for coffee and collaborating in communal workspaces, but even now, you can take advantage of chatting about your day and brightening each other’s spirits via phone or text messages. Call up your friends—you need them to lean on, and chances are they need you, too.


Log Out of Social Media


Nothing is stopping you from hopping on your phone and scrolling aimlessly through social media when working from home. To avoid clicking for hours through a bottomless stream of content, log out of your preferred social media accounts. We repeat, completely log out! That way, when you find yourself about to take a deep dive into the app, you’ll be prompted with the login screen first, which can be a great tool to remind you that you’re supposed to be working.



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Set Boundaries for Yourself and Others


You might find that people who work in a traditional job setting tend to believe that working from home means not really working at all. That means they sometimes have the urge to call or text you with random questions or stories to share in the middle of your working hours. Be sure to set boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say, “I’m working until 5:00, can we talk then?” Or “I’ll call you on my lunch break.” Don’t let yourself get easily distracted.


On the same note, spending the entire day at home can mean you suddenly realize all those household chores you need to do or upcoming projects to be completed, such as doing dishes or organizing the kids’ playroom. They’re right in front of you or just in the next room, making it hard to focus on work. You have to set personal boundaries to avoid getting distracted. Remind yourself that you will do your housework after work hours, just like you would if you were at the office all day.



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Eat Well and Healthy


Snacking while at home is a given for many people. I’m notorious for it, but I know it’s not okay to binge for eight hours straight during the workday. If you find yourself feeling snackish, make sure you’re stocked up on fruits and vegetables instead of sugary treats or chips. What you have readily available is what you’ll go for, so maybe hide those not-so-healthy options or set a rule that you won’t treat yourself until after dinner.


On the other hand, you do have to eat! Working from home can also sometimes create what we’re going to call a “mealtime vortex.” You’re sitting at your desk in the zone, working—then suddenly, you look at the clock and realize it’s 2:00 p.m. and you haven’t eaten anything all day. Take the time to prepare yourself a proper lunch the night before and take a break to eat, just as you would if you were meal prepping to go into the office.


Do you have any tips that help you stay productive and happy while working from home? Comment below or send us a message on social media @theideaboutique to let us know your thoughts!

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