I work from home every single day, both at my full-time job and part-time as a blogger and entrepreneur. I love it because I don’t have to sit in Dallas traffic like I used to.
But I quickly learned that in order to be healthy and keep my sanity, I needed to establish some healthy habits for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days where I lounge around in my PJs and hardly get anything done. But for the most part I’ve found my groove and learned a lot.
I know so many of you are working from home full-time, part-time, or on the side, so I’ve put together some of my most valuable tips for staying sane, healthy, and productive while working from home every day or even just for one day.
1. Stick to a routine
As an blogger or entrepreneur, your days can change and you could be working on a variety different things, depending on what projects you have going or what products you’re selling. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a daily routine.
Try to start a basic routine that you can easily stick to. For me, this means I go to bed and wake up around the same times every day, and I make sure I eat breakfast, go to the gym, and eat a healthy lunch every single day.
2. Get dressed
I used to lie around the house in the crappiest clothes I own like a slob all day, because why not, right? But I started to realize that I was letting my appearance go. I never did my hair or makeup because I got so comfortable with not getting dressed. Sometimes I’d even skip taking a shower until lunchtime. Yeah, pretty gross. Now, I get up, take a shower, and get dressed before I start any work, even if I’m skipping my workout that day. I put on comfortable (yet presentable) clothes and then get to work. I still don’t do my makeup every day but I do at least put on some jewelry.
It’s amazing how much better you feel when you just put a little effort into your appearance, even if you’re not going anywhere.
3. Set work hours
Probably the most un-productive thing you can do is let yourself work for hours and hours without an end time in sight. Set work hours for your day and stick to them. That way, you don’t burn yourself out by working way too much. I usually start working around 7:30am and stop working at 4pm, unless there’s something that I just have to finish the same day. I still dabble around in Twitter chats, Pinterest, and Facebook groups, but none of this feels like work to me (plus it can all be done while I relax in bed!). Just promise yourself that you’re not going to work outside of the hours that you set unless you really have to.
5. Turn on some background noise
I’m so much more productive when I have background noise going. It just energizes me and somehow keeps me focused on what I’m doing. The kind of background noise I’m listening to just depends on what kind of work I’m doing. It could be music, TV or a movie, or even white noise. Lately I’ve been LOVING Spotify’s Lo-Fi Hip Hop playlists, like Lush Lo-Fi. There’s something so relaxing about that style of music! I also love coffee shop sounds (Coffitivity is a good one) because sometimes it just feels good to hear some hustle and bustle.
6. Get off your butt
When you work from home, it’s really easy to just sit there like a rock all day and never get up. Yeah, that’s not good! Try to get up and walk around at least every 30 minutes or so. Here are some other things you can try:
Exercise. Try to get in at least 20 minutes of a workout every day. I know that when I get up in the morning and exercise before I start my day, I feel so energized for the rest of the day.
Get out of the house. It’s nice to get out of the house for a while and go do something else. Maybe you can do some window shopping or go have lunch with a friend.
Stand up. Sometimes I walk around while I brainstorm ideas. And sometimes I move my laptop to the kitchen and stand while I work.
Go for a walk. For me, I live in an apartment and we have a central mailbox, so going to the check the mail gives me a nice 5 minute walk.
Switch it up. It’s good to have a dedicated workspace or office, but I think it’s also good to work in different places if you can just to switch it up. I like to alternate between my desk and my couch, and sometimes I work in bed if I’m feeling crappy. I’ve never tried working in a coffee shop or coworking space, but those are both really good ideas too.
Set reminders. I use my Apple Watch to remind me to stand up and walk around every hour!
7. Take breaks
I know it can be hard to pry yourself away from the computer, but it’s important to take breaks throughout the day. I actually feel more productive after I take a break. Make time for lunch every day and actually EAT. Sometimes I like to attend a webinar or read some articles while I eat lunch, if I’m feeling extra productive. But I usually like to step away from the computer and watch a movie or a show.
You should also make sure you at least take a few minutes to do something other than work or eat lunch. There are days when I’m so focused on what I’m doing that I literally forget to do anything else. This is called being a workaholic, which is not good! So I have to consciously make sure I’m making time for other things in my day like chores, cooking, playtime with my cats, running errands, and fun stuff like shopping or seeing a movie.
Don’t underestimate the importance of socializing with other people! Trust me, you will become a lonely, awkward person if you don’t at least try to interact with others. Here are some ideas for both online and offline:
Talk to people on social media
Join a mastermind group
Attend an online workshop or webinar
Read and comment on other blogs
Go see a movie
Meet a friend for coffee or lunch
Call your friends or family members
Attend a local networking event
9. Eat healthy, get your rest, and drink lots of water
Something about working from home activates an “I can do whatever I want!” switch in our heads. This can lead to eating out at fast food restaurants or grabbing coffee at Starbucks once or twice a week (or more!). This is not only a big waste of money, but a great way to pack on the pounds. Instead, try to cook or prepare something healthy at home.
And I know it’s hard to pry yourself away from your work, but try to get in your 8 hours of rest and 8 glasses of water. It’ll make you feel so much better.
How do you stay productive while you work from home?