I always thought that working from home is an art form. There have been many times where I wanted to be productive at home, yet these days are instead spent watching silly youtube videos or scrolling through Tumblr. You know, the complete opposite of what I’m aiming for. Go figure.
Unfortunately when you’re a student, sometimes working from home is a must. Whether you need to finish an assignment on the weekend or maybe need to concentrate on that paper you’ve been procrastinating, sometimes home might just be the best place to work in order to avoid the distractions of school and the office.
However, I am happy to report that I am slowly learning some tips and tricks how to beat the system! Recently, I actually gotten some work done at home! I may not have been 100% productive, but hey…something is better than nothing. Anyway, since I know I’m not the only one suffering on this topic, I thought I’d share the tips that seem to work from me on those days when leaving the house is just too much effort.
Get a To Do List Going
So, the night before I know I’m going to be working at home I like to make a running to do list of all the things I want to get done the next day. By doing this, not only will I be able to see what I have to do and break down each task into doable chunks, but I can also now prioritize my tasks for the day so I make sure they are sure the most important are sure to get done!
Set Up a Routine
After I make a do list, I use that to begin making a rough outline of my day’s schedule. This part doesn’t have to be super specific. It just serves as a way to keep myself accountable and make sure I’m actually doing work instead of goofing off on Internet land for hours. So for instance, my typical “work at home” schedule may look like below:
|9:00 – 10:30||Breakfast/Free Time|
|10:30 – 12:00||Class Assignment #1|
|12:00 – 1:00||Lunch|
|1:00 – 3:00||General Research-Related Tasks|
|3:00 – 3:15||Break|
|3:15 – 4:00||Draft Blog Post|
|4:00 – 5:00||Class Assignment #2|
|5:00 – 6:00||House Chores|
|6:00 – 7:00||Start Dinner|
|After 7||Free Time|
Get Dressed Like you’re Going to Work
My motivation drops dramatically if I try and work while still in my PJs. Therefore, I have been making an effort to get up and get ready as if I’m going into work like normal. That includes putting on street clothes and making sure I look like a presentable human being. Not only does that get me out of bed quicker, but it’s also a nice physical reminder that my day has started and I should get to work.
Have a Designated Work Space
When I finally got my first adult apartment, I made a conscious effort to keep my bedroom as a work-free zone. This means in order to start my work, I have to physically get my butt out of bed and move to a different area of my home. Just like getting dressed, this serves as an actual physical reminder that your day has started and you have work to start doing.
Clear the Distractions
If my phone is with me, I will be very tempted to pick it up and scroll through Tumblr instead of doing whatever tasks I have for the day. So, even though my phone is in the same room as me, it is usually far enough away where I have to make a conscious effort to reach out and grab it. Likewise, if you are easily distracted by certain websites or certain things around the house, make an effort to either block said websites and make sure distracting things are not in your immediate view.
Maybe Get Out of the House?
Sometimes, working from home just isn’t for you. Or, even if you can manage to work from home, not every time will be a successful one. And that’s okay. If you still want to avoid the noise and distractions of school/office/lab perhaps you can try visiting local venues and do your work there instead. The first places that come to mind are Starbucks or your local library, however, even just working on your balcony or in a nearby park might be able to kick start the motivation you need to get stuff done.
Well, these are the things that have worked for me thus far! Hope they help you make your home a more productive zone!
Have any other tips and tricks for how to successfully work from home? Leave them in the comments below! I can definitely use some advice myself. 🙂