ith everything currently happening in the world related to COVID-19 and the pandemic, life can feel like it has been flipped upside down. Our normal daily routines have been thrown out the window, and thousands of people all over the world are being asked to work from home when they haven’t before! As a photographer and small business owner for 7 years, I’ve been working from home for quite some time now. When I was brainstorming on helpful content ideas in the midst of the pandemic…I remember how much I struggled with being PRODUCTIVE in the first few years of working from my house.
Working from home requires a lot of self discipline, motivation and ROUTINE to work effectively. And, after all this time, I’ve found a few “life hacks” that really work for me and help me to stay on task and remain productive through my work days. So I want to share them with you!!!
#1: Get up and get DRESSED
One of the simplest tasks that has the biggest impact on my productivity is whether or not I get up and get dressed before I begin my work day. I am by no means a pro at this every day, but I am far more motivated to get my work done when I wake up, shower, put makeup on and get on “real” clothes - because it feels more like a “normal” work day! It doesn’t even have to be a fancy dress or collard shirt - just a fresh pair of sweatpants and your fave sweatshirt is enough!
#2: Pick a designated WORKSPACE in your house
This was a game changer for me! When I began my business, I was only 17 years old - which meant the first few years of working from home were done at my parent’s house. I didn’t have a designated office space, so it was super easy to do all of my work from my bed or the couch. I learned the hard way that this blurs the lines of “workspace” and "relaxing space” - so I struggled to set work hours and know when to stop. I would work until all hours of the night because it was so convenient to do from bed!
Instead, choose a space in your house - even the bar top or kitchen table - and designate it as your “workspace”. When you’re done with work, leave it behind and crawl back into your fave cozy spot to relax for the rest of the night!
#3: Take BREAKS for your meals
When you get in “the zone” during a work day, it is SO easy to forget to eat or not take breaks for meals. I used to catch myself making lunch, sitting it next to me and then forgetting to touch it for an hour because I would just continue to work instead of eat anything! Now, I make sure to set a time for lunch, shut my laptop, put my phone down and take a BREAK. It allows me to feel more motivated when I’m done, and actually enjoy feeding myself (not to mention it removes the risk of completely forgetting to eat!)
#4: Leave your PHONE in another room
This one may seem like the most obvious…but it’s the hardest to actually DO ;) I’ve learned that the thing that’s most distracting about having my phone nearby isn't the text messages…it’s the fact that I pick my phone up and want to constantly scroll through social media. Instead, I turn iMessage on on my computer (so I know I’m not missing any important messages!) And then leave my phone in another room! It helps me to stay focused and remove distraction.
#5: Try out blue light blocking glasses!
This one isn’t as much of a productivity tip as it is a practical product…but I SWEAR by these! I used to struggle SO much with head aches and eye strain after long work days staring at a computer and phone screen. I tried my first pair of blue light glasses a few years ago and now I can’t do a single work day without them! I use Pixel Eyewear glasses (you can use code "HOPE" for a discount!) and I love them because they don’t have any colored tint - meaning I can still edit and do my work as usual (but without the pain!)