I’ve been off work for six weeks now, and most of that time has been spent doing blog work: posts, emails, sorting a out a media kit and various other things. Despite the ups and downs I’ve had over the summer, due to spending every weekend during term time working from my bedroom on my blog, I know exactly what works for me when working from home (or for the past couple of weeks, working at my boyfriend’s home). Today it’s time to share those tips and tricks I’ve picked up, and I hope that some of these options work for you.
Firstly, you’ve got to set an alarm. I personally don’t, but that’s only because I’m an early riser, but if you know you’ll be sleeping until 12pm, you’ll miss prime working time. My body clock, even now I’m on holiday from work, means I wake up no later than 8:15am and I’m quite often sat working by 9. If you’re more of a night owl, waking up at 12 is fine, but I’m definitely a morning person and work best during the day. Either way, I definitely think it’s important to set an alarm the night before and get going at an hour that works for you.
If pyjamas make you want to lay about and not do anything, then I definitely think you should get dressed. I’m pretty disciplined and can work in my pyjamas, but on a day where I have ‘serious business’ to attend to, I always make sure I put proper clothes on. If I’m really struggling to get going, applying a bit of makeup and putting on shoes works wonders (although I tend to do a lot of my work on my bed so shoes aren’t always practical).
I’m definitely an advocate for people to keep a solid plan close by. I try to plan out my blogging week on a Sunday night with a rough idea at what I want to do during the week, but each morning before I start working, I plan out my day. By spending 10-15 minutes, I end up being far more productive than just ambling from task to task. An average morning is spent putting together posts and replying to emails, with afternoons being centred around the more creative tasks such as taking and editing photos.
Speaking of working on my bed, if I had any other option I wouldn’t do it. I highly recommend finding a workspace that isn’t your ‘chill’ space. I am desperate for a desk, but right now there isn’t the space in my bedroom (although I’m trying to think of a way to reshuffle my room to make there space). On days I’m struggling to get going from my bed, I head downstairs to the dining room and set up base there. The dining room is closer to the kettle which is definitely a perk, and the table tends to stay clearer than my bed does. If you only have your bed as an option, make sure you work on your bed rather than in it. Under the covers isn’t productive, unless your primary aim is to have a duvet day.
One thing that is much more flexible about working from homes is the ability to take breaks when you need them. I am quite lucky in my full time job and as long as I get the work done, I can set my own breaks within reason. I love being able to take my lunch at 12pm some days and 2pm on other days, and you can do this when working from home too. Lots of breaks with plenty of fluids is a great way to stay productive, however it’s not a good idea to take too many. I recommend a ten minute break every hour to get a bit of fresh air, followed by a minimum of 30 minutes after every 3-4 hours.
But my number one tip is to make sure you know when to stop. If you spend 12 hours working away, you’ll struggle to really switch off. When working from home, I find my work days tend to be 9-12, then 2-5. I then try to do more mundane tasks after tea for an hour or two before saying enough is enough. I work the same hours as my proper work day, it’s just more flexible around me.
Over time, my tips may change and I may write an updated post on this in the future. However, these are the tips that work well for me and I hope they work for you too!