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Tips to Staying Productive Working From Home

Jan 30, 2019Design Business6 comments

Working from home has so many perks. No travel time or being stuck in traffic every day. Being able to set your own hours. Having the flexibility to add in extra little things during your day like going to a mid-morning yoga session.

But, it can also have its difficulties. Working from home involves a lot of discipline. It’s easy to get sidetracked….that load of washing, the dirty shower, kids wanting snacks or people dropping in forgetting that you’re at home working. 

You are your own boss so you are accountable to yourself. Eeek! So you need to stay as focused as possible and make sure you keep on track to reaching your goals.

Here are some tips to staying productive working from home

Have a dedicated workspace

If you have a space that you can dedicate for your work, it will help give you a distinction from work and home time. An office space is ideal. That way you can shut the door and get in the zone.

Making your workspace as lovely to work in as possible can also help you with your productivity e.g. inspirational images, plants, a clean space.

Plan out your day

The first thing I do when I sit down at my desk is to plan exactly what I’m going to do that day.

What do I want to achieve? How much am I expecting to finish?

Personally, I’m a paper and pen list making girl. I love the satisfaction of crossing things off as I finish a task. But, if you’d prefer to schedule digitally there are heaps of great programs to do it e.g. Trello, Asana. I’ve tried using them myself but always end up using a paper diary…maybe I’m just old school 😉

The trick is to make your daily goals realistic. If you give yourself too much to do then you’ll never get through it and you’ll end up feeling disheartened. If you feel like you’re getting stuff done then that’s when your productivity will soar.

You can either plan your week ahead or each day as you go. Whatever works for you. I usually have a couple of different lists going. A big picture plan of all tasks I have on and I then break them down into daily tasks.

By having everything written down it will make you more accountable

Schedule in breaks

My biggest problem with working from home is that I enjoy my work so much that the hours can fly by and I can literally go hours and hours without taking a break. It’s not a sustainable way to work so what I find works well is scheduling in breaks.

It’s different for me each day depending on what I have going on but I’ll write my breaks in my daily plan. I find it forces me to take a break and when I do I don’t feel guilty.

Think about when you work best

You’ll find that there are certain times of the day that you work the best and are most productive. Try and schedule all your tasks that involve the most brain power at those times.

If you try and get difficult tasks done when your brain is only running at 50% capacity then it’s going to be 200% harder. It’s all about working smarter not harder!

Doing your work in batches

Batching work is a really great way of being productive in your day. Things like scheduling your social media will take up a lot less time if you batch a weeks worth of posts rather than trying to post every single day. This works for me with all parts of my business, even designing.

Staying motivated can definitely be challenging, but hopefully, these tips to staying productive when working from home will help you next time you get distracted.

6 Comments

  1. Heather Sheldrick

    Having been my own boss for over 20 years I fully agree with your advice. Mind you, in my case it would be a case of “Do as I say, not as I do” because I’m the world’s worst procrastinator! And my office space – well, it looks a little bit like Dorothy’s Kansas home after the tornado struck!

    Reply
    • Pattern and Design

      Ha ha… my office can often end up looking like that too 😊

      Reply
  2. Batoul Yazdanian

    Thanks 🙏 I need this motivation and advices! I start my business last year and I still have difficulties around working at home and keeps my time in the schedule! Yes I do use Trello but there is always the same problems I don’t follow up it ! I wonder what is the limit of work each day .. how many pattern do you use create each day / week ? How many customers/ companies should I contact

    Reply
    • Pattern and Design

      I’m glad you found it motivating. For me, the amount of patterns I create depends on what I have scheduled for that week. Complex designs will take a lot longer than simple coordinates. Either way though, I’m creating new patterns every day 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kim

    I, too, work from home and one thing I found to be helpful … believe it or not … is to get fully dressed when you get out of bed. Believe me, I would love nothing more than to put on my baggy, comfy clothes; but I find that when I get dressed, I am more focused and ready to tackle the day. It also helps if something comes up unexpectedly (like having to drive a kid somewhere). I am a very, VERY bad time manager, so I’m continually struggling to be more productive. Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
    • Pattern and Design

      Yes, I totally agree. Getting ready as if you actually have to head out to work definitely helps get you in the right headspace

      Reply

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Working from home requires motivation and organization and the ability to schedule your time and your work. Here are some tips for staying productive while working from home in your textile design or surface pattern design business. #workingfromhome #freelance #patterndesign #freelancer
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