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How to have a productive day at home can be a little challenging if you are more used to an office setting. However, with a few tweaks to your overall routine, you can not only have a productive morning but a super productive day!
Whether you’re shifting from working in the office due to the pandemic, or you’re trying to start your own business and work from home full-time, these tips will help you get more done in the day and be more productive!
Here are the 8 steps to make your day productive at home!
1. WAKE UP EARLIER
The key to making your day productive at home starts with how you start your day! Studies show that people who wake up early tend to perform better in the mornings, and are happier.
This doesn’t mean you have to wake up at 5 am, you can still have a productive day at 8 am or even 9 am. But if you are consistently waking up at noon every day, by the time you get to start work, more than half the day is gone!
So you can start your productive day off right by trying to wake up earlier and take advantage of those golden morning hours!
What if you’re not a morning person, how do you wake up earlier?
- Go to bed earlier
It all starts with the time you go to bed! Getting a full night’s rest is still super important! You want to do your best to go to bed at the same time every night, and try to get a full 8 hours of sleep! This will help make your day productive at home because you won’t be tired and feel the need to nap throughout the day!
- Keep your shades open and wake up with the sun
I hate waking up to alarm clocks. I don’t like being jerked out of my sleep with annoying beeps. I personally prefer to be woken up on my own, with the sun. There’s just something about waking up to the sun shining on a beautiful day!
You don’t need to have the sun blasting through your windows, but just a subtle light shining in can improve your mood!
And, it’s important to remember, if you are one of those people who prefer to roll out of bed at noon and want to start waking up earlier. You don’t immediately need to be waking up at 9 am. Start by setting your alarm a half-hour earlier each day. Trying to get your body on a drastically different schedule is hard!
2. START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT
Here are a few things you can do that I recommend to make your day productive at home!
- Start with a healthy breakfast
Now that you are awake, you don’t want to sit down to work immediately. Starting a productive day means making sure you start off your morning with a good breakfast!
Studies show that starting out with a healthy breakfast makes you more productive!
You don’t just want to eat the cold pizza you had for dinner yesterday, you want to have an actual breakfast. It also doesn’t have to come from a 5-star restaurant either though!
I am not a coffee drinker, but I do like to drink pop. So, I like to try not to have any caffeine until noon. I prefer to start and end my day with water to make sure to keep hydrated. It’s not for everyone as some people feel they need caffeine to wake up, but I encourage you to try it out!
- Make your bed
Did you know that 71% of people who make their bed consider themselves to be happy, while 62% of non-bed makers consider themselves to be unhappy? According to a study done by Hunch.com people who make their bed tend to be happier and feel more productive! (Source).
Of course, this is just a survey, so that doesn’t mean that non-bed makers can’t also be happy but I can see some logic in it! Doing this simple action will create a more clean and organized environment, which helps promote productivity. And it gives you a small sense of accomplishment of, even a simple task, finished right when you wake up!
- Get dressed
Another step to make your day productive at home is getting dressed. It’s important to get dressed, even if you work from home and don’t plan on leaving the house.
This doesn’t mean you have to get your work clothes on! Just getting out of what you slept in, even if it means putting on something equally as comfortable can help you feel more put together and signal to your brain that your day is starting!
3. PLAN OUT YOUR DAY
Now that you are awake, and you’ve had your breakfast, it’s time to get to work! But before you just dive straight into it, in order to make your day the most productive it can be, you need to plan your day out.
I recommend using a physical planner, my personal favorites are Cambridge planners! Using a physical planner makes it super simple to plan out your day and keep everything organized and on track.
Plan out the most important things that you need to do that day, and include any housework or other things you may need to do. If you want to check out my favorite physical planners, check some out below!
4. HAVE A ROUTINE
Having a routine similar to the one above doesn’t really matter. Everyone prefers to start their day off differently. As long as you have some sort of morning routine that works best for you is really the important part!
Some people prefer to work out in the morning, some start with a cup of coffee and a nice breakfast, others drink water and journal.
No matter what your morning routine is, make sure you have something to structure your morning! For example, getting up at the same time, and working at the same time every day.
The start to having a structured productive day at home is getting up at the same time every day and starting work that same time every day. It’s all about creating routines and getting into productive habits!
5. CREATE A PRODUCTIVE WORKSPACE
Once your morning routine is done, it is time to sit down and actually get to your productive day at home! Here are a few easy ways to create that productive workspace!
- Choose somewhere away from the rest of the house
If you’re lucky enough to have an extra room in the house to have as your office, that is definitely the best option! But if not, of course, you have to just pick from what you have.
Try to pick someone in your house that is quiet and away from the main living area to create a better work/life balance for yourself. Try out spaces like the dining room table or a breakfast nook.
- Choose somewhere with natural light
In an ideal situation, you should pick somewhere that has access to a window. Having natural light flooding into your workspace will make you more productive throughout your workday.
If that’s not possible, you could light the space yourself and still try to make it bright and inviting! It’s hard to feel productive at home in a dark or gloomy space!
If you want more help on how to set up a productive desk, you can check out my recommendations here!
6. PRIORITIZE YOUR TO-DO LIST
Once you’ve gotten your productive workspace figured out it’s time to organize your day!
- Determine how much time you have to work
Before anything you want to determine how much time you have to work for the day. If you only have a limited amount of time, you don’t want to overload yourself for the workday and put too many things on your to-do list.
Leaving unfinished tasks on your list could kill your mood and productivity for the next day!
you can do this easily when you time-block your day!
- Start with an easy task
Procrastination is something we all struggle with, especially when starting our workday. A hack to combatting procrastination is starting your day with a fun or easy task!
If you start your day with something that actually excites you to do, that will give you the push to sit down at your desk. Once you’ve gotten into the groove of working, moving on to the next task will be easier.
After this task is done, it’s time to get to the hard work of the day. Tackle the hardest or most urgent task on your to-do list next.
That way you;
- Won’t procrastinate and put it off to do tomorrow
- you’ll be ready to work at the beginning of the workday as opposed to more tired by the end of the day
BONUS TIP- HOW TO FINISH YOUR TO-DO LIST:
The key to getting everything done and having a productive day is don’t spend all day on one task. Don’t work all day until you have finished the first task on your list. This will lead to many unfinished to-do lists.
Instead, cycle through your to-do lists throughout the day. You can use the Pomodoro Technique to help you work through your day.
The Pomodoro technique promotes working in 25-minute increments, with short 5 minute breaks and eventually a longer 25-minute break.
Of course, you can tailor this method to how you want to work and change the time limits. But the best way to use this technique is to work on task one, set a timer, and when the timer goes off, take a break. When you come back from the break, start on the new task. And so on until you get through your whole list.
If you enjoy using this method, check out the Pomodoro Technique Planner I created here!
- What if you don’t finish every task on your list?
Sometimes, life happens. You get distracted or a task took longer than you thought it would. Leaving your to-do list unfinished.
You can use the Ivy Lee method to move unfinished tasks to the next day. This will make sure the most urgent tasks get finished instead of forgotten. Plus, you’ll be starting your to-do list for the next day to avoid wondering what you’ll work on starting each day!
7. MAKE SURE TO TAKE BREAKS
A big part of productivity is letting your brain rest. Not only is it unhealthy to work all day long, but your brain literally can not focus as well all day long. Without letting your brain rest periodically thorough the day, you’ll find yourself getting tired quicker and not producing your best work.
This is why I recommend the Pomodoro Technique to help set a schedule that includes breaks. You may think productivity is gained by working all day long but this isn’t the case. That is what leads to burnout.
- Don’t multi-task – Do one thing at a time
Another important aspect here is making sure you are not multi-tasking. Many people assume that by doing two things at once they’re getting more things done.
However, when your brain is focused on multiple things it can lead to lower quality work, more mess-ups, and end up taking longer to get the tasks done. Your brain wasn’t meant to focus on two difficult tasks.
Do one task at a time to improve quality, finish quicker, and avoid having to go back and fix any mistakes later!
8. SET A TIME TO END YOUR WORKDAY
Just like you have a set time to start your workday, you need to set a time to end your workday as well! Don’t forget to unplug from work.
Working from home has made work more accessible, but that also means we can tend to work till all hours of the night, and not allowing ourselves to unplug and step away from work.
Having a good work/life balance is important to longevity in your work and keeping yourself productive not only today but tomorrow as well!
Make sure to take time at the end of the day to reflect on what you’ve done. You’ll feel more accomplished when you see your to-do list done!
Go back and make sure to cross everything off of your to-do list. If you’ve done extra things you weren’t planning on doing, make sure to add those and cross them off as well!
Reflect on all the work you have done and pat yourself on the back from accomplishing whatever you have done today. Even if it’s not as much as you wanted, or even if you had an overly productive day. You are human and there is always tomorrow! Celebrate what you’ve done!
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