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Working from home is the dream - wearing your pajamas, Netflix on your breaks, setting your own hours and no one ever drinks all the coffee before you can fill your cup.
However, it can also be incredibly difficult to stay motivated and undistracted when you work from home! So, here are some simple tips to help you stay productive when you work from home.
1. Write To-Do Lists
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a work-from-home employee, you need to be clear about what you need to get done and when you're going to do it.
Personally, I write a to-do list for the week; then, every day I write the top 3 things I want to accomplish for the day and I schedule my entire day with a time-blocking schedule. (Want a copy of my printable daily schedule? Sign up for my free resource library here!)
I also recommend utilizing the eat that frog principle. Mark Twain once said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." Basically, do the thing you're dreading from your to-do list first. If you'd like to learn more about this practice and beating procrastination, check out Brian Tracy's book, Eat that Frog.
2. Get Up earlier
I talk about this a lot - but especially if you're a mom, getting up before the rest of your family will do wonders for your productivity.
I schedule my coffee maker to start brewing at the same time my alarm goes off. Then, before anyone else is awake, I organize my to-do list and schedule for the day, make note of any appointments or meetings, answer emails, and organize my social media.
Another option is to use that time to relax, especially if you work long hours as a mompreneur. Take a long shower, drink your coffee, read a good book - fill your cup. You'll be happier and more positive, which will only help your productivity for the rest of the day.
3. Do a 30-Minute Mad Clean
Ok, so you know when it's 30 minutes before company arrives at your house and you do a mad clean and you're shocked at how much you can accomplish in half an hour?
Do this more often.
I struggle to focus completely on work when my house is a mess (and I have a toddler so it's a mess 97% of the time). So, I set a timer and clean like crazy for 30 minutes; the mental break from work AND the benefit of having a tidier home helps me to refocus on my business.
Only answer emails that need to be answered. Only respond to messages that need your response right now.
If you're a work-from-home mom, it can be easy to become glued to your phone. But here's the thing. Being productive? It means that sometimes you actually stop working. That you are present with your family. That you step back from your business and be with the people you love or you do something that you enjoy.
Trust me. You'll be more focused when you do work if you can prioritize when needs to get done immediately and what can wait.
5. Meal Prep
You can set yourself up for max productivity by prepping lunch and snacks ahead of time. I love to make jar salads - it's the perfect pre-portioned meal that I can dump in a bowl and eat at the computer. Right now, I'm loving this Burrito Bowl Jar Salad.
There are so many resources on Pinterest for meal planning and prepping; you can read my own strategy here!
6. Ask for help. Hire help if you have to!
For us, that looks like this:
My daughter goes to my mother-in-law's for a couple of hours every day during the workweek so I can focus 100%.
We hired a company to pick up the dog poop in our backyard and someone to come clean our house a couple times a month.
Our kids do the dishes and clean the bathrooms.
You don't have to do it all by yourself.
Do you work from home? How do you stay productive?