How to Effectively Work From Home

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Whenever I record a listener questions podcast episode, I almost always have a couple questions regarding working from home. So I thought it would be a fun blog post topic since more and more people are beginning to work remote. I’ve been working from home for about 4 or 5 years now and I’ve really found a routine and a schedule that works for me. But if I don’t stay on top of that schedule, I’ll find myself off task and distracted. Today I’m breaking down the 5 “rules” that I follow to help keep me on task, motivated, and excited to wake up every single day!

  1. Create a Schedule For Yourself
    • If no one is creating a schedule for you, you have to do it for yourself. Write down your to-do list for that day, create an hour-by-hour schedule and stick with it as much as possible.
    • Creating a schedule for yourself should also means creating a routine. When you work from home, it’s easy to stay in your pajamas, not put on makeup, or even forget to brush your teeth. Believe me, it happens often. But creating this routine (such as coffee – shower – put on makeup – breakfast, etc.)  for yourself will help prepare you for the day and keep you on task longer. It will also help you feel like you have your sh*t together.
  2. Know What Setting is Best For You
    • If you work best on your couch, awesome. If not, create a space that you feel comfortable and motivated in. That may be a home office, a stand-up desk, or just the kitchen table.
    • Learn to change up your settings. I do this ALL.THE.TIME. I’ll start with working from home, then I’ll head to a coffee shop to work, then grab lunch, and then hit up another coffee shop before heading home to finish up a little more work. Breaking up the day this way really keeps me on task.
  3. Minimize Distractions
    • This is a big one! If you know you are easily distracted by TV, don’t turn it on. If you know you are easily distracted by the laundry that needs to be folded, get out of the house and work from a coffee shop. If you know your dog is going to be whimpering by the door while you have a conference call, get him to doggy daycare that day.
    • Be aware of what distracts you and how to remove those interruptions moving forward.
  4. Add in Breaks
    • Whenever I write my schedule out, I also add in breaks to help me space out my day and keep me on task. I add in a break for lunch, a workout, walking the dog, appointments, etc. These help break up the day and help me feel like I’m part of a community and not just home alone. Cabin fever is real, people!!
  5. Know When To Stop
    • Depending on your job, this may be extremely hard. I think it’s honestly pretty hard for everyone since we are all so connected with our phones now, so I think everyone can relate to this. Decide what time your day will end and try to finish up everything before that time. For me, that is the time that my husband gets home from work, so I’ll work up until that time usually then I cut myself off. This works probably 85% of the time, but since I run my own business, it doesn’t always work out. I started setting a cut off time for myself about a year ago and it’s been really healthy for my marriage!

PaleOMG - How to Effectively Work From Home

The thing about working from home is that it’s all trial and error. And every day may be a little different. One day you may be extremely productive at home and other day you may need to go to 3 different coffee shops to stay on task. Just be aware that you may need to change it up – you may need to send your dog to doggy day care because he doesn’t want to leave your side, you may need to put on a full face of makeup to help you feel like a real human being, and you may need to learn to prioritize to help keep your work the best quality it can be. For me, no day is the same and I like it that way because I feel like I can be my most creative self. If I were to only sit on the couch every day and work on my computer from 9-5, I would never be as motivated or creative. Try to learn what is the best for you and be open to the fact that it will probably look different in a year from now.

And before I let you go, I wanted to share a sample schedule of what my day may look like. This is my schedule for today that I wrote out in the Notes App (it’s so simple but it’s my favorite way to schedule my day since it’s easy to see in a pinch). Today I have a couple appointments, a couple coffee shops to work at, and a couple recipes to create. I like to write my schedule out hour-by-hour to make sure I don’t miss anything and so I can see exactly what I can fit in that day.

Sample Schedule 

PaleOMG Sample Schedule

I hope these tips and this schedule breakdown helps you figure out your own routine at home! If you’ve never worked from home, it can definitely feel a little odd at first. But if you start coming up with a daily game plan, you’ll soon be able to find a balance between work and home! I think it’s safe to say that Jackson is quite happy to have a mom who works from home. I had to send him to work with my husband yesterday so I could bust even more work out. He’s so damn cute…and distracting.

PaleOMG - How to Effectively Work From Home

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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23 thoughts on “How to Effectively Work From Home”

  1. This is soo helpful. I transitioned to working from home full time at the beginning of this year, and I’m nowhere near as productive as I was when I had an office to go to. I’m definitely going to try some of these tips!

    Question though… when you work from a coffee shop, especially on a day like the one you shared where you’re going to a coffee shop a couple different times, do you end up buying a coffee or snack every time? I feel so guilty sitting at a coffee shop for a few hours and not buying anything!

    1. i do. i almost always go to small businesses so I’m happy to support them and put money in their pockets, even if i’m not finishing my coffee since i just had one somewhere else. i just think of it like this – i work hard to get people to come to my site and i hope people do. coffee shops do the same thing of providing a comfortable space and a great product, so i support them like i hope others do for me!

  2. Great advice, especially as I’m about to launch my own business from home! Although sadly, a lot of times I schedule my day and then I want to rebel from what I’ve scheduled lol!!! But I’ll keep trying.

    Also – pizza fries??? Yum!! Can’t wait for that recipe!

  3. PIZZA FRIES!!!!! Cant wait! Thanks for sharing your work from home tips I have been working from home for 10 years. It takes getting used to. I agree on getting out of the house to work somewhere else or to break up the day.

  4. I’m more than likely transitioning to WFH full time in a few months and this has always been my biggest fear- planning out the day to stay on track. In an office, there’s minimal distractions (unless the office gossip is FIRE that week) so WFH where the distractions are endless, this is so helpful! Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to be the creator of my own schedule!

  5. Sounds like a great day! AND please share where you got those slip on shoes you’re wearing in the last photo! Adorable!

  6. I worked from home for 5 years. I loved it and still try to get one day in at home once a week – no coworkers to distract! My dog is definitely my biggest distraction.

  7. Juli do you really only work out 30 mins a day most days? I’m used to thinking about workouts as a long drawn out thing but you clearly have great results. Is it truly 30 mins x 7 days per week or? Thank you!!

  8. Thanks for this. I work at home twice a week right now and do very well… I still do laundry but it takes me minutes. I soon hope to transition to full time working from home as health coach so these tips are super helpful. I try to keep a blog with with two kids, a full time job, a dog and a husband with long hours/unpredictable schedule, it’s a challenge!! I can see why, considering how long you work on your posts.. which are awesome BTW.

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