In 2017, I started working from home full-time.
At first, it was a challenge. I’d start the day around 8 am with full intentions to bang out a few hours of work and get back to my life. It was naive of me to ever think it would work out that way.
Instead, what I would do is, I would wake up, see the couch beside me, lay back down, and squeeze out a little more rest.
Sometimes, I would even take a break from what I was doing to do something else. Watch a movie, go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors, do nothing at all. You know how it is.
The ‘work-from-home’ dream was in full swing… and I was taking advantage of the benefits as best I could.
But there was a problem…
Each night around 9 pm, I still wasn’t done what I had to do. What should have taken me only 3–4 hours of solid work was taking me, on average, more than 12.
Because of this, things started to get a bit stressful.
I felt like my projects were falling behind.
I felt like I was always trying to catch up on something.
I felt like I was ‘working’ way more than I should be.
And I was.
Instead of getting everything done in one fell swoop, I was staggering my work throughout the day. As a result, things were dragging on far longer than they had to be.
But it didn’t take long for me to find the error in my ways.
Actually, that’s not accurate.
I did find out the problem early on. That’s true.
But it still took me over a year to develop an effective ‘work from home’ strategy. A strategy I’ve now been fine-tuning and perfecting ever since.
I’d like to share some of that wisdom with you now.
Introducing 5 Work From Home Tips That Can Turn ANY Home Into a Palace of Productivity
Though I am flexing my copywriting abilities a little with that subhead… I’m also dead-serious about the benefit.
YOU REALLY CAN have a ‘Palace of Productivity’ — no joke.
But first, you have to set the conditions to make it so.
The rest of this article will show you how.
If you’ve recently started working from home and struggle to stay focused and productive… this may very well be the most important thing you read all day.
Let’s hop to it, shall we?
Work From Home Tip #1: Set a Schedule
Schedule your work and stick to it. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Once you’ve scheduled everything, you’ll actually have more flexibility in your day. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.
I like to call it ‘Rigid Flexibility’ — and it’s a phenomenon that has changed my life in remarkable ways.
Try it out and see for yourself.
Work From Home Tip #2: Cut Out Distractions
When you first start working from home, your day is all over the place.
You’re surfing the web. You’re watching TV. You’re talking to friends and family and playing with pets. Everything other than work seems to get all the attention.
Then you wonder why you’re still working at 9 pm…
The trick here is to cut all distractions. When you’re plugged into your schedule, you’re plugged in. Stop letting this, that, and the other thing pull you away from your priorities.
The sooner you cut the distractions and focus on the work at hand, the sooner you’re back doing what you love.
A little self-discipline here goes a long way later.
Work From Home Tip #3: Headphones + Focus Music
I spent my first two-and-a-half years working from home in my living room. The same living room where my wife and daughter would play and do other mother/daughter/baby things.
Out of necessity, I learned how to ‘zone them out’ pretty quick.
One way I did this was to put on a pair of headphones and play focus music. If you’re in a similar situation — where you need to ‘zone out’ your surroundings — I recommend you do the same.
Classical music, focus music, productivity music. Search for any of those terms and you’ll find a good place to get started.
Work From Home Tip #4: Have a Defined Work Area
For some, this is easier said than done. I get it.
I spent my first two-and-a-half years working from home in my living room, remember? So I know how challenging this can be.
But even then, I still had a little spot dedicated to working.
Do not underestimate the importance of this.
There’s something about having a defined space that ‘plugs you in’ to a working mindset. You’re more productive. You’re more focused. And more importantly, you get more done.
If you have a room you can make into an office, even better. But at the very least, just find a spot and claim it. Once you do, you’ll find it’s easier than ever to start working and then keep working throughout the day.
But you have to mark your territory first.
Work From Home Tip #5: Enjoy the Privilege
You’re at home… so why not enjoy it?
Take a break and hug your partner. Go outside and stand in the sun. Play a round of hide-and-seek with your kids. Lie down in your own bed and enjoy a 20-minute siesta. Who cares?
Oftentimes, working at home can carry the same energy as working at the office. But it shouldn’t be that way.
You’re in the place you love.
You’re with the people you love.
NEVER take that for granted.
Working from home is a wonderful opportunity.
Enjoy it. Savor it. Respect it. Honor it.
The more you do, the more rewarding it becomes.
Whether you’re working from home because you have to or because you can, you don’t have to settle for boring. There are many things you can do to improve the experience.
The above tips are the ‘tricks’ I’ve been using for 3+ years to get in the zone, get more done, and have more fun doing it. If you try them yourself, I suspect they’ll do the same for you.
Soon enough, your home will not only be where the heart is…
But it will also become a “Palace of Productivity” you can call your very own.
And when you’re ready