13 tips to keep your time productive, when working from home

As many of us across the world are self-isolating and working from home at the moment (including the Mr Jones Watches team) we wanted to help out a little.

I started working completely remotely for Mr Jones Watches a little over a year ago when I moved away from London. At first it was tough, so I've pulled together my top tips for making the most of your time, whilst working from home.

1) Get ready for the day

Have a shower, brush your teeth, put real clothes on (no pj’s allowed).

Try to keep your morning routine the same as if you were going to work, whatever that would usually include.

Some people that wear suits to work, find they’re more productive if they dress the same at home. I’m not suggesting you do this (you would never catch me in formal clothes at home) but it may just work for you!

2) Make your bed

If you don’t make it, I promise you’ll be tempted to get back into it.

3) Create a ‘workspace’

Whether that’s at the kitchen table or a spare bedroom, avoid working in bed, or on your sofa or any other place you’d usually use for relaxing. It’s really important to have separate spaces, it’ll help you focus.

When I was at uni, I lived in a tiny studio flat and space was really limited (I had no dining table) so I bought myself a fold-up table and chair to work on during the day, that I’d put away in the evening.

4) Tidy / clean up first

This is all about limiting distractions.

Working from home gives you opportunities to clean the bathroom, to put a load of washing on etc etc, but make sure you fit these things in during your morning ‘commute time’ rather than letting them interrupt your work flow (cleaning is a procrastination tool, trust me).

5) Don’t get too comfy

No blankets allowed at work, even if it’s cold! It’s nice to be comfortable, but you really don’t want to start napping at your desk, so put on a jumper and some thick socks instead.

6) Give yourself deadlines

You might not be your own boss, but you are responsible for managing your own time while you’re at home.

Set yourself reasonable deadlines to curve procrastination and keep you focussed.

7) DO NOT turn on the TV.

Listen to the radio if you like, or maybe even a podcast if it’s not too distracting, but whatever you do, do not touch that remote.

8) If possible, turn your phone off too

Oddly many people associate working from home as ‘you're off work’ or 'you’re on holiday' - so naturally you can expect phone calls and text messages throughout the day.

If you can, turn your phone off, or put it in another room. This will limit the temptation to go on social media too.

9) Plan your day ahead of time

Sticking to a plan and a routine will help with the uneasy feeling of working from home. It’s really important to stay busy and planning your day will help with this.

If you don’t have a to-do list from your employer already, spend a bit of time planning your day, you could even do this hour by hour if it helps!

10) Give yourself regular screen breaks

We all know screens damage your eyes, and many of us spend far too long looking at screens at work on a daily basis. But, in an office environment we often look away from our screens to speak to a co-worker, or to look around the room. We take mini breaks without even realising it.

Even if it’s just putting pen to paper to write a to-do list, or note down some ideas, your eyes will be grateful for the rest.

11) Take a real lunch break

Step away from your desk, call a friend, go for a walk, cook something for lunch. Just make sure you move away from your screen and give yourself a real break and some time to recharge.

It’s also a real bonus of working from home, so make the most of it!

12) Give your day a beginning, middle and end

Often working from home means you have some flexibility in the time you work. You might choose to start early or finish late.

But it’s really important you choose a start time, lunch time and an end of your working day time, try to stick to a routine if you can.

Otherwise it’ll be 9pm and you’ll still be at your desk.

13) STAY AWAY FROM THE FRIDGE

The truth is, it can be quite boring to work on your own, especially for long periods of time. For many of us, when we’re bored we eat.

Resist the urge to keep popping into the kitchen for a snack (or make sure you buy some super healthy snacks).

 

I hope you found that useful! As tough as it may seem, this situation won't last forever. From all of us at Mr Jones Watches, we hope you stay safe, positive and calm through these uncertain times.