Editor’s Note: In January 2021, Persimmon Peak was renamed Persnickety Pets.
As a freelancer, I’ve done a lot of work out of my home studio. Now that I’m full time with Persimmon Peak, I’m working from home more than ever before. While I love the flexible schedule, it can still be hard to separate "Working Jen" from "Lounging Jen." So here are my top 5 tips for staying productive when working from home.
1. Get dressed for work
It may be tempting to work in your pajamas all day, but putting on work clothes is a great way to set the tone for the day. It seems silly when no one else is around, but it will feel more like a work day and less like lounge time! Here are some good tips on what to wear when working from home.
2. Have a separate work space
One of the best ways to separate your work life from your personal life is by creating a designated work area. If you can, set up your work area so it has all the tools/equipment you need ready to go for your next project. It's so much easier for me to sit down and start working on a project when I don't have to first complete a lengthy setup: drag my machine out of its box, find a place to plug it in, clear a space to cut fabric, set up the ironing board, etc. This article from Entrepreneur magazine has great guidance for setting up a home workspace.
3. Take breaks
Stand up. Walk around. Do some stretches. Pet a pupper (or kitty). Set an alarm to remind yourself to take a break if you need to (and you do need to). Taking a break is an important way to stave off stress and exhaustion while giving your mind a chance to refresh and reset for that next burst of productivity. Those days I work nonstop to meet a deadline end up being so much more draining than they need to be. Here's more reading on the importance of taking breaks.
4. Turn off distractions
I can’t stress this one enough! Turn off those unnecessary notifications that pull you away from work. This includes those enticing dings and those pop-up banners that signal a new message - simply knowing that someone is trying to get ahold of you is a creeping distraction you just don’t need when you’re trying to get work done. A system that's worked well for me is to set aside certain times of the day to check and respond to texts, emails, and social media - any other time is work time. Turn off your push notifications. All of them.
5. Get an accountability buddy
If you're having a hard time staying on track or finishing projects, find someone who can help keep you accountable! My official accountability buddy is a friend from college who is also working on growing her handmade business. We have a weekly meeting to help each other stay on top of our tasks and goals. My unofficial accountability buddies have a slightly different set of priorities, however... namely, treats, snacks, and belly rubs :)
Marmie proofreads an article draft.
🐾 These 5 tips help me stay productive while I work from home on Persimmon Peak. I'm always open to learning new ways to stay productive - tell me about the systems you use to help you work successfully from home!