Use These 20 Work-From-Home Tips to Be Organized and Productive

Having the freedom to work from home can be a blessing. Many of us want to work from home and live a lifestyle we can craft for ourselves. Working from home requires discipline and grace—the discipline to get the work done and the ability to give yourself grace when you don’t check everything off your to-do list daily.

So, how do you maintain a work/life balance? It’s not always easy, and you won’t get it right all the time, but these 20 of the best work-from-home tips will help you do your best.

1. Have a Designated Space for a Home Office

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The first step is to choose a dedicated space for your office. The key is to find a space that is free from distractions. You might be tempted to use a corner of the living room or dining room, but you want a space where you will be able to shut the door.

A guest bedroom is a great option for a home office. You can still use it for guests when they come, but as an office, you can shut the door and keep out the distractions. Do you have a large pantry? You could organize and free up space in your pantry to set up a home office. What about the laundry room? Does it have a door? Add a desk, and you’re ready to start working.

2. Invest in Comfortable Furniture

Modern home office furniture set in the office
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Your home office should be outfitted with comfortable, ergonomic furniture. This will help you stay productive and avoid health problems caused by sitting in an uncomfortable position for long periods.

Make sure your chair is the right size for your desk. You want to rest your arms comfortably on the desktop without having to slouch or stretch. Be sure your monitor is at eye level. If it’s too high or too low, you’ll strain your neck and shoulders. Consider using a footrest to take the pressure off your legs and back when sitting for long periods. A wrist rest for your keyboard will help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel.

3. Create an Inspiring Place to Work

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When you work from home, you can set up your home office space any way you like. You can add decor that inspires you to be productive and creative. Add family photos, vacation pictures, motivational sayings, and anything that will keep you inspired and on task when working. Don’t forget to have a designated background if you have video meetings with others. Nothing is more distracting than an unorganized background on a call.

4. Get Home Office Organization Supplies

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Setting up a home office requires storage and organization. Ensure you have a designated spot for all your files, office supplies, and anything else you need to work from home. See these cute home office organizing supplies to help you get started.

5. Declutter Your Desk

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A cluttered desk is a recipe for distraction. Take the time to declutter your workspace and get rid of any non-essential items. This will help you focus on the task at hand and be more productive.

6. Eliminate Distractions

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Working from home is wonderful, but distractions come in many forms.

  • Kids want your attention
  • Household chores nagging to be done
  • Pets
  • The television and your favorite show are waiting in the living room
  • Friends calling to chat
  • Social media

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you are available to do these things during your working hours. You must become disciplined to eliminate the distraction of your favorite TV show and social media while working. With all the streaming options in this day and age, that TV show will be there when you’re done working.

7. Create a Routine to Help You Be Productive

woman making the bed from waking up as a routine to stay productive
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Getting started each day when you work from home can be challenging. Multiple things will demand your time. A routine will help you stay on task.

  • Get up, make your bed, shower, and have breakfast.
  • Check email, make return phone calls, set up your daily to-do list

These are both examples of a routine. Working at developing routines and practicing them consistently will turn them into habits, and before you know it, your day will flow so much easier.

8. Work During Your Most Productive Hours

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Knowing when you are most productive is key and one of the best work-from-home tips I can give you. Some of us aren’t morning people. The afternoon may bring a slump in productivity. Figure out when you are most productive and schedule work during those times.

9. Set up a Work Calendar of Tasks

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Whether you’re a paper calendar or digital calendar person, it’s important to set up a calendar of tasks that need to be done to keep you on track. Use a simple Google calendar and the time-blocking technique to stay on task. This will help determine how much you can accomplish each day and ensure you complete work on time.

10. Prioritize Your Work With a To-Do List

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Once you have a calendar set up, it’s time to break those tasks down into a to-do list. The to-do list takes a project and breaks it down into bite-sized tasks to help you finish it. To-do lists are great if you have to be able to mark off a task as done. It’s really very satisfying!

11. Manage Your Time

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You’ve set up your calendar, and you have your to-do list; now what? How do you make sure you get it all done? Time management is key to working from home. If you can’t manage your time, you’ll struggle every day. When you’re struggling, set a timer on your phone and use the Pomodoro method for time management.

  • Set the timer for 25 minutes, then work non-stop until the time ends.
  • Take a 5-minute break.
  • Work for another 25 minutes.
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • After four 25-minute sessions, take a 15-minute break.

You can use the timer on your phone, but you can also download the Pomodoro Focus Timer app.

12. Multitasking – Don’t Do It

Working from home mom multitasking
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We have been conditioned throughout our lives to multitask. Talk on the phone and cook dinner. Help with homework and fold laundry. We may think we are being more productive and getting more done, but are we?

When you work from home, it’s important to focus on the task at hand to get it done promptly and ensure it is done correctly. If you try to do something else simultaneously, you will spend twice as much time on a task. Focus on one thing at a time and get it done. Then move on to the next task.

13. Set Boundaries for Others While You Are Working

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Boundaries are important. Especially on your time as you work from home. Let your kids and spouse know the hours you will be working and that they must occupy themselves without you. They would have to if you worked outside the home. Set them up for success by making lunches ahead, having snacks available, or even having activities outside the home planned.

14. Take Breaks

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Taking breaks throughout the day is important to stay refreshed and focused. Get up and move around. Check on your family; let the dog out. Get a drink or snack. If you work on a computer all day, it’s important to get away from the screen and focus your eyes and brain on something else.

15. Have Set Work Hours

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Set specific hours you will work when working from home. This will help with boundaries, as discussed above, and allow you to take the time you need to spend with family and friends.

Working long hours over your set time is not good for you mentally or physically. It’s easy to allow work to creep in and take over. Whether you work for a company or are self-employed, work creep is real. Draw the line and step away; you’ll be glad you did.

16. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

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Don’t be afraid to tell your boss no. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have unlimited time to work. We all have the same 24 hours. Adding more to your plate that will extend your workday and create more stress is not worth it.

17. Manage Your Expectations

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Pushing yourself to do more, learn more, and know more is human nature. It’s okay to push yourself to be the best you can be at what you do. But, learn your limits. You can’t be and do all the things all the time. Working from home is freeing and wonderful, but remember you are human and not perfect. Give yourself grace when every day isn’t perfect.

18. Get Ready for Your Workday

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Remember those routines we talked about? Get up each workday and get ready as if you were physically leaving the house to work. Take a shower, do your hair, and get dressed. Don’t live every day in your pajamas, as tempting as it may be. Your productivity will be higher when you take the time to start the day off right.

19. Take Time to Be Active

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Make time each day to be active. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day because you’ll be sitting at a desk most of the day. I take time in the morning and go to the gym, but you can just as easily exercise at home or walk after lunch.

20. Interact With Others

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Working from home can be lonely. It’s not the same as having co-workers with you every day. Make human connections throughout the day. Talking to others helps you mentally keep going and keeps you from feeling isolated.

Interact with other remote team members over video chat or text. Talk to your spouse or a friend at lunch. Meet a friend for lunch. There’s no rule that you can’t leave the house for lunch! Make those human connections.

15 Simple Habits of People Who Keep Their Homes Organized

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Do you envy your best friend who seems to juggle family schedules, work, and household tasks easily? They make it seem so easy while you’re struggling to get dinner on the table around your family’s busy schedule. See the habits that you can use, too.

18 Cleaning Hacks You Wish You Knew Sooner

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We all love a good hack that works and makes cleaning less of a chore. Here are 15 cleaning hacks that will help you get things done quicker so you can enjoy the clean spaces faster and longer. See them here.

Odd DIY Hacks That Still Got the Job Done

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Whether hanging a picture, trying to organize a jumble of cords, or organizing a cleaning closet, you don’t have to be an expert DIYer to use these 10 hacks to make your life easier. See them here.

Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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