As a freelancer, I know firsthand the struggles of people who work from home.
And one of the major struggles is being productive.
There is a tendency for you to live unproductively when you work from home if you are not intentional about living productively.
Here are some unproductive habits you might engage in when you work from home:
- You wake up whenever you like.
Are you that person that wakes up at 12 pm today and wakes at 7 am tomorrow?
You don’t have a wake up schedule and you only wake up whenever your eyes open?
This habit can affect the whole of your day and destabilize your plans.
Imagine waking up in the afternoon when you have to submit work in 2 hours time, you’ve literally wasted so much time sleeping and you barely have time to do anything else other than work.
That’s an unproductive day!
- You sleep whenever you like.
When you don’t have a sleeping schedule and you go to bed at any time, you will wake up at any time.
Especially if you go to bed late, you have a big tendency to wake up late and disrupt your day.
- You don’t take personal hygiene seriously.
When you work from home, it becomes easier to work without taking your bath, brushing your teeth, and cleaning your surroundings.
If this is you then this is why you’re unproductive.
- You don’t eat breakfast or you eat often.
One of the struggles of people who work from home is that if they’re not intentional about their meals and they don’t eat breakfast for a long time.
And as you already know, breakfast is an important meal of the day.
But if you’re the type that has to work immediately when you wake up without any form of routine or organization, then you probably miss breakfast a lot and eat your lunch towards evening time.
(Hello, I’m talking from personal experience here, lol)
- You snack on junk food a lot.
Are you the type that eats junk food like candy, fruit juice, calories, calories, calories, when you’re working?
You might be sabotaging your health without knowing.
There’s a slippery slope to eating while working.
Some people say it helps them work better but in the process, they harm their body and consume so much food and sugar when they barely even have a place to go to burn off the calories consumed.
- You wear the same clothe many times in a week.
You know how people who work from home have the privilege to go from their bed to their work desk! Yeah!
This is an unproductive habit that can lead you to wear your pajamas while working. It seems cool but it is not as cool as you think.
- You don’t do any physical activity.
When you work from home, you have every tendency to sit down all day or even lie down all day.
Especially if you’re a freelancer. You might find yourself sitting down in a place all day while working or choosing to lie down all day without working.
This is something you will not do in a 9-5 job and lack of physical activity can affect your physical health, mental health, and can cause you body pains.
- You work whenever you like.
You don’t have a resumption time because you feel like you can work whenever you like.
Well, newsflash!! This is unproductive because you might end up overworking yourself and working longer than you should.
This can result in a whole lot of negative repercussions.
- You never take breaks from work.
When you work from home, you might find it difficult to take breaks from work when you don’t have an official break time.
You think break times are only for 9-5ers and you might end up overworking yourself or underworking because you don’t have a work schedule.
- You don’t have a closing time.
Another unproductive habit people who work from home engage in is not having a closing time.
You work at all times. You check and reply to work emails at all times.
You are available for work every moment of the day and your client cannot tell when you’re not available because you’re always available.
People who work from home feel like they have more free time in their hands and they get to break “work rules” while working.
Work rules like dressing up to work, waking up early, having a resumption and closing time, etc.
But you don’t know that you’re actually putting more pressure on yourself and forming bad habits by “breaking” those rules.
While working from home might be great because of its flexibility, it also has downsides and the downside is that you tend to work more and neglect important routines and habits unknowingly to you.
If you wake up late and try to cover up for the time lost by working late into the night, you’d probably work longer than you’d have done if you were working in an office under the prying eyes of your boss.
There are many more unproductive work from home habits and this is naming a few.
These unproductive work from home habits are bound to stick to anyone who works from home and sadly can affect your life in a long run.
If you are a remote worker, freelancer, business person, or hybrid worker, I’m sure you can relate to some of the habits I mentioned above.
And I’m sure you can admit that these habits makes your work from home life hard and you will like to form better habits.
The best way to form better work from home habits is by creating a productive work from home environment.
Take a look at these quotes:
Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.Michael Jordan
Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.Wayne Huizenga
There are three kinds of people in this world: people who make it happen, people who watch what happens, and people who wonder what happened.Tommy Lasorda
You have to make it happen.Denis Diderot
In a nutshell, nothing good and lasting ever attaches themselves to you, you have to go and get it yourself.
So, if you want a more productive life. If you want to take charge of your life and not have to struggle with productivity, routines, and good habits, you have to create an environment for it.
Create an opportunity to be productive. Create an avenue for your creativity to thrive.
- How to create a productive work from home environment
- Need a Productivity Coach?
How to create a productive work from home environment
Have a home office
To create a productive work from home environment, you need a designated home office.
Preferably, somewhere without distractions and a room with a door.
If you can afford to, try not to have your office in the same place as your room, this helps your mind stay focus in an office-like environment and you don’t need to think about sleeping everytime you feel tired.
Having a designated home office is also great to avoid distractions.
You know that when you’re in your office, you are there to work and nothing else.
Have a routine or schedule
One of the mistakes people who work from home make is not having a routine or schedule they follow.
If you want to maintain a productive work from home lifestyle, have a set work resumption time and make it a routine.
Set time for breaks, closing time, etc.
Ensure you also communicate your schedule with the necessary people.
It could be your clients, employer, housemates, or family members.
Ensure they know your schedule and they respect it.
Take care of yourself
I know this sounds like a cliche or something you hear every time but I will tell you this as a freelancer who once struggled with juggling work deadlines and taking care of myself.
It is important to prioritize your health, your rest, and your meal time.
Don’t skip meals (especially breakfast) because you’re trying to meet a deadline.
It’s a slippery slope. You might end up not eating throughout the day.
Be Intentional about prioritizing yourself even as you work:
- Remember to eat
- Sleep well
- Take breaks
- Exercise or take walks
- Ensure you engage in some physical activity.
- Try not to sit down all day.
If you usually forget to do these things, set a reminder. You can use the Todoist App or you can use your phone alarm.
Just ensure you remember and you get it done.
Remember, you need a well functioning body and health to work. If your health fails, you won’t be able to work anymore.
Don’t forget that.
Have the right softwares
Having the right work from home softwares can make working from home easier than you think.
Get apps and softwares like Freedom, Todoist, Asana, Google docs, etc.
You can read this post for 12 Recommended Productivity Apps for Creative People in 2022
Declutter your workspace
A clutter free workspace has more advantages than you can think of.
It helps you think freely. It helps your creativity flow easily. It also enables you to concentrate without being distracted by the pile of books or trash around you.
Clear your workspace and have storage spaces for your files, stationeries, folders, etc.
Get some work from home essentials
There are work from home essentials that ensure you enjoy working from home without feeling unproductive.
They aid concentration and fuels creativity.
Some of them are:
Plants add a breath of fresh air to your home office. They also make your workspace visually pleasing.
There are many other importance of plants in the home office you should definitely check out.
You can try getting indoor plants or fake table plants that will not need much of your attention and you might only have to water once a week.
Candles add a refreshing scent to your home office. They give you a sense of positivity and calm. They also make you feel relaxed and focused.
Read more about why you should have a candle in your home office.
Diffusers emit essential oils in the air. This can help you relax and also absorb the benefits of the oil into your body.
It also awakens your senses and helps you relax after a stressful day.
This can be a great addition to your home office as it helps you stay focused, calm, and relaxed while you work.
Each scents it emits also provide diverse benefits to the body.
Orange scent helps with anxiety and fear.
Rosemary scents helps you concentrate and work faster and more effectively.
Learn more about the benefits of diffusers in home office.
Make a priority to do list
As a freelancer, I work for diverse clients and sometimes I get confused about what to do first and when to start.
This is where a priority to do list comes in.
At the beginning of my day, I usually feel overwhelmed by the thoughts of how much I need to get done, but instead of allowing this feeling to overwhelm me, I take my phone notepad or my planner note and I write down all I’m expected to do for the day.
After writing down, I notice that there are some tasks I find daunting and there are some I find interesting and I immediately feel drawn to start with the interesting ones but because I know this is not the right thing to do, I stop myself.
Why? You ask!
This is because even though it’s a task I find interesting to do, this doesn’t make it the most important and urgent task.
Imagine I start work by 8 am and I have to submit a project to one of my clients by 10 am and to another by 11:30 am.
But because I like the second project, I decided to start with it instead of the more urgent one I need to submit by 10 am.
Imagine the struggle I will have to put up with trying to meet the 10 am deadline afterwards?
Can you see what I’m trying to tell you?
So, instead of starting with the most interesting project, start with the most urgent and important project.
This is how I group my projects and get them done.
When I outline them in their order of priority, I get them done in that order.
There are times I’m not able to do the other tasks on the list because it’s time to rest. I can confidently leave these tasks on the list and get back to it later because I know they are not urgent.
This is why you should create a priority todo list.
If you’re struggling with creating an effective todo list, get this printable weekly planner. Thank me later!
Get the necessary work from home equipments
If you want to work from home productively with zero stress, then you must have these necessary equipment.
Some of them are:
An Ergonomic Chair
This will save you from severe back ache, bad body posture, and constant body pain complaints.
It also protects your neck from constant pain and tiredness. Your arm will also be well rested while you work.
Cool stuff right?
Buy ergonomic chair:
Work from home table
Having the right table to work is a great decision to make for a productive work from home lifestyle.
Get a table that can accommodate your necessary equipment and one with the right storage cabinets/drawers.
These cabinets help you keep your table free of clutter. Because you can put anything you’re not currently using in the cabinets/drawers.
Buy work table:
A laptop or monitor stand
If you’re using a laptop and you constantly get neck pain or arm pain from working on your laptop or monitor, a laptop stand will help you greatly.
Buy laptop or monitor stand:
Find time for social activities
The work from home life can be a lonely life. Your days might be a lonely circle of just you and the four walls of your home.
This is why you need to be intentional about socializing.
Visit a friend. Allow a friend to come visit you.
Go to the cinema. Attend concerts. Go to church, etc.
Figure out something you love doing that involves people and do it every now and then.
This will help you not to feel lonely.
Try instrumental playlists
If you want to focus while working, try creating an instrumental playlist you can listen to while working.
Personally, I don’t do too well with vocal music with lyrics I already know. It can get distracting and I might find myself singing along and ignoring the work before me.
If you’re also like that, get instrumental sounds, white noise, or nature sounds and listen to it while working.
Working from home can be fun and productive.
It can also feel like a real office with the perks of being at home but you must create that environment for yourself.
I hope with all I have shared with you, you will be able to create a more productive work from home environment for yourself.
Need a Productivity Coach?
Do you struggle with achieving your goals or completing your daily tasks?
Do you want to be more productive while you work from home?!
Do you struggle with overwhelm, too many tasks on your to-do list, or balancing your work and life?
Did this article describe your current need and struggle?
I can help you!
As a productivity coach, I have helped my clients achieve their goals, held them accountable to get their tasks done, and helped them plan and actualize a more flexible, yet productive life.
I have helped several creatives who battle anxiety as a result of numerous unfinished tasks and feelings of inadequacy to go from underachiever to high-achiever.
Let me help you too!
Read more about how to start, here.
Reach out to me today to take my coaching sessions.
The first session is free! Schedule a free call now!
This call helps me understand what you’re struggling with and what aspect of productivity coaching you need.
In 30 mins, I will give you quick problem-solving tips to implement for a more productive life.
I’d love to hear from you!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.