How to be productive while working from home

Mug: Keep the tiny humans alive

Are you struggling to stay productive while working from home? For many, it is a really new and difficult thing to do. Even if you are accustomed to working from home, you may face new challenges with kiddos or spouses at home.

Maybe you are doing it for the first time…or maybe you’re struggling because kids have been home now and you still have the same amount of work to do.

I’ve become a pro and have been doing it for years! Not only did I consult from home for several years pre-kids, for the last 3 years I’ve been running my online business with a very busy preschooler at home – and now a newborn!

Because I’ve been doing this for years, I have accumulated some hacks that get me through – and help me be productive – daily. And that is exactly what I want to share with you today! Don’t forget to PIN this to reference it later.

12 tips to help your productivity while working from home

Tip #1: Get dressed

Put real clothes on! I love staying in my pajamas, but I just am not as productive. Bonus tip: you can put on a nice top and yoga pants and still feel productive! Sometimes just putting on mascara gets me fired up. Whatever it is for YOU – do more of that.

Tip #2: Give yourself an energy boost every morning

Pick something to do every day to help boost your energy. Here are some ideas on starting your day…

🌟 SAVOR that first cup of coffee
🌟 Practice morning yoga
🌟 Prayer and Bible Study
🌟 Meditation
🌟 Keep a gratefulness journal

Bonus tip: If you’re struggling with your kids, write down three things that you are grateful for them every morning. The same applies to your spouse or even your business or staff! Writing this down will help shift your perspective daily.

Tip #3: Try the Pomodoro Technique

There are many time management methods you can experiment with, and this is one of my favorites. The Pomodoro Technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

When you do take your short break, make it worth it. Have a dance party, listen to music, call a friend, step outside, make a smoothie, etc. DON’T check the news, log on Facebook/Instagram or just sit on the couch. These will be sure to send you down an unproductive rabbit hole!

Related: Fun content ideas for brick and mortar boutiques

Tip #4: Have a dedicated workspace.

I’ve learned the actual spot doesn’t matter as much as how you use it. I’ve had seasons where my workspace is on the recliner (especially during pregnancy!). But having a dedicated space that isn’t cluttered or full of kid’s stuff is really necessary for being productive.

And speaking of kids, I suggest you set up their workspace near you to keep them happy and close while you get things done. Check out Peaceful Play for awesome ideas on work/kid balance.

Tip #5: Prep kid activities the night before

If your littles are young I suggest creating a dedicated space for them too. I throw together my kiddo’s learning activities the night before to make it easy on my workday. I prep projects in his Activity Trays, print anything needed and even plan out his snacks.

Bonus Tip: I do this two-days at a time and that helps me SO much! Nothing like collecting toys or activities to kill your own productivity.

Tip #6: Divide up your time between kids and work

We are all facing new challenges, and this little tip has helped me be super productive in my workday with an attention-seeking 4-year-old at home: Give your child 15 minutes of undivided attention. Read some books, play a card game – whatever it is do not let any distractions in (aka put that phone away!).

Then, allow (not make) them to have independent playtime. My son usually gives me a whole hour after his 15-minutes, and that is when I can be the most productive.

Related: 9 habits to help you be a happy and healthy mom

Tip #7: Prep food ahead of time

Alright, y’all, let me preface this by saying I am NOT one to prep my food. I just can’t muster up the ganas, or determination, to get it done. But one way I prep that saves me SO MUCH is making Overnight Oats the night before.

Bonus when I can do them for 3 days at a time. Extra bonus because my family, including Jericho, LOVES them. So find a way you can prep something to make your life easier during your workday.

Tip #8: Create a (fluid) schedule

When I worked a traditional job, I kept a super strict schedule. I managed so many campaigns and had so many meetings, my scheduler was my BFF.

Now, I still create a robust schedule, not to mention creating one for my son, but I have a new key ingredient to make it all work: Create a schedule and then be SUPER fluid with it. My work schedule is usually complete (because I work into the evening), but I never do everything or stay on time with my kiddo.

However, by creating a robust schedule, it helps keep me on track and I already have all the activities/learning/fitness time in-place and ready to go.

Tip #9: Break up your day with fun

Dance breaks are my favorite, or what I call a non-smoking smoking break and step outside for 15 minutes of fresh air.

Whatever you do try to let your mind rest (aka no scrolling) so you are refreshed to continue your work! I mentioned something similar with the Pomodoro method, but this is more about having fun and not just breaking up your time management.

Related: 20 marketing tips for your small business

Tip #10: Check in with your business besties

This has been crucial in my own business success. From like-minded to working in the same industry, I have a few women that I check-in with regularly. If you work in a traditional workspace, this can mean checking in with your team on a phone call or video chat.
For those of us that are solopreneurs, hop on a video chat to check in with anyone that inspires YOU and your business! This will probably help you with tip #1 too 

Tip #11: Create a mix of indoor, outdoor, screen and active play activities for kids

As moms, it can be super tempting to put the kids in front of the TV. Whatever your views on this, your kids will thank you if you come up with a mix of activities for them to do.
Try to aim for indoor and outdoor play. Let them use their imagination. Send them on a back yard or kitchen scavenger hunt. In our family, we keep TV time educational and I participate with my son…which means I do not get things done while he watches TV. So I really get the struggle!
I also set up activities for him, encourage him to play in his room for a while and let him go to the backyard. Find your groove and what works for you and your schedule. My best tip – give yourself grace, mama!

Tip #12: Create your to-do list the night before

Professionally, few things feel as good as marking stuff off my to-do list. I used to always make my to-do list the morning of, but that can really eat into your day when you work from home amidst all the other distractions.

Now I create that list every evening – usually before relaxing for the night because it helps me focus on real relaxation after getting it all down on paper. As soon as I pour my second cup of coffee and get my kiddo settled, I’m ready to tackle at least my first three items. And that, ladies, helps me feel super accomplished!

I hope these tips can help you find calm in this storm – and be productive while working from home. Many of these tips can be used when you’re in an office setting too, so make sure to save this so you can refer back to it every time you change your working environment.

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Lisa Alfaro

About Lisa Alfaro

As a seasoned Marketing Communications Consultant, I help women in business engage their target audience through local marketing and social media strategies.

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