Blogger Emily Schuman’s 10 Tips for Working from Home


Image: Courtesy

I’ve worked at home for almost seven years and when I first started, there would be days that I would remain in the same position on the couch for the entire day. I wouldn’t shower or brush my teeth, so you would think that I was actually getting a ton of work done. In actuality, I’d have procrastinated all day and then would have to work late into the night just to get the next day’s post finished. Since then, I’ve made some changes that have made me much more productive at home. 

  1. Sure, staying in pajamas sounds more appealing than just about anything else, but it really stops up productivity, so getting dressed in the morning and doing my hair and makeup does wonders for feeling like I’m ready to conquer the day.
  2. When I first separated where I worked and lived, I couldn’t believe how much more I could get done. I used to work on my bed, crouched over for hours, so not only was it terrible for my neck, but it made it feel like I never truly left the office. Having a new office space helped me differentiate the times when I was working and when I was hanging out at home.
  3. Even though I work from home, I set specific hours for myself. It’s easy for the lines to get blurred and some of my days would go for 14 hours. Now that I have a designated office, I shut the door when the day ends. It might seem silly, but it reinforces the idea that I’m done with work.
  4. Working from home can be really restrictive at times, so I always make a point to take a morning walk. It’s also imperative to take small breaks throughout the day to go out and grab a coffee or to read a chapter or two of the book I’m into.
  5. Because I work for myself, I do lose out on certain perks like access to an employer’s retirement plan or health insurance. It’s really important to implement a plan with those types of benefits to the best of your ability. I also work with a reputable accountant to manage taxes and payroll, so that everything is squared away.
  6. Just because I work for myself doesn’t mean I am a recluse, which is why I try to schedule a couple of lunch meals out with friends, several meetings and a nighttime event. Booking these meet ups in advance ensures that I’m out socializing and not just at home from morning till night.
  7. There’s flexibility in working from home, so I try to remember to take advantage of that. If there’s an afternoon movie I’d like to watch on Friday or some errands I didn’t get to, I’ll just pencil it into my schedule throughout the week. When the work is finished, I get to set my own hours and that’s really special.
  8. My favorite way to procrastinate is to meander into the kitchen and pick at snacks. I used to stock chips and candy, but would run through my pile in days. Now, I try to buy healthier options like fruit with cheese, nuts and flaxseed crackers.
  9. I’m pretty married to my daily to-do list. I don’t have a boss, so that means that it’s hard to keep track of what needs to get done. I rely on a detailed list and also use a workflow program called Asana that helps keep me accountable.
  10. When the day is close to ending, I take a quick minute or two to tidy up my workspace. I throw away any coffee cups, organize papers and mail and quickly wipe off the surface. It’s nice to come in the next day and feel inspired instead of dejected because of a mess.