Though the ability to work remotely and have a flexible schedule top many professionals’ wishlists, working from home isn’t always a dream come true. In fact, it can be just the opposite, with heaps of distractions that make it hard to focus. To remedy the problem, we talked with a handful of women who gave us their work from home (WFH) strategies. Employ their top five tips to ensure you’re as productive as possible.
Use an app to help you focus
Maria Yuan, the founder of Issue Voter, cites the free Tide app as a useful tool when it comes to finding focus. “This app facilitates the Pomodoro Method,” she tells us. “I’ve found that timing myself helps me stay focused and work faster.”
Not familiar with the Pomodoro Method? It’s time management technique that was developed in the late 1980s, using a timer to break a project into chunks (usually 25 minutes long) with short breaks to separate them. Many successful people cite the method as a great way to program in rest time while successfully producing work.
Set (and stick with) a solid routine
Dedicating a space to get work done and setting time frames for when you need to be productive can help you ditch distractions. “I start my day at the same time, use the first two hours for the hard work, make sure I get dressed and work at a desk,” Lady Engineer (™) Lindsay Tabas tells us. “For me, it’s important my office is sequestered from my living space in order to leave the stress of work.”
Alice Kittrell, the CEO of intelligent gifting platform Outgift, agrees that taking the time to get dressed and prep a healthy morning meal is key. “I get dressed and ready for the day as if I going to an office,” she says. “It helps to essentially gear me up and get me into mindset of work as opposed to sluggishly doing work in my pajamas!”
Put the power of endorphins to good use
Tina Tang from Iron Strong Jewelry says that early morning workouts are key to helping her stay energized and focused when she works from home. “I schedule and complete an exercise class before my workday starts,” she explains. “Not only does this get my blood flowing, but it also makes me feel like I’ve started to take care of myself before I even dive into a day of work.” Science shows that Tina is on to something, too. Did you know that people who work out in the morning are generally happier and more productive all day long?
Try incorporating meditation and/or music into your WFH day
Working from home doesn’t have to be a super stoic activity or something you dread because you love social interaction. Zoila Darton, who runs a small marketing creative house in Los Angeles, tells us that the experience can be just the opposite. “I work from home every day and two of my major keys for keeping focused are morning meditation and a really good productivity playlist.” Zoila tells us she’s loving jazz music at the moment, but creates a playlist each week so she has something to tune into. “I do this with podcasts that interview brilliant women too,” she expands. “It keeps me feeling inspired and makes me want to be as productive as I can!”
Incorporate a ritual or a reward into your workday
If you need a little dose of motivation, try treating yourself to a WFH ritual that comes with a reward. Layla Tabatabaie, Esq., an Advisor to blockchain-based peer to peer marketplace CanYa, says that for her, grinding fresh coffee beans into a tasty beverage does the trick. “I make coffee in my fresh press, or boil water and add honey and almond milk to tea. The whole process takes less than six or seven minutes, but leads me into the mindset I’m about to have some caffeine to tackle work.”
Need a few more working tips? Check out our top five steps to starting a side hustle and how wellness entrepreneurs also make time for self-care.