How I'm Becoming More Productive at Home
Updated: Oct 12
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In these moments of uncertainty, I find myself at home all day. I work as a Freelance writer and I work from home anyway, but now the restrictions are making me feel a little bit stressed. Going grocery shopping is the only reason I leave my house, and even that is stressful. There so much handwashing, disinfecting, and cleaning happening each day, it has become a boring yet necessary daily habit.
I've started to struggle a little bit with being productive. I tend to be lazy, watch Netflix, sit on my porch soaking in the sunshine, in fact, I do everything but work!
Do you know what I've realized during this time?
HAVING A CLEAN WORKSPACE HELPS ME GET MORE DONE!
Why? I don't actually know what it is about a clean workspace, a clean desk, and all my stationery laid out...but it makes me want to actually start researching, brainstorming, and writing.
Don't you just love typing away when there's no CLUTTER all around?! I sure do. Usually, I'd have all kinds of papers, wrappers, coffee mugs, pens, and so on my desk and I'd find myself struggling to stretch out my arms properly.
I admit that I'm not a neat freak and sometimes I would let the mess get out of hand.
Trying to organize everything?
Something as cheap as a $15 USD desk organizer can make a huge difference and keep everything neat as well as give you more workspace.
My tip for you is: every 2 or 3 days, clean your desk and arrange all your pens, stationery, electronic devices, etc. They should look nice and tidy. I started to throw out all the old dried-out sharpies and markers I never even used. I even ripped out the full pages of notes I don't need any more from my notebooks.
Here's what I am trying to do:
stop adding clutter on my desk
stop leaving random things on the desk
clean the desk daily
clean my laptop and mouse
buy organizers for paper and pens
writing to-do lists and idea lists
Thinking about getting some cute affordable notebooks? Try these from Amazon.
Notebooks are great for writing down ideas and thoughts.
I MIX WORK TIME WITH HOUSEKEEPING CHORES
Something that really works for me is mixing up my activities. So, I'll split up my worktime into short segments and do some housekeeping activities in between. I like to wash some dishes, do laundry, clean my pantry, or vacuum the bedroom. I find that adding these necessary but boring activities helps me achieve both - work and chores.
If you find it hard to start concentrating again after a break, take longer work sessions. Or, prioritize your workday by tasks and take a break only after you're done one or more of your tasks.
Start the day with the most dreaded chore and get it out of the way!
What are your most dreaded chores? Mine is washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen table. But if there's a mess in the kitchen it is distracting and gross. Knowing this is out of the way, I can work with less stress.
I like to cook sometime between 1-2 pm. It's kind of the middle of the workday and I use cooking as a break to relax. Although I'm not a huge fan of cooking, I still enjoy it and I pick easy-to-make recipes that allow me to get everything cooking on the stovetop or oven, and then I can do other tasks while I wait for the food to be done.
While I cook, I also:
clean up after my cats and dogs
make grocery lists
clean up the bathroom
load or unload the washing machine
water my plants and flowers
fold and put away clothing
The final habit that has really helped me do more in a day is:
STARTING OFF THE DAY WITH A BREAKFAST AND COFFEE ROUTINE
I like to drink a good cup of coffee or tea each morning before starting work. I used to skip breakfast sometimes but I've realized that having breakfast first, then my coffee, makes my stomach feel better. I look forward to this mini routine each morning so I take pleasure in it and it puts me in a good mood. After all, beginning your day with a positive mindset will help you focus and help you stay productive all day.
Have you noticed that a cute coffee mug actually makes you feel better when drinking your morning brew?
Have you tried aromatic coffee?
How about a pour-over coffee
maker under $20?
I also like to listen to playlists while I have coffee, breakfast, and other breaks during the day. I usually either listen to the radio because I feel more connected to the outside world this way or I listen to youtube playlists. Sometimes I venture into Spotify podcasts to catch up on my favorites.
Here's a fun jazz and bossa nova playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UVWa_aIvFY
So, I've shared the 3 very simple ways I increased my productivity. I'm sure you have your own small routines and tips and make sure that you implement them in your life to get more done, faster!