I work from home. I am a full time, "professional" blogger - and what some may call a social media influencer...thought I still feel a little weird embracing that title, because really all I do on social media is show in real time how I live my slightly-less-than-glamorous life, and promote my blog. When I meet new people, they are always shocked that I make a full time income from my blog and social media. I have to list the ways I earn my income, explain exactly what I do as a blogger and "influencer," and even then, they sometimes don't really get it. I go through periods of writer's block, a lack of well-paying opportunities, sheer laziness...yes, LAZINESS. Sometimes I just don't want to work. Unfortunately, because I am self employed, I can't often take sick days or metal health days - paying my mortgage literally depends on my ability to produce content and turn in my work on time. I have a few tricks that help me keep myself afloat, which totally saved my butt while I was going through a really nasty, heart-breaking divorce, and then well, the aftermath. These are my tried and true 3 Ways to Be More Productive While Working From Home, and whether you are a blogger or any other type of remote employee, I swear they work.
3 Ways to Be More Productive While Working From Home
Keep a Schedule
The first thing is...you HAVE to have a calendar, a schedule, and stick to it. Yes, it's so easy to forget deadlines for blog posts, meetings, conference calls, or events...when you don't write it down somewhere. I use a 2 point method - a calendar on my desk, and Google calendar, which is on my iPhone as well, set with alerts and all. Even though I work from home, it's easy to forget things when you have a billion other things going on. The dogs. The cats. The kids. Cleaning. Social life...it all adds up and sometimes I can be a total airhead and forget the simplest things, like...a blog post deadline.
It's not enough to just make a schedule, you have to actually PRIORITIZE that schedule as well. If I have a post due on Monday, I try to get it done by the Friday beforehand. If you are a blogger or work in this kind of space, you know that last minute things come up as well. Knocking out things ahead of time not only creates a less stressful working environment, but it also frees up time for last minute projects...or meeting the girls for happy hour at the last minute.
Happy hour is a HUGE part of my life, and not for the reasons you may think...which leads me to my next point.
Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
When I worked in Corporate America, I received performance reviews. I received positive feedback...and one of the things I miss most about working for someone else is that there is no one to tell me, "You did a great job!" I mean, yeah, sometimes clients tell me - but it's rare to receive personal feedback in the blogging industry, as so many things are automated. So I reward myself. I tell myself I did a great job. When work is going well, I may treat myself to a manicure and pedicure. Maybe a bottle of champagne after signing a big contract. Maybe a trip to Croatia when there's a lot of money in the bank...
Create a Designated Work Space
For me, I need a designated work space. I worked in a corporate setting for my entire life before becoming a blogger, and I have a really hard time focusing on work if I am not sitting at my desk. Yes, I have a desk. In a home office. With a desk top computer, desktop planner, cup of pens - the whole thing. We didn't use our family room because our house was big enough that it was never necessary, and I have two huge windows that let in an amazing amount of light...so that's where I set up shop. When I walk into my home office, I feel like I am "going to work," and it makes a HUGE difference.
When I travel, which is fairly often, I have a hard time getting into work mode because I am not in "my office." Sure, I can get the bare minimum done, but dude, it's HARD to focus while you're sitting in a hotel room, at the airport, or at the local pub trying to write a story or talk to clients. I tend to drop off the face of the earth, professionally speaking, when I am on a trip - even when it's a work trip.
The struggle is real. I am set in my ways!
My 3 Ways to Be More Productive While Working From Home includes a few items that I MUST HAVE in my home office.
A REAL office set up: a desk, comfortable chair, desktop computer, keyboard, wireless mouse...
A CHARGER for my phone, as I tend to do social media ONLY through my phone, even while sitting at my desk. It also helps me stay focused because I don't have a billion tabs open and a million things going on while working. Facebook notifications are the detriment to a productive workday, I will tell you that!
BAZALEL recently sent me a complimentary wireless charging station and iPhone case for my office, and I LOVE IT!
It sits discreetly on my desk, doesn't require me to use one of the many charging cables I am constantly losing, and best of all? I can't use my phone while I am charging, which helps me be even MORE productive.
The BEZALEL Futura X is under $50 and makes charging a breeze - and they also have options for your car! The case is a very simple, slim magnetic case, which is great since our iPhones are so large now - and you can buy them for as little as $20.
You can find a range of options available at BEZALEL.CO. So go make the best of your work at home time!