Staying productive and happy while working from home

How do you make sure you spend your time well and you get your job done? It is the second most asked question I get when I tell people I permanently work from home. The first is “Isn’t that very lonely?” the answer to that one, is in my case, no. My partner also works from home so I still got some kind of a colleague 😊. The first few times I got asked this question it always surprised me. I hadn’t really given it much thought. This is my first job and working from home is the only way of working I know. To me it’s obvious. But it still seems to have some kind of mystical aura. “I would never be able to do that” I sometimes hear. While I’m usually thinking “Sitting at an office every day, I would never be able to do that”.

Life as it is…working from home
When I work from home, I don’t get interrupted. It’s easier to get into the flow and I am able to work continuously for longer periods of time. And if I’m in need of feedback I pick up the phone or e-mail my colleagues. There is no time that get wasted with everlasting and useless meetings, something I don’t want to put up with. I like efficiency, things need to keep moving. And at home, the sole responsibility lies with me. That amount of freedom can be hard. And some days really suck, like 2 weeks ago when WordPress decided to no longer work properly, I spent 2 days practically screaming at my computer because I couldn’t fix it. But the days that things do run smoothly, that I get up feeling energized and I am able to cross one thing after the other from my to-do list make it all worth it.

My productive formula
I developed my own system to organize myself. That works best for me. How I spent my time varies from week to week and I plan it on a weekly basis. My tasks change depending on the assignments we receive. One week I can be busy with reorganizing our website, the next I’ll be coordinating propositions. Variety is the keyword in my job. What helps me is keeping track of the tasks at hand on a weekly basis. I write them down and then assign the priorities, when the tasks are completed I underline them with fluo. After a whole lot of trial & error I realized that this way of working fits me best. Furthermore I like to start my workday earlier rather than later and try to do the work that requires deep concentration during my attention peak (mine is in the morning). In the afternoon I try to plan more routine tasks.

No magic formula rather a mix & match
The most important thing is that you find a system that works for you. There exist many books that try to make you believe that there’s some “magical formula” for efficient working. But in reality that’s not the case. Only you can decide what works for you. Not everyone is capable of working with a strict time management schedule, some need more room for spontaneity. I like to start my workday early, to be at my most productive, to my partner this sounds like her biggest nightmare. Just to show that there’s no one size fits all. Different strokes for different folks and that’s definitely the case when it comes to time management. Luckily there exist good resources to get you on track. And then it’s a matter of mix & match. Take the things that work for you, leave all the rest behind. This  will lead you to becoming your most productive self in no time.

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