15 Work From Home Routine Tips That are Essential For Every Remote Worker

Creating a work-from-home routine may seem a bit daunting at first, but you should quickly catch that it doesn’t have to be as bad as it may sound. There are ways for you to have a fun and enjoyable time puttering around the house. You need to get creative and figure out ways to make it fun. 

Importance of Working from Home Routine

Many people believe they want to work from home until they discover that doing so means they must be incredibly disciplined and on task. It all sounds great in theory, but we are not nearly as focused on our duties as we know we ought to be. When we stray from a routine, it is easy to start to procrastinate. From there, we may lose focus entirely and end up with a less-than-desirable outcome. Instead, we should focus on creating a routine right from the start. 

man working on a computer from home

When a WFH routine is in place right from the start, we already know what we are getting into each day, even before that day has truly begun. We can plan our schedule and life around knowing what to expect from our day from the moment we wake up. 

Previous Working From Home Routine

Let us look at the work-from-home routine of someone who has been doing this for some time. His name is Tim, and he has been in the work-from-home life since before it became more common following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tim thought that he had it all figured out and that he was going to be able to make great strides towards his goals. The problem was that his plan was not concrete enough to honestly say that he could make the kind of progress he wanted. 

His routine looked something like this: 

  • 6 am: Wake up
  • 6:15 am: Eat breakfast
  • 6:30 am: Log onto a computer and check e-mails
  • 9 am: Take a break
  • 10 am: Attend virtual meeting
  • 12 pm: Lunch break
  • 1 pm: Check e-mails for any new information
  • 3 pm: Daily wrap-up meeting
  • 4 pm: Log out for the day

It all seemed fine on paper, but the problem was that he could not truly adhere to the rules that he had set up for himself. Many distractions got in his way and knocked him off schedule almost from the beginning. He might tell himself that he wasn’t going to look at social media or the news, but then he would find himself doing those same things in no time. It was a dangerous productivity spiral that wasn’t helpful for his mental health or for his job prospects. 

Tim needed to revamp the way that he was working from home, or he would quickly find himself attached to a sinking ship that was going nowhere fast. This is a cautionary tale that all people should consider when trying to figure out how they will structure their own day and make the most of it. You do not want to end up in the same spot that Tim found himself in. 

15 Time Management Tips for Work From Home Routine

1. Create a long-term schedule

It is important to note that you create a schedule that you can use on a daily basis, but also a schedule that you can use on a more long-term basis. What this means is that you should certainly look at how you can convert your daily schedule into something that you can use on a weekly and even a monthly basis. Doing so makes it easier to see how your long-term goals align with the day-to-day. 

calendar schedule with pens over top

2. Don’t Overwork Yourself.

One common problem that some people encounter when they first start working from home is overextending themselves. They believe that they need to be constantly working at all times if they are working from home because they fear what might happen if they take their foot off the pedal. Do not do this! You will get burned out, which will zap all the positives about working from home away from you. 

3. Schedule in Some Breaks

The human brain needs to rest and relax from time to time. You should schedule some breaks using the Pomodoro method. This method allows you to consistently work on a single project for 25 minutes before taking a short 5-minute break. This is enough time for you to recover, but not so much time that you lose all focus. 

4. Make Your Work Space a Designated Area

Make sure you aren’t just throwing your workspace up somewhere randomly in your home. You need a dedicated workspace where you can sit down and actually get things done. Part of your time management balance from home is to make sure you separate your work life from your home life, and that means setting up a separate office space.

work from home designated space

5. Take the Seinfeld Approach

Jerry Seinfeld has always had a unique approach to time management, and it involves making sure he is constantly getting work done each day. He takes a large calendar and pins it to the wall. Then, he marks an “X” on any day that he sits down and writes some jokes. His goal is to make the chain as long as he possibly can. The longer the chain, the more days in a row that he sat down to write. By focusing on keeping the chain as long as possible, Seinfeld makes sure he is accountable to himself as far as getting his pen to paper and making the comedy that people love. It is an approach you can steal to remain productive when working from home. 

6. Dress Properly

You might think that one of the most significant benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to get dressed up, and that is true. However, you should still try to dress properly for your job. If you dress as though you were still working in the office, then you may start to function more optimally as well. 

7. Reduce Distractions

This one may seem obvious, but you need to bring distractions under control. Turn the TV off, let your family know that you are actively working, and try to do what you can to keep your pets content. You need to make it clear to everyone that lives in your house that you are a working professional who is trying to get as much done as possible even though you are working from home. 

decluttered clean desk

8. Figure Out When You Are Most Productive

Everyone has certain times of the day when they are more productive. Discovering when that time is for you is a key insight that you do not want to let slip away. If you subscribe to the Pareto principle (the idea that 80% of the work is done 20% of the time), then you understand why it is so important to leverage the hours when you are at your peak. 

9. Eliminate Multi-Tasking

People have long thought that the ability to multi-task was something that they possessed and that it was a good thing. As it turns out, neither of these things is really true. Multi-tasking is not something that humans are equipped to do, and it is not something that we should aim for. Multi-tasking actually takes us away from the kind of solid work that we could get accomplished if we simply focused on one task at a time. Thus, you should try to remove it from your vocabulary and goals. 

10. Block Distracting Websites

The temptation to look at social media, news or other websites may be so strong with you that you don’t even want to take a risk at doing so. It is commendable if you can take steps to block those websites, so they don’t pose that risk to you. Doing so shows that you are committed to your work. 

11. Give Yourself Rewards

It is perfectly acceptable to reward yourself when you hit certain productivity milestones. In fact, it is ideal to do this so that you can reinforce the good behaviors that you are exhibiting. You deserve a pat on the back from yourself once in a while when you accomplish something big. 

12. Check-in with Yourself

Make sure you check in with your physical and emotional well-being at times. It can get pretty lonely and isolating to work from home, so make sure you are checking up on that. 

13. Don’t Forget About Family Time.

Just because you have brought your work to your home does not mean that it gets to take over your entire home life. You should set aside extra time to make sure you spend quality time with your family. Your employer should understand this; if they do not, you need to clarify it to them! 

family spending time while parents work remotely

14. Watch Out for Procrastination 

Procrastination can sneak up on anyone. Make sure you notice it when it comes knocking, and try to do your best to resist procrastination in all of its forms when you notice it. This is certainly harder than it sounds, but anyone can avoid procrastination if they are willing to put in the time, focus, and effort necessary to eliminate their distractions. 

15. Productivity Tools Help

Productivity tools are there to help you, and they can certainly do just that if you are willing to use them. There are a number of free tools on the Internet right now that are designed to help keep you on task. If that sounds useful to you, make sure you check them out. 

Current WFH Routine

Tim’s current WFH routine is much improved after applying some of the above tips. The biggest ones for him involved eliminating distractions. He knew what he was supposed to be doing with his routine, but he couldn’t seem to keep himself on task as well as he would have liked to. Fortunately, by looking over some of the tips and advice that were available to him, he realized that he could make the changes that he needed to in order to start enjoying his WFH routine a bit more and get more out of it. 

3 Main Points to Take From This

There are three big things that you should take away from what you have learned today. 

1. WFH is Not as Easy as it Seems

Most people think that the work-from-home life is their life, but it may not be as straightforward as you imagine. There are obstacles to contend with when working from home, just as there are when working in the office. Don’t forget that there will be trade-offs, and expect that some of those trade-offs will be at least somewhat difficult to handle. 

2. You Have Tools at Your Disposal to Make it Better.

You are not completely helpless when it comes to dealing with the work-from-home life. The reality is that there are tools at your disposal that can make it possible for you to get more out of your day. You should at least try to work on what you can to make your work-from-home day more productive and less full of distractions. No one said it would be easy, but it is what you need to do to make it work. 

3. It is Acceptable to Make Mistakes

Sometimes, people get too hard on themselves when making simple human errors. They may find they are prone to common mistakes and deviating from the path they initially set up for themselves. When this happens, you should try to accept it. You aren’t going to be perfect every time you make an error, but you can certainly make some progress on your goals by giving yourself the grace to accept that you will falter at times. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of people enjoying the work-from-home life at this time. The reality is that you can do the same in many jobs. If you find that there are jobs that land you in a work-from-home position, please understand that you need a schedule to make the most of your time. 

personal pivots newsletter
Get more exclusive personal development tips that we only share with email subscribers

You May Also Like…

0 Comments
Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.