With telecommuting becoming more common, people are working from home more than ever before. However, with “traditional” commuting careers still being the societal norm, it can be difficult to navigate the work from home lifestyle. How do you stay productive? How do you separate your personal life and work?

These are valid questions! And the answer is different for everyone, but here are the practices that have worked for me:

1.  Develop a morning routine. 

You would have a morning routine if you worked from an office, so why not have one when you work remotely? Freshen up, get out of your pyjamas, and make your morning coffee. Developing a morning routine and sticking to it prepares you for the productive day ahead by starting you off on the right foot. 

2. Have a dedicated workspace.

Whether it’s at a desk, your kitchen table, or your favourite cafe, having a dedicated space for your work, or a few that you bounce between is a remote work essential. Reduce the chance of distractions by keeping your workspace away from your bed, your TV, and anything else that might distract you from the tasks at hand.  

3. Optimize your desktop.

Spend time optimizing your workspace. Bookmark the sites you visit most, download desktop apps for your favourite applications, and do whatever else you need to in order to make your job easier. If you simplify your work-flow, you’ll make your day-to-day work life easier.

4. To-do lists are your best friend.

When working from home, you don’t always have managers or coworkers keeping you on track. You need to be self-sufficient. For me, the best way of keeping track of my daily tasks is to keep to-do lists. However, there are dozens of other ways you may keep track of your duties. Calendar events, phone reminders, sticky notes, whiteboards, the list goes on. Try out a few different methods until you find the one that works best for you. 

5. Take breaks.

You’d think you’d get more done without co-workers around, but that’s not necessarily the case. While working from home, it can get lonely and a bit draining. I find that taking a break every hour or two to call a friend, go for a walk, or watch a youtube video, helps me stay productive throughout the day. Allowing yourself to step away from your work breaks up your day and helps you come back with fresh eyes. 

These are the things that help me stay motivated and productive throughout the day, but what works for me may not work for others! The best productivity tip I can give you is to experiment. There are so many productivity gurus out there who have stellar tips. Here are a couple that I found helpful:

Get out there and test things out until you discover what works best for you!

Keep these tips on hand with this handy infographic: Remote Productivity Infographic

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