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8 Tips for Maximizing Productivity When You Work From Home

Posted on 3 m read

Working from home is most definitely a privilege — after all, who doesn’t love to work from virtually anywhere and be paid like working a regular 9-5 at an actual office site?

However, working from home does require a lot of focus, organization, and the ability to work with little to no guidance, since you’re basically on your own! With nobody holding you accountable at all times, it’s easy to slack off or simply get lazy. That said, it’s important to practice methods for maximizing productivity when you work from home… if you want to keep your job. Here are 8 tips to get you started!


ACTUALLY GET DRESSED

A lot of people think thatΒ the biggest perk to working from home is the optionΒ to work in your PJ’s in bed. While I do somewhat agree, in that it’s super comfortable and convenient, I also find that I’m a lot more productive when I actually put in the effort and time to get ready and get dressed like I would if I were to go to work in an office. Get up early in the morning, take a warm shower to wake up, and toss on a comfy outfit before you start your workday.

HAVE A DAILY SCHEDULE

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Without a schedule, you’ll be all over the place. It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of where you left off. However, having a schedule of things to do written down helps to keep you organized, and you can check things off as you go. It’s also always good to have a list of things you’ve accomplished for your own records!

DON’T WORK AFTER HOURS

You can set your schedule however you want, but don’t work more than 8 hours in a day! Your body needs rest and will slow down in terms of productivity in the long-run if you overwork yourself. Having an agenda written out helps to prevent working after hours, as long as you stick to it!

SET ASIDE TIME FOR BREAKS

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In addition to keeping your hours set at a standard 8 hours tops, be sure to set aside time for 15-30 minute breaks to eat a hearty meal, get some exercise in, and simply have some “me” time. Breaks keep us awake and refreshed, and helps to avoid burnout on the job.

SWITCH UP YOUR ‘OFFICE’

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Things can get stale working at the same place over & over again, and since you’re working from home, why not take advantage of the privilege of being able to switch things up? Your office could be a library, coffee shop, a rooftop, or even a beach! New spaces often spur creativity and inspiration to get work done.

DESIGNATE A WORKSPACE

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When you’re not switching your offices up and feel like working from your home, it’s important to designate a space where you get the work done. Moving from the bedroom to the office to the kitchen can become a distraction, so it’s definitely recommended that you have a space where you keep all your “office” supplies and anything related to work in one place. Once you’re done with work, exit that workspace and enjoy yourself in the kitchen or living room area, savouring a delicious meal & watching your favourite TV show to wind down the day.

ELIMINATE HOME DISTRACTIONS

One of the challenges of working from home is having to deal with home distractions. This could be anywhere from the dog barking incessantly or the TV being on and too loud, preventing you from staying focused. If there are others at home, remind them kindly that while you are home, you are actually on the job and require a quiet space to get the work done.

GET FRESH AIR

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Sometimes, we get so focused on our work we forget to open the windows and get some fresh air, or take a break outdoors and go for a walk. Fresh air is not only necessary for good health, it’s also energizing!


Anyone else out there work from home? What do you do to stay productive during working hours, and distinguish between “work” and “home”?

What do you think?

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128 Comments
  • Angie
    November 3, 2015

    As someone who works from a one office, these are all spot on!

  • Bryan
    November 5, 2015

    I agree that switching up the “office” helps keep up the productivity. I’ll drop into a starbucks for an hour or two just to break up the day and get an afternoon pick-me-up.

    • Sharon Wu
      November 5, 2015

      Me too! I love Starbucks πŸ˜‰ Haha we’re always chatting when we’re at Starbucks together… but not together! πŸ˜› xo

  • Susan Evans
    October 3, 2016

    Not working after hours is a big one, because when you are a blogger who has a home business, it can take up all of your time. You have to make a cut off time if you want time for your family.

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      SO true!!! I struggle with it all the time!

  • Angela
    October 3, 2016

    Bookmarked! I sometimes get lost in the art of procrastination and need to read this list to knock it!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Aw thank you, Angela! I’m the same way — we’re all human after all! Haha πŸ™‚

  • Jasmin Marie
    October 3, 2016

    I wish I could work from home!!! Sounds like a dream!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Haha it totally can be, but is stressful at times, too! Thanks for stopping by love xo

  • Sarah
    October 3, 2016

    These tips are really useful. I’m going to have sets more of a schedule for myself, rather than working into the night!!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Sarah! So glad you found the tips helpful. I struggle with not working into the night… the work never ends as a freelancer! But I do my best haha

  • Jenn Hanft
    October 3, 2016

    Ahhh these tips are awesome! I never got the chance to really work from home completely but i definitely agree with what you said as they definitely helped when i freelanced. The most interesting one was dressing up! I really like that one to get into the right mindset! Ps really love your images!!!

    XO Jenn
    http://www.jennsemble.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Jenn! Hope you have a fab week <3 xo

  • Mihaela
    October 3, 2016

    Amazing advice! Thanks~

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, darling!

  • Josselyn Martinez
    October 3, 2016

    I agree with those tips, I have a schedule and I do get dressed
    to work from home it really helps

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you found the tips helpful xo

  • Candice Nikeia
    October 3, 2016

    Love these tips! I really need to go outside more since I currently work from home! I had a 7am meeting today and being outside that early was crazy to see. Usually at that time of day I am still in bed catching up on Instagram, but it was nice to get outside. I’ve been able to stay productive since – So your advice is very important and helps!

    xoxo, Candice
    http://www.candicenikeia.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Candice! I am the same way! Let’s go out together more often πŸ™‚ haha hope your meeting this morning went well! It’s always nice to start the day bright and early so you’re productive. Hope you have a lovely rest of your day! xoxo

  • Stella Yu
    October 3, 2016

    I’m LOVING your new layout babe! Just when I thought your blog couldn’t get any better! Loving these tips too πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing! xo

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you so much, Stella! Means a lot to me since my boyfriend and I have been working hard on it all weekend long. Glad you found these tips helpful too πŸ™‚

  • Rachel Wells
    October 3, 2016

    I might be transitioning into freelancing soon so these tips are really helpful! You’re such an inspiration, Sharon! Happy Monday πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Yay!!! So excited for you! Thanks for stopping by xx

  • Georgiana H.
    October 3, 2016

    You’re living the dream, Sharon! Keep it up! Love all your posts <3

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Awww thank you so much for the encouragement! xoxo

  • Mariann Yip
    October 3, 2016

    Love your tips! I plan on working from home soon so I definitely can use your advice πŸ™‚

    http://WWW.MARIANNYC.COM

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Yay!!! So glad you enjoyed the tips babe <3 Happy Monday! xo

  • candy
    October 3, 2016

    I have a timer for working and every two hours I get a 15 minute break. Keeps me on task.

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      That’s incredible babe! I have to do that!

  • Lora
    October 3, 2016

    Your post looks so gorgeous, I wish mine could look like that! Great tips, will try those next time I need to get something done!

    Xx, Lora | http://www.cherrycolastyle.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Lora! You made my day! I’m in the works of majorly giving Style Lullaby a face lift but this is just the beginning πŸ˜‰ I greatly appreciate your encouragement and support xoxo

  • Amber-lee
    October 3, 2016

    Great post girl! Scheduling my breaks makes such a huge dif for me too!!!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Amber-Lee! Glad you enjoyed the post xo

  • Fazeela Ibrahim
    October 3, 2016

    Awesome tips. I’m working from home now. Thanks for sharing

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you! xo

  • Rachel
    October 3, 2016

    Great tips! Getting out for fresh air is super important for me!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Rachel! I couldn’t agree more. I was feeling tired and went out for a walk — now I’m back in my home office and feeling refreshed as ever πŸ™‚

  • Eva
    October 3, 2016

    Lovely and useful post.
    Thank you for show us.
    Xoxo
    Eva

    http://www.themermaidfashion.com/

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Eva! xx

  • Maryam
    October 3, 2016

    I totally agree with you. I used to work from home and the one thing that’s most important is to get out and get fresh air!

    Xo, Maryam
    http://www.glamandposh.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Maryam! Glad you could relate xx

  • Funmi Alabi
    October 3, 2016

    Spot on! I work from home also, and I’ve found that implementing the above does aid productivity.

    Funmi xx
    funmialabi.co.uk

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Yay! So glad to hear it! Thanks for reading xo

  • Jocelyn
    October 3, 2016

    Love these tips for working from home! It’s my dream to work from home one day πŸ™‚ x

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Jocelyn! It’s definitely a privilege that comes with challenges worth overcoming πŸ˜‰

  • Christina Beauchamp
    October 3, 2016

    These tips are so on point! I work a regular desk job but find that getting fresh air helps me too!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Christina! Yes, I imagine that fresh air is really nice when you’re working in an office all day!

  • Stephanie
    October 3, 2016

    I love how you styled this post! Weirdly enough, the way you put the wording over the pictures kept my attention even more! πŸ™‚ And I agree with all your points too! Especially when it comes to taking breaks and not working past your typical “hours.” I tend to keep going way past when I should be asleep or even just skip meals sometimes due to how much work I “NEED” to get done. Thanks for sharing, babe!

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Stephanie! I’m glad you like the style because I’m working on making some pretty cool updates to Style Lullaby over time and this is just the first! πŸ™‚ I am the same way and can sometimes lose track of time really easily especially when other things come up into my preplanned schedule. Freelancing isn’t easy, huh? Haha thanks for reading as always xoxo

  • Alyssa
    October 3, 2016

    Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for this post, great tips!

    “Actually get dressed” – I don’t know why but that one is HUGE for me. There’s just something about putting on a proper pair of pants and a nice shirt that switches the productivity switch for me!

    – Alyssa

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Hi Alyssa! Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree! When I feel put together, I can work so much better. So glad you can relate on this account πŸ™‚

  • Casey
    October 3, 2016

    Fantastic tips! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Casey!

  • Miki
    October 3, 2016

    Great tips! Love your photos. Opening the windows and having a designated work space makes a huge difference. If I work in bed, I work non-stop. Having a set number of hours of work and sticking to that is a challenge every day. Haha. Thanks for sharing!

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Miki! I’m totally the same way — I can work non-stop if I’m in bed LOL! How ironic, huh? I need to update my workspace ASAP!

  • Gina Diaz
    October 3, 2016

    I love everything about this post, from the pictures to the useful tips! πŸ™‚

    xx, Gina

    http://www.artsyrunway.com | Instagram: @ginadiazh

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Gina! Glad you enjoyed it xo

  • Fiori Campbell
    October 3, 2016

    Wow babe! Your blog got a huge face lift! It looks AHHH-MAZING girl!!! Keep it up xoxo

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Fiori! Means so much to me!!! <3 Yes, I'm in the middle of a redesign... well... it's technically done but of course my aim is that it will keep getting better over time. Thanks for your support and encouragement; it's much appreciated! xo

  • Ines
    October 3, 2016

    I love this babe!!! I need to learn from you – ugh! Xx

    http://www.inesinla.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks Ines! xx

  • Felicia
    October 3, 2016

    Great tips!! I don’t work from home regularly but I do telework once a week for my 9-5 and these rules still apply.

    Felicia | http://www.prettychicpink.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      So glad to hear that these tips are relatable for you even though your schedule is not full-time work from home! πŸ™‚

  • Erik
    October 3, 2016

    Great insights! Thanks!πŸ™πŸ»

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Erik!

  • Kyla
    October 3, 2016

    You are one of the most productive people I know so I could definitely use some of your tips! For me getting dressed is a big one! Would love to set up a designated office space too!
    Kyla
    Wanderlustkyla.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Kyla! I try, haha! πŸ˜›

  • Miranda Sterling
    October 3, 2016

    You are such an inspiration to me, Sharon! Loving your new blog layout so much!!! Can’t wait to see what else is in store πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you, Miranda! So sweet of you <3 xoxo

  • Tessa
    October 3, 2016

    These tips are not only useful for those who work from home, but also those who work in the office too! Balance is so important to live a healthy fulfilling life. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Tessa! So happy to hear that these tips are relatable outside of the work-from-home sphere too πŸ™‚ xx

  • Katherine
    October 3, 2016

    Wow fantastic tips! Great post!!!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 3, 2016

      Thank you sweetie! xx

  • Aiko Cunanan
    October 3, 2016

    Such a great post for people who work from home like us! I really needed to read this today lol. Especially because I tend to go past the 8 hour mark, which causes me to be a little bit unproductive the next day. Definitely going to try switching up my work space next time!

    Thanks for sharing babe.
    xx

    aikocunanan.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks for stopping by, Aiko! Glad to hear that you found this post relevant πŸ™‚ xx

  • Tina
    October 3, 2016

    I typically work remotely once and week and love all of these tips! I’m going to try getting dressed next time since I’m usually just working in my pjs hehehe. Btw, love the new page layout!!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks, Tina!!! I appreciate it <3 xoxo

  • Carmen
    October 4, 2016

    It’ so important to have a schedule for a successful home office πŸ™‚ I love these tips Sharon. Thank you so much for sharing them!
    xx, Carmen – http://www.carmitive.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks for reading, Carmen xx

  • Kelly Turpin
    October 4, 2016

    Great suggestions. I have been meaning to do myself a schedule and I am certainly going to do that now and I’ll even get dressed!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Yes!!! So much more productive that way hehe πŸ™‚ thanks for stopping by! x

  • Kate
    October 4, 2016

    I don’t regularly work from home, so when I have the opportunity to do it, it’s certainly a treat!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      I’ll bet! Thanks for stopping by, Kate! xo

  • Matt
    October 4, 2016

    I’ve been blogging more at home, and these are some good tips. It makes sense to have a schedule instead of just randomly making time to squeeze in a little work.

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Awesome! So glad to hear you’re blogging more at home and that these tips are helpful to you! πŸ™‚

  • jasna
    October 4, 2016

    Totally agree with all the tips babe, I admit I work longer but I have realised I need rest and cant do 10-12 hour days anymore…

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Ugh, me either! But I always end up somehow working more than I should LOL. And on weekends too!

  • Nada
    October 4, 2016

    Great post!
    NEW POST : THE COLORFUL THOUGHTS

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks, Nada xx

  • Kandja Sylla
    October 4, 2016

    Sharon these are great tips! I like dressing up when I’m working at home to somehow remind me that I’m a boss who needs to get the job done lol! I love switching up office once in a while not just for productivity but also creativity. Have a nice day babe. xx

    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com/shein-duster-roundup/

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Hi Kandja! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ Glad to hear that you enjoyed these tips! I totally agree with you about switching up office space once in a while. In fact, I just moved my home office from in our bedroom to out in the living room and am loving it so far. More importantly, I got a new Mac coming in on Thursday and it’s going to be basically a new office! So stoked haha. Hope you’re having a fantastic week so far babe xx

  • Tania
    October 4, 2016

    Such a great post. I really struggle with this as well and find working from a coffee shop really helps !

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks for reading, Tania! I love working out of coffee shops too πŸ™‚ Especially the ones with plenty of space… and great drinks!

  • Jacquelyn
    October 4, 2016

    Great tips! I need to apply these to my life … πŸ˜‰

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks, Jacquelyn! So happy to hear that you enjoyed the tips xoxo

  • Missy May
    October 4, 2016

    I don’t work from home, but I must say, you’ve made some meaningful valid points here. Will keeps these in mind, because they might come in handy some day. Ha! Thanks for sharing, beautiful. πŸ™‚

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks for reading babe!!

  • Helen Chik
    October 4, 2016

    God these are great tips girl! Especially agree about sticking to normal set working hours though! Totally find myself writing emails at midnight all the time haha!

    Helen xx
    http://CH1K.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      I know your feeling girl! It’s hard especially too if I took the day off to shoot or explore and then come back having to take care of all the administrative tasks. It’s almost 11 PM here now and I’m just getting started on e-mails and catching up over here. Hoping to sleep no later than 1 AM… πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading! xoxo

  • Paige Strand
    October 4, 2016

    Wow, great images!

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks, Paige! xx

  • Atsuna
    October 4, 2016

    ooh yes I’m all about productivity and reading these tips were so helpful! By the way loving the cool effects of your new webdesign babe πŸ™‚ It looks so professional!

    xoxo
    http://www.atsunamatsui.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 4, 2016

      Thanks for stopping by, Atsuna! So glad to hear that you found these tips helpful and that you love the new design! I really appreciate it xoxo

  • Anna Elizabeth
    October 5, 2016

    I love all of these tips and totally agree, getting dressed being one of the most important!

    xo Anna Elizabeth
    http://www.annaelizabethevents.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 5, 2016

      Thanks for stopping by, Anna!

  • Thomas Falkenstedt
    October 5, 2016

    You’re a constant inspiration Sharon! As I strive to be able to live on the blog that means I’ll also have to get used to working from home (or someplace else for that matter) and in my case the key word is discipline! Your tips make me smarter and better and actually let me set up a plan on how I’m going to do this πŸ™‚
    Great post!

    xoxo
    Thomas
    http://thomasfalkenstedt.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 5, 2016

      Awww thanks, Thomas! I’m honored to be of any inspiration to you, really <3 Hope you're having a fun time traveling xx

  • Nicole
    October 5, 2016

    wow this is really helpful! I will need to follow these tips next time!

    http://heynicolewong.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 5, 2016

      Thanks, Nicole! So glad to hear that you found the tips helpful x

  • Deddeh Howard
    October 5, 2016

    Such great and helpful tips girl. Giving yourself breaks is important, thanks for sharing😘

    • Sharon Wu
      October 5, 2016

      Thanks, Deddeh! So happy to hear that you found the tips helpful x

  • marcy
    October 6, 2016

    Great article Sharon!! Love your great post and how authentic they are:)
    Thanks for sharing
    xx
    Marcy

    • Sharon Wu
      October 6, 2016

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ x

  • Alicia
    October 6, 2016

    Agree with all of these tips babe. I’m actually writing pretty much the same post at the moment, and I think getting dressed & ready in a morning makes a HUGE difference. Even if you’re going to stay at home all day, getting ready puts you in a completely different mindset. Loved the post girl πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      October 6, 2016

      Thanks for reading, Alicia! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ xoxo

  • Rita
    October 6, 2016

    Great post!Amazing tips! I do work from home sometimes, need to implement some of these tips to make it more exciting!
    Rita | http://www.styleroundtheclock.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 6, 2016

      Thank you, Rita! Glad you enjoyed the post xo

  • Julia (The Velvet Runway)
    October 7, 2016

    These are great tips Sharon. I think the hardest are to remember to get fresh air and not to work after hours (especially when you’re behind on your schedule!)
    Julia x
    http://www.thevelvetrunway.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 7, 2016

      I totally agree! I’ve been very behind lately and been working into the wee hours of the night… Hoping I can take a break and catch up on sleep this weekend!

  • Tiffany
    October 7, 2016

    Bookmarking this. These are some amazing tips. I work from home and I need some of these tips for sure! Productivity can be really hard when you WAH. Thank you for this great post! xo Tiffany http://www.parsnipsandpastries.com

    • Sharon Wu
      October 7, 2016

      Aww thanks so much, Tiffany! So glad you found the post helpful and bookmark-worthy! Have a wonderful weekend x

  • getting dressed is so important, really gets your mind in work mode

    • Sharon Wu
      October 9, 2016

      I totally agree! Thanks for stopping by x

  • Noma
    October 13, 2016

    Good advice especially when it comes to creating a work zone to help to get you into a productive mood.

    XoXo Noma

    • Sharon Wu
      October 13, 2016

      Thanks, Noma! Glad you find the advice useful xx

  • Lizzie
    November 1, 2016

    So true, love this list – if I haven’t had fresh air and some exercise in the day I am so unproductive!

    http://www.pannacottalondon.me

    • Sharon Wu
      November 1, 2016

      Thanks babe! Glad you enjoyed the post xo

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