15 Effortless Work-From-Home Tips for Staying Motivated All Day Long

I'm tired, I have a headache, and I need to remove my makeup... but I am going to persevere and get this post up, because I have been seriously lacking in the "blogger extraordinaire" category of my self- designated persona. 

Last week was busy, but I am back, and I can promise you... nothing has changed. If you're ever DYING FOR A MADDIE FIX... first off, get that figured that out, that is weird... and seconly, check out my Instagram for (nearly) daily updates. 

In the spirit of getting back on track, and getting shit done, I present the a few tips for "working at home" that I've collected in the past year of freelance. 

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1. Set an "electronics off" time

Otherwise you'll be on your computer all night because there is always something you could be doing.  If you're already spending all day on the computer, you need a cut off. Mine is 10:30 PM. After 10:30, the laptop goes away until the morning... read, listen to podcasts, watch a show, talk to a friend... 

2. Split up your day with a workout

If you're staring at a screen all day (I assume anyone who works from home spends a lot of time online), consider breaking up your day with a workout.  I burn out around noon or 1:00 PM, so stepping away and getting some fresh air is a great way to get new energy for the rest of the day. 

3. Don't depend on coffee

I developed the horrible habit of associating writing with coffee. If I wanted to write something at 6:00 PM, I need a cup of coffee.  Do. not. get. into. this. habit. Pretty soon you'll be downing coffee at 10:00 PM, and it won't even have an effect on you. Leave the coffee in the AM.

4. No work from bed between 9:00 - 5:00

A part of working from home perk is the "working from bed" perk.  However, don't abuse it.  Try to have some structure to your life... and this means leaving bed.

If I'm working before 9:00 AM or after 5:00 PM, sure, I let myself work from bed. But within 9-5 I try to sit at a desk to feel more... how do the kids say it? In the zone?

5. Have break time that does not = computer

Kinda more of the same, but if you are taking a quick break, don't have it be something on the computer. In my personal opinion, any break you take from something on the computer that is just something else on the computer isn't really a break.

I love calligraphy and talking with my mom and petting my dog and (endlessly) cleaning my room. 

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6. Enjoy/take advantage of the small perks

You work from home! Con-fucking-gratulations! You are quite literally living the millennial dream.  I mean, you still need to get your work done... but don't down play it too much!  Enjoy not getting dressed up, needing to commute anywhere, having someone look over your shoulder, "taking lunch," scrolling the 'gram, or whatever it is that you love about WFM.  

7. Get outside of the house

More of the same, but really... make the effort to do work at a coffee shop, or schedule an "in person" meeting (yes, those still exist) at a time or place that will get you into a new environment. 

8. Find a work buddy

This needs to be someone else who  ACTUALLY also does a lot of work from home, or is in school. Unfortunately, just inviting a friend along to a work sessions will not end with anything getting done.  Trust me, I am speaking from experience. Sorry friends, I love you, but I cannot work around you. 

9. Try to schedule your work by the hour

This is something I resisted for a long time (years, really), but it has actually helped me a ton.  Try to set a loose schedule for yourself so you know what you're working on when (and when you can take a break).

10. Look ahead

If you're getting drinks on Thursday of next week, but you have a big assignment/project due on Friday of last week, realize that ahead of time, and get it done! This is the beauty of working from home.

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11. Don't be afraid of working on the weekends

Let's get real.  Your weekends are not Saturday and Sunday. Your weekends are the 48 hours scattered throughout the week where you are sleeping in, going out to lunch, calling friends, and not working.  Don't be afraid of getting up on a Saturday and cranking out some work, or finishing up something on Sunday afternoon. I do work 7 days a week, but I never feel like I don't get a break.

12. Have a very, very organized email

I have FIVE EMAIL ADDRESSES that I currently use (for you guys, contact me at madeline@thegal-ivanter.com).  To keep myself sane, I am very (see: very) specific about what each one is used for. I do not like cross over in my inboxes. I have:

  • my old school one just incase someone sends something on that, or I need to pretend I am a student somewhere for a discount
  • my basic gmail which I use for accounts
  • gal-ivanter
  • good food pittsburgh
  • and a subscription email, which I highly recommend. Use this for all emailing lists - you still get them, but they stay out of your work inbox. 

13. Apologize to friends and family

Because you're kinda always on the clock, and it is kinda always annoying. 

14. Be in control of you internet browsing

Trust me, I love the web, and I always think that "just one more video from the 2012 London Olympics Women's Gymnastics competition" will end up being just one video... but it rarely does (I blame autoplay).

Lean to stop yourself and say NOPE. It's not easybut it the greatest thing you can teach yourself when trying to work from home. 

15. Schedule meetings, calls, and appointments AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE

You need to build some structure into your life. Making rock-solid commitments in the AM will make you get up and get your day started ASAP. 

What are you work-from-home tips? Leave them in the comment below!

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