How To Be Productive While Working From Home Under Quarantine

by The Violet Journal
how to be productive while working from home

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Many people around the world have made the shift to working from home due to the quarantine, and I for one have been struggling with it. Days are merging into each other and completing all my work in a space that was once associated with rest and relaxation has been a real challenge for me.

Ever since my first set of exams at age 16 I’ve adopted libraries and coffee shops as my workspace and I’ve never looked back. For some reason I’ve just never been able to do a solid block productive work when I’m at home.

To make matters worse, many of us are now trying to get work done in a house we share with friends or family, or even children. While I’m not a parent I hope everyone will be able to get some value out of this article.

 

Be kind to yourself.

We’re living through a global crisis so it’s okay if not every day is as productive as it would usually be. The media is putting a lot of pressure on everyone to make the most of the lockdown but if all you did today was survive, that’s absolutely fine.

Don’t beat yourself up for having a less than productive day and just try again tomorrow.

 

Wake up early and keep a schedule.

Just because you can set your own schedule now doesn’t mean you’re obliged to stay up watching Netflix until the early hours of each morning. You can if you want, but it’s not generally the most productive way of life.

For me, keeping a schedule has been vital in staying productive and completing all my work each day. I wake up naturally around 8am and go through my productive yet relaxed morning routine which sets a good tone for the rest of the day. If I can start my day off right, I can always bet on the rest of my day being productive too.

Waking up early is particularly useful if you have distracting housemates or family members. If you can wake up a few hours earlier than them you’ll have a few extra hours to get some productive work done with no distractions. Alternatively you may want to consider staying up late to do your work – any time you can get some peace and quiet will do wonders for your productivity levels.

 

Keep your workspace away from your bedroom.

I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but try moving your workspace away from your bedroom. This could be your kitchen table, a desk in a separate room or even your sofa or your living room floor.

Many of us have never had to share our workspaces with our living spaces before, so any separation you can create between the two will help you associate your home with work. If you can, make sure your workspace is somewhere you only get work done. This will help remind you that it’s time to be productive and not time for relaxation.

I’ve been working at my kitchen table and that’s been working well for me. I like that I have space to spread all my work out and while people coming in and out to cook and can be distracting, it doesn’t bother me too much with a good pair of noise cancelling headphones.

If your bedroom is the only place you’re able to get work done, you can still make that work for you. Try dedicating one half of your room to work and the other to sleep – you can even mark out each dedicated zone with tape. You’ll have to be strict with yourself to see the benefits of having a space dedicated solely to work, but it will be well worth it.

 

Noise cancelling headphones.

I get extremely distracted by noise and trying to get work done in a house where I can’t control the noise levels has been a challenge. Thankfully last year I invested in these noise cancelling headphones and they’ve been a blessing.

My family knows that I wear noise cancelling headphones when I work and that I won’t be able to hear them if they try and talk to me. So even if I’m working in a shared space I won’t be distracted by house members who don’t know otherwise.

I know not everyone is lucky enough to afford a good pair of noise cancelling headphones or to live with people who are understanding of your work commitments but I’ve found my headphones to be so valuable in getting work done with other people around.

 

how to be productive working from home

 

Keep your phone in a different room.

I hate to admit it but since starting my blog I’ve become a little bit addicted to Instagram. I’m part of an amazing and inspiring community of artists and bloggers so it’s difficult to leave the app anyway, but on top of that I’ve become addicted to watching my following grow.

I know that social media platforms are designed to be addictive, so I’m not beating myself up about it, but if I’m going to be getting any work done then my phone absolutely has to be in a different room to me.

I’ve always found it crazy that we all keep our single most addictive object next to us at all times and no, it’s not enough to just place it face down with do not disturb turned on. Switch it off, lock it in a drawer and forget about it until your work is complete.

 

Keep your laptop charger at your workspace, no exceptions.

I’m not a master of productivity and sometimes I find myself getting sidetracked and watching some Netflix in bed. I allow myself to do that – after all, we’re all going through a difficult time and we’re entitled to some downtime now and again.

The catch is as soon as my laptop battery runs out I have to return to my workspace to charge my laptop. I don’t allow myself to bring my laptop charger anywhere near my bed – ever.

This means that even if I’ve spent the whole day watching TV in bed then I eventually have to go downstairs and get an hour of work in. And if I’ve spent the entire day doing work then I’ll have a fully charged battery by the time I’m done and can spend the rest of the evening relaxing.

 

Watch real time study/work with me videos on YouTube.

Recently I’ve found these styles of videos to be so, so valuable. There’s currently a massive influx of content creators uploading real time ‘study with me’ videos to YouTube and they’re a great option if, like me, you’re used to getting work done in a shared working environment.

I put one of these videos on in the background whenever I need to sit down and get a few hours of productive work in and they’ve been great for immersion purposes. They make me feel as though I’m in an office or a library and that there are people around me who will notice if I’m not doing my work.

 

Take a break.

You don’t have to fit everything in to your usual 9-5, so it’s a great time to take advantage of that and allow yourself some freedom with your schedule. If your body is tired, take a nap. If your family is around, spend some time with them. If you want to bake a cake, bake that cake.

It’s okay if not every day is as productive as you’d like it to be. We’re living through a pandemic and as long as you’re trying your best there’s not much more you can ask of yourself.

 

Comment and Subscribe!

If you liked this article, consider subscribing to my email list and getting new posts sent to you every Friday! Let me know in the comments if you try out any of these tips, or if there’s anything I haven’t mentioned that helps you stay productive while working from home.

how to be productive working from home

 

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35 comments

Prettysam May 1, 2020 - 12:44 pm

Very informative article 👍❤️

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Violet Jones May 1, 2020 - 12:46 pm

Thank you!

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Matt May 1, 2020 - 12:53 pm

Hey, this is a really good post. I definitely agree on the real time youtube work with me videos. Even if its not really accountability, having someone else focused helps with my own focus so much.

Definitely hadn’t considered keeping my charger at my desk, but I shall try this, thanks!

I would’ve added exercise! If things feel like they’re just not working or are getting too much, then I find a walk or really anything to get endorphines going really help.

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Violet Jones May 1, 2020 - 4:22 pm

Exercise is a great one! And unfortunately something I have been neglecting lately… But I love going for a little walk in nature, especially when I become stressed or anxious about my work.

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Eric May 1, 2020 - 2:08 pm

Such good tips! Nice post!

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Violet Jones May 1, 2020 - 4:39 pm

Thanks Eric!

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Emily Wells May 1, 2020 - 3:34 pm

Thanks for these tips! I know I have been struggling with routines so that is what I have been working on to stay productive!

Em x

https://loveemblog.blogspot.com/2020/05/angels-cookies-allergen-free-chocolate.html

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Violet Jones May 1, 2020 - 4:34 pm

Thanks for the comment! I’ve struggled with routines all my life, with insomnia and a job which required me to work until 5am. But I’ve finally found a routine that’s been working for me and it’s so worth all the work I put into getting here.

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Natasha May 1, 2020 - 5:57 pm

Love this! I definitely agree with keeping the labtop charger at your workspace. And routine! Routine helps me so much.

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Roni May 2, 2020 - 11:53 am

I’m exactly the same with only being able to study in libraries and coffee shops so I’ve really been struggling to be productive during lockdown! I will definitely adopt some of your tips tho to see if that helps at all!!

Roni 🖤
http://www.myelevatedexistence.com

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Bekka- Feelings of a Fake Adult May 2, 2020 - 2:25 pm

Really enjoyed reading this, you give some really good advice! I definitely agree that working in your bedroom is a no no, I have a workstation set up on the table in the living room and that seems to work well for me. You’re definitely right about not being too hard on yourself. It’s such a horrible time at the moment and we should praise ourselves for any work we’re doing at the moment. Great post 😊

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James May 2, 2020 - 3:04 pm

Love the noise cancelling headphones idea!! Some really good tips here that I’ll definitely be taking on board (especially the laptop charger one!)

Thanks for sharing x

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Violet Jones May 2, 2020 - 3:19 pm

Thanks James! I have no idea how I ever lived without my noise cancelling headphones – they were a huge investment for me but so worth it.

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Jodie Paterson May 3, 2020 - 4:31 pm

This is some great advice! I got some noise cancelling headphones recently and it has doubled my productivity because I’m not focussing on the concersations of passersby.

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Michelle May 3, 2020 - 5:26 pm

Excellent tips. I have been working from home on a part-time basis for years and even I had difficulty adjusting to full-time work from home. It took me a while to establish a routine.

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Liv May 6, 2020 - 3:54 pm

I’ve loved working from home the past couple of months! I couldn’t agree more with these working from home tips. Great post!

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Violet Jones May 6, 2020 - 4:01 pm

Thanks Liv! I’ve been enjoying it too, especially now that I’ve found a routine that works for me.

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Ashley May 6, 2020 - 5:56 pm

‪Such a great read!! Definitely going to utilize many of these tips! I’d love to try out the work with me videos. Thanks for sharing ‬

With love,
Ashley | Girl Way Up North

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Charlotte May 6, 2020 - 6:55 pm

I find it so hard to be productive from home sometimes. I need to try not being in my bedroom!

Thank you for this post x

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Cielo May 6, 2020 - 7:50 pm

I loved all this tips! I’ve already put some in use, like setting a schedule and leaving my phone in another room while trying to write/study. Awesome post💖

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Anika May 7, 2020 - 1:34 pm

This is great advice, I really enjoyed reading this post! Love your point on being kind to yourself, that’s something I really need to practise, especially if we’re going to be in lockdown for a while!

Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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Ffion June 15, 2020 - 6:16 pm

Waking up early and keeping a schedule for me has been incredibly difficult, so much so I’m starting afresh next week when we get home (from quarantine with my inlaws)

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The Violet Journal June 15, 2020 - 7:54 pm

I feel you – it’s much easier said than done! Good luck 😊

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Lindsey June 21, 2020 - 7:28 am

I know we’re further into lockdown since you wrote this and things are starting to change but this was still a really good post to read. Sometimes it’s useful to just have the things you told yourself you know spelled back out for you. I definitely need to sort out my morning routine, I’m sure that will help. Great post.

Lindsey | https://aramblingreviewer.wordpress.com/

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The Violet Journal June 21, 2020 - 7:47 am

Thanks, Lindsey! I hope it will still be relevant in the future – I know a lot of people are speculating about an increase in working from home jobs after this and I for one would love to see that.

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That Happy Reader July 1, 2020 - 4:01 pm

Great post! I too think it’s important to keep a schedule.

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Ieva || TheSpareMinimum.com July 1, 2020 - 4:54 pm

Oh, that battery tip is golden! I’d love to give it a go. Sounds scary though, haha.

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The Violet Journal July 1, 2020 - 4:57 pm

It’s not that bad – I promise!

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Mary July 1, 2020 - 5:25 pm

I like those “Study With Me” videos on Youtube too! You’re right it does increase productivity because it helps you with the working ambience and make you feel like you’re in a working environment even from home!

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Em and Jess July 1, 2020 - 7:06 pm

Really enjoyed reading this, and I agree that it’s so important to have a work space that’s separate to the bedroom because you need to be able to shut the door on that space at the end of each day! And keeping a schedule, that has definitely helped keep me sane haha x

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The Violet Journal July 2, 2020 - 6:49 am

Yes! I find it hard to switch off at night and keeping a dedicated work space really helps with that.

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Nons Mshengu July 2, 2020 - 6:45 am

These are such useful tips . I absolutely agree with keeping your work space and leisure space completely separate. It’s so important to have a space where you can work and simply focus on that without distractions ! Loved this post.

Nons Mshengu || cherbelleblog.wordpress.com

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The Violet Journal July 2, 2020 - 9:35 am

Right? It’s one of the most important parts of my working routine. Thanks for the comment!

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Lisa | Mind and Body Intertwined July 2, 2020 - 8:05 am

Great tips! Especially waking up early is a struggle for me, but it helps so much if I do!

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lifestyleseason July 2, 2020 - 11:59 am

Great post! Thank you for sharing this! I have been trying to stick to a schedule recently!

Reply

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