3 Easy Ways to Stay on Schedule When Working from Home

Like everyone, weekday mornings give me the most anxiety. The buzzing of an early alarm; the rush to get ready; the stress of picking out your workday jawnz; the question of whether or not to make coffee at home or just run to Starbucks; emails popping up left and right before you can even make it into the office. And yet, we get up and do it every day, over and over and over again.

But then there are other days: the coveted work from home days.

Work from home mornings are unlike any other. It’s like waking up on the first day of summer as a kid, but with more responsibilities. The sun is now your alarm clock. The stress of what to wear is gone. And coffee? Got that on tap all day long. No rushing, no commuting, just waking up and getting your work on.

But it can be easy to succumb to those feelings of freedom and flexibility. Working from home means holding yourself accountable: it’s not an excuse to have a chill day while still getting paid. To avoid falling into that trap–and angering your teammates, managers, clients, etc–all you have to do is set and stick to a schedule. Make your work from home day like a normal day at work (but better, because you’re wearing comfortable clothing), and set your schedule for the day.

Here are three easy ways to make sure you stay on schedule while working from home.

    1. Set your hours around your internal clock–but make sure you set your actual alarm too, just in case. Whether you love mornings, or you love staying up until morning (yikes), one of the best parts of working from home is that you can work during those hours where you feel most productive. Obviously, you will have to be available during certain times, because work, but most workplaces allow employees enough flexibility to set a schedule that works best for them.
    2. Do your basic daily routines. Eat breakfast, walk your dog, take a shower, and please don’t forget about dental hygiene. Doing these basic things will get your mind right and ready for work. If you skip these steps, it can be easy to fall into the laziness that accompanies wearing athleisurewear all day long. This also means taking breaks when you need to. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t use a break every now and then.
    3. Track your time, prioritize action items, minimize distractions, and use apps. Start your day by planning out everything you need to get done. It might seem a little daunting at first, but creating that list will help you know what’s important, time-sensitive, or an easy task to check off. You can even download some apps that will help you prioritize and manage your projects for the day.

Are you feeling productive yet? Good!

Enjoy the freshet of freedom that comes with working from home and utilize that newfound flexibility. But don’t get too distracted and surrender to your couch calling, begging you to push everything off and take a nap. As they say, take no days off. Impress everyone on your team by staying focused and checking off every task on your list–just make sure not to burn yourself out.

(P.S. This was written while working from home. Practice what you preach, right?)

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