New Video: the 5 secrets to productivity (work from home edition)

Life is filled with distractions.

And for that exact reason, time management is something that everyone struggles with at one point or another – whether you have a traditional 9-5 or you work from home.

But the thing about working from home that makes things more difficult than going into an office every morning is that many of those distractions become more apparent.

You live where you work, so there is a lot less separation. The dishes need to be done, the laundry is piling up, and your dog is practically begging you to take her to the dog park.

AND you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, so accountability practically flies out the window. Uh-oh!

So you are going to need a game plan for combating those constant disturbances, so you can stay productive (and motivated) while working from home.

I am going to give you that game plan in this five minute video.

If you are currently struggling to stay on top of it all, take a few minutes to watch this video, and then let me know in the comments below which of these 5 tips was the most helpful for you.

Have your own time management tricks? Great! You can leave your response in the comments below too.

26 comments | Click here to reply

This article comes at a great time for me Brittani! We are currently looking for a new (much larger) house- and one of my top priorities is finding a unique, separate space just for my web design studio. I completely agree with you- working from home can be very hard when there are so many distractions, and I remember when Jena (Modish) said that it takes 15 minutes for you to get ‘back on task/back in the groove’ after being disrupted- whoa!

2012 is all about reducing those distractions for me, and so far so good. 😉 Great video, thanks for sharing!

Violet

Hi Violet! So glad this video came at the right time for you. Having your own space will be a great help when you move to a new place. Just remember that even a small space can be a perfect studio – as long as it works for you, that’s all that matters. Good luck with your move!
-Brittni

papernstitch

A perfect post for me to read today, I spent one hour just sipping tea and reading articles…oops.

What helps me be hyper-productive is using a time and setting a strict schedule. I schedule a different task per hour, set the timer, and work hard to complete it before time runs out. This way I make a little progress toward important tasks every day.

The timer really helps- it’s easy to waste a lot of time on smaller tasks when we need to be using the bulk of our time toward the big projects that make a difference.

Great video/post 🙂

Van

RT @papernstitch New Video: the 5 secrets to productivity (work from home edition): Watch this video on… http://t.co/GduL5Dz9

(@thriftcore) (@thriftcore)

Hi Van. You are absolutely right. Setting a timer as part of your scheduling routine can be very helpful. It’s easy to loose track of time when you are busy working (or busy procrastinating), so that timer is a great idea. Good tip.
-Brittni

papernstitch

This comes at just the right time for me, because I’m trying to change my habits to make room for my crafty dreams of having my own business (while currently working an 8-5 & helping get another business started).

One thing that I’ve found is working really well for me is to write down any thing that pops into my mind that requires work (which is just about anything). Then I set a timer to work for 25 minutes on my ever growing list, & take a 5 minute break after that to give my brain or body a rest. So far it’s really helping me stay on track & motivating me to get more on my list done.

Pocky

Some really great tips for staying focused while working at home by @papernstitch / http://t.co/U5KPeM7q

(@thevedahouse) (@thevedahouse)

Hey Pocky. Sounds like you are doing pomodoros, which is awesome! http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/ It’s a great time management technique for those that are having trouble. Whenever I am feeling a little out of sorts with my workload, I do a few pomodoros to get myself back on track. Thanks for stopping by!
-Brittni

papernstitch

RT @thevedahouse: Some really great tips for staying focused while working at home by @papernstitch / http://t.co/U5KPeM7q

Rhianna Lederman (@ello_lovey)

RT @thevedahouse: Some really great tips for staying focused while working at home by @papernstitch / http://t.co/U5KPeM7q

Victoria Hudgins (@asubtlerevelry)

RT @thevedahouse: Some really great tips for staying focused while working at home by @papernstitch / http://t.co/U5KPeM7q

(@twigcreative) (@twigcreative)

RT @thevedahouse: Some really great tips for staying focused while working at home by @papernstitch / http://t.co/U5KPeM7q

(@mariahdanielsen) (@mariahdanielsen)

note to self, read this, you need it. @papernstitch http://t.co/Lsgyn0do

(@twigcreative) (@twigcreative)

No doubt it is HARD, thanks for sharing! RT @thevedahouse Great tips for staying focused while working at home http://t.co/vutqd4lg

Cori Magee (@prettyhautemess)

I work from home and these tips are great. I suffer from a chaotic workspace … partly because my mind wanders off to craftgawker from time to time during breaks and I whip out my craft supplies … should designate a separate area for that or at least at the opposite end of the room 😉

Donaville

Note to self! Great tips here. New Video: the 5 secrets to productivity (work from home edition) http://t.co/u1w6bf5p @papernstitch

Megan Sass (@meganesass)

Hi Donaville! I totally understand! Craft supplies can be a big distraction for me too at times. To combat that, I try to keep my supplies organized neatly in my closet. They are easy to get to when I need to get to ’em, but they are “out of sight, out of mind” (kind of) when need be because I can just close the closet door.

Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

-Brittni

papernstitch

Van, great idea to use a timer. I use the Timer option on my iPhone, and it really does help to set it for, say, 15 minute increments, and then stay away from the computer, working solely on bracelets until the 15 minutes is up. Then I can have 10 minutes or so for gratuitous internet time (wheee!) and then 15 minutes again for knotting away. Rinse and repeat.

Also, Brittni, I really appreciate and needed the advice to set a time for work and time for chatting with friends; not being able to draw a clear line between the two is one of my vices, unfortunately! I think it will help both my friends and myself to know that I’m serious about growing my business if I do this, though.

Thanks for this video, it’s definitely food for thought… and for acting on!

Leah

Hi Leah. Once you set those boundaries with your friends, it will make things easier for everyone. And if they want to chat during work time for example, try scheduling a lunch date at a cafe or your favorite restaurant instead of having them come over to the house. You have to eat sometime, so lunch is a great excuse for a break. And when the two of you are done eating your meal, you’ll know it’s time to go back to work. Easy peasy. 🙂
-Brittni

papernstitch

Thanks for the video Brittni.
My tip is about how you get your head in the game.

While it is fun to set about your work day still dresses in your pjs. I think showing up for work dressed in office casual attire puts you in a better mental space when you set about doing your job from home.

If you take your job seriously, so will others.

Judy Little

You’re right about making a working schedule for the rest to know when you’re working. but… i found out that the first rule for me was to keep me on it.
I have a very low energy level by my bad health so i have noticed that i always give my good working hours to others-S
so i need to take it more seriously.LOL
and… i need to set an alarm clock because i always forget the time.
and… i need often to make a special working atmosphere to work better as well a radio to listen to the discussions.
that’s working for me, and… my materials must stay the whole time on the same place, i’m still not on order in my new home, and living like a camping girl between my boxes-S so every move is again stress by not finding the materials anymore.
those are my main rules to work better.
to go out is working as well for me.;-D
thank you for sharing your great advices;-D
hey have a great easter time;-D

jet

get dressed! sometimes it can be so easy to just stay in my sweats with messy hair, but it leaves me feeling drab and sad later in the day. i want to feel professional and not be embarrassed when someone stops by my house (hello, mr. mailman!).

this has been one of the hardest things for me, but also the most beneficial. get ready for the day and feel refreshed and productive!

bonnie christine

Productivity and getting things DONE: http://t.co/QxEvGRS4

(@TheNewNewNY) (@TheNewNewNY)

Some day I’ll be working from home, & I’m worried about all the time sucks I’ll find. Hoping these tips will help out. http://t.co/PtLYOsQV

(@apockylypse) (@apockylypse)

I’m a writer; earlier this spring when trying to finish up a first draft, I used an online timer
http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/ but there are others online you could search for. I used this whenever I needed to push myself thru a scene; so I’d set for 5 mins or 15, whichever I felt would get me “there”. I got a lot done.
Now that I’m also starting a crafting business I see how this could be beneficial.

My biggest issue currently (with getting work done on my writing and crafting projects) is kids at home for the summer. I wish we could afford to send them to a day camp!!! [but i feel guilty even saying that!] How do you work with kids around? Mine are pretty young and inqusitive, so sitting them in front of TV won’t work, they’ll just follow me around or sit near and ask tons of questions. Sending them outside doesn’t work since we don’t have a fenced yard and have neighbors that let dogs run loose. HELP!

CeCe

Hi Cece. Good question! I am not a mom myself, so this is kind of a difficult one for me to answer. But the suggestion that comes to mind first would be finding a family member who you can help out for a couple of hours a week (at least) for free, if hiring a babysitter is not an option.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to set some boundaries (even with your kids) to let them know that when you are working it is quiet time. Maybe you could make a game of it – whoever stays quietest the longest gets a little reward, like a sticker or a cookie, etc.

-Brittni

papernstitch
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