Finally. A Blogging Basics post which is definitely applicable to those outside of the blogging industry: how to stay focused when working from home.
Y’all: this is a challenge for me. How can I motivate myself to get sh** done while my TV is calling my name? Or my bed is beckoning for me? Or I realize that I desperately need to clean my house and start spring cleaning up the wazoo?
That last one really needs to happen right now BTW.
What I’m Wearing:
Sweater: Ann Taylor (on sale!!) / Skirt: J.Crew / Boots: Aerosoles, c/o / Bag: Sole Society, old
Sunglasses: LOFT, old (similar) / Earrings: BaubleBar / Nail Polish: Essie, c/o
Figuring out how to stay focused when working from home has been one of the most important discoveries of my adult life. I worked from home fairly frequently when I was out in the working world… And now, as an MBA student and a blogger, 90% of my work is from home (or coffee shops).
When I was growing up, I always worked in my bedroom while my sister did her homework in the kitchen. Even in college, I did my best work either in a private room at the library, in my bedroom, or in my living room. Whenever I tried to work from a Barnes & Noble in high school, from the student center in college, or from a coffee shop post-grad, I always spent more time talking than working. Especially if a friend joined me.
I can waste days catching up with my friends if I feel like procrastinating. Literally: days.
When I started my MBA program, I knew I was going to have to get better at working from home. I knew I was going to have to learn how to stay focused when working from home. And I knew I was going to have to learn how to work as efficiently as possible.
Turns out, I need light to work. I need to be fairly comfortable (but definitely not in my bed) and – if I need to really focus and knock out a lot of work (or busywork) – I’m my most efficient when working alone. However, if I’m working on something that requires creative thought or brainstorming, I definitely work best with others.
How to Stay Focused When Working From Home
So how do you learn how to stay focused when working from home? Think about how you do your best work. If it’s alone, work alone, in a quiet area. Instead, if it’s surrounded by others or with a degree background noise, maybe try a coffee shop with noise-cancelling headphones or home alone, with music lightly playing in the background.
If you think you work best in front of a TV, I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably lying to yourself. The trick to staying on-task and motivated when working from home is creating an environment in which you can work most effectively. To the best of my knowledge, nobody works well being distracted every 10 seconds.
But what happens if you start to go stir-crazy?
Most days, I take two breaks to get out of the house, each about 30-60 minutes. I use this time to exercise, meet friends for coffee/lunch, and conduct meetings. As somebody who skews introvert (I recharge by being alone), I can go days without seeing another person (or leaving my house) and be totally fine. But I have plenty of extroverted friends who would self-combust if they were asked to do that.
If you think you fall in the latter category, try putting all of your must-accomplish items in the morning, and all of your nice-to-accomplish items in the afternoon. Then, each day, work from home in the mornings as you knock out everything you have to do… and then transfer to a coffee shop to do everything else. That way, there’s no worry about being unproductive in the afternoons from the coffee shop as you’ve already completed all of your must-do’s for the day. Plus, you get (a) out of the house and (b) around other humans, so you won’t go nuts.
Yay for not going nuts.
And now for the big giveaways…
In case you’ve missed it on Instagram: each day between April 1st and April 16th, I am teaming up with a different blogger friend to give away a product we both love! Each giveaway runs for 72 hours and is open nationally.
I kicked off my #16DaysofGiveaways on Sunday with one of my fave humans, Cameron Proffitt, and my fave workout studio, Studio 6 Fitness! Studio 6 specializes in Lagree Pilates. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically like somebody went to a regular pilates class and was like “meh we can make this soooo much harder!” BTW Megan Markle and Sofía Vergara both do Lagree Pilates as their primary workout… in case that helps.
We’re giving away a package of 6 classes (a $180 value) so if you don’t come to Dallas often, don’t worry! Anddd to ensure that everybody is a winner, you can use code “GLITTER” when purchasing your first class for $5 off the class (normally $20)! You can enter the giveaway and read more details here. The giveaway ends at noon so enter ASAP!
In the event that you don’t live in Dallas (or don’t make it here frequently), don’t fret: Monday’s giveaway and yesterday’s giveaway are totally for you! Monday, my dear friend Yasmina and I have teamed up with the folks at Outdoor Voices to give away a $100 gift card. Their clothes are crazy comfy… perfect for anything from workouts to athleisure lounging! You can enter that giveaway here.
Yesterday, I launched a giveaway with my friend Nita. We teamed up to give away a tonnn of goodies from Urban Decay. The giveaway includes these lipglosses, these lipsticks, this palette, this highlighter, and this palette (and more!)! You can enter that giveaway here.
I’ll be continuing these giveaways each day leading up to my birthday on April 16th. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram so you don’t miss a single giveaway!