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29 Ways to Stay Organized When Working from Home

organized working from home

Most people might think that working from home might be a blast. You hold your own time and can work when you want—as long as you meet your deadlines, of course. But if you have recently started working from home, you might have noticed that it isn’t always as easy as it seems. There are many different distractions at home that might hinder you from finishing your work when you should.

If you’re struggling to stay organized when working from home, try these tips to help you out:

  1. Create a work space.

    One of the best things you can do to stay organized is make a special space that is only for working. Have an office, or perhaps a small corner of your dining table if you do not have one. Avoid working in the bedroom or in the living room near the television. Pick a spot by a window if you can, just to give you a sense of extra peace and space.


  1. Work only at your work space.

    Once you have defined your specific work area, do your work there and only there. If you have e-mails you need to answer, don’t do it on your phone. Hop on your computer at your work area and get it done there. Simple, easy tasks or not, you should be making a point to do your work in that area. This allows you to keep your “work life” and your “home life” clearly separated. In the end, you’ll have an easier time getting your work done.


  1. Set defined work hours.

    Another thing that can really help you to actually get work done as you work from home is setting some defined work hours. Strive to finish your work during these hours. When the window passes, stop working and save it for the next day. This way, you create a bit of “artificial pressure” that helps you stay focused as you work. The motivation of having free time after your work also helps quite a lot!


  1. Make sure your peak hours fall within your work hours.

    For many people, there is a specific time of day when they are the most productive. This time is called the peak hours, when you are in a mood to work and just get. things. done. Some people find that their peak hours are in the morning. Others have it at night… in the middle of the night. Find whatever works for you and make sure that your defined work hours include your peak hours!


  1. Don’t wear your pajamas to work!

    Sure, you are at home and you can absolutely wear whatever it is you want. But, if you want to make yourself feel like you are actually working, it might be a good idea to try to at least get out of your PJs when you sit at your workstation. No need to get all fancy but getting out of the pajamas will certainly help. If you’re in a PJ mood, staying organized will be difficult.


  1. Save housework for after work.

    When you work from home, it can be quite distracting to look around and see so many different things that need doing. Make sure that you wait until after you finish working to do them—make it a strict rule that housework only gets done off work hours. This way, you can organize your workday around your actual work tasks.


  1. Clean your desk!

    No matter where you work, be it in the bedroom, your office, your makeshift dining table desk, or even in the living room, you should make it a point to clean your work area every single day. Don’t leave food wrappers or dirty coffee cups around. Do your best to keep your paperwork organized and your belongings neat. Wipe down your desk for any dust and crumbs. This will help you come back to work the next day and feel energized and ready for a day of work, rather than feeling deflated at the mess you’ve left.


  1. Put your smartphone on silent or airplane mode.

    Or at the very least, screen your calls! It is so easy to get distracted by a phone call from a bored friend or loved one. Texts and social media messages will do the same thing. Screen or silence your calls and stay off social media unless it is important for work. You’ll thank yourself later! Mental organization and compartmentalization is an important part of working from home.


  1. Don’t feel bad about taking breaks.

    For some people who work from home, breaks are absolutely necessary. It’s okay to get up and walk around for a few minutes. It’s definitely okay to go and get coffee every now and then (just don’t drink an unhealthy amount!). And, of course, it’s okay to get up and do something else for a bit if you are feeling overwhelmed. Just remember that you should set a time limit for your break and get back to work right after. Taking breaks will help you to organize your thoughts and come back to tackle a difficult task after.


  1. Do one thing at a time.

    Multi-tasking is great and all, but will it really help you to get things done right? It’s best to stay on one task at a time so that you can finish your work and do it all well.


  1. Flexibility is key.

    When working from home, you will be faced with a lot of situations. It’s rare to have a distraction-free day, so you should be able to be flexible with your hours and your schedule to stay on track. If you do get distracted, make sure that you can make up for it later!


  1. Make sure others know you are working.

    Work-from-home people know just how distracting it can be to have other people frequently seeking your attention as you work. Make sure your family knows you are unavailable during your work hours, unless it is for an absolute emergency.


  1. Enjoy the little things.

    When working from home, your days can start feeling a bit blended. You may even start feeling like working is a drag and motivating yourself is too difficult. If you find yourself in this situation, allow yourself to enjoy the little things. A nice cup of coffee to start your workday, a nice midday snack, an episode of your favorite show on your break, etc. People who get too stressed have trouble keeping organized—don’t let this become your reality!


  1. Lists are your friend!

    One of the best ways to stay organized is by using lists. Have a list or two to help you determine what tasks you need to finish daily. Some people advise having a list for housework then a separate one for work tasks. Do your best to write everything down in order of priority.


  1. Have an organizer or calendar handy. Bullet journals work great too.

    When working from home, it can be difficult to keep track of the days. To help you stay organized and aware of what day of the week it is, have a calendar or (bullet) journal. You can even make your task lists here, to keep it all in one organized place.


  1. List your day’s accomplishments every day.

    To keep you motivated, it’s a good idea for you to list your accomplishments every single day. It’s like a small pat on the back from you. If you feel like you could do better or be more organized, have a daily log of things you feel you need to improve. This helps you to plan the next workday better and in a more organized manner.


  1. Seek a different environment.

    At times you can set up your work area in a place you thought would be fantastic. But if you find that you’re constantly distracted and your thoughts are a disorganized jumble, it may be a good idea to try different work areas instead.


  1. Uninstall or remove shortcuts to distractions on your computer.

    On your computer you will have many different distractions. This gets even worse for people who love to play video games or do any other tasks on their computer. It’s best to keep everything compartmentalized so that you can keep your thoughts organized. For example, use a different browser for work tasks so that your bookmarks will not be there to tempt you.


  1. Plan your workday.

    One of the best ways to stay organized is by planning ahead. Everybody knows as much. And if you want to make sure you can stay on track every single time, plan your workday ahead of time!


  1. Use music to help you focus.

    Some people find that when they work, certain kinds of music can help them focus and get their thoughts in line. Find the type of music that works for you and play it in the background as you work.


    1. Some household chores and appliances make great timers.

      If you struggle to get tasks finished or know when you need to stop working, you can bend some of your rules by including some housework during your workday. For example, put a pot roast in the oven for dinner during your break. By the time the oven dings, you should have wrapped up your workday. Doing laundry is another great way to keep you on schedule! Start a load during your break. When it’s done, it’s time to take another break and get the clothes into the dryer.


    1. Interact with people.

      If you live alone, it’s important that you still do your best to interact with people regularly. Have conference calls with your colleagues. Speak with your neighbors. Call family or friends. Stay in touch with people to help keep your spirits up.


    1. Food prep can help.

      Sometimes when you start working on something, it can be difficult to get up and prep food because you just might lose your momentum. In this case, stay organized and on track by doing food prep. Make your meals a week in advance or the night before. That way, you only need to get up and grab/heat food during your workday.


    1. Do a little exercise. 

      Surprisingly, exercise is a fantastic way to keep your thoughts organized. You might even find that while you do a 15-minute workout you can actually plan your workday out in your head.


    1. Take sick days if you have to.

      Just because you are working from home does not mean you are exempt from taking sick days! If you are feeling ill and unable to work, take the day off. Sometimes, it may even be a good idea to just take a workday off if you are feeling overwhelmed. This will allow you to reorganize so you can tackle your tasks with renewed vigor. Just make sure you don’t fall behind!


    1. Cut yourself some slack and don’t be too hard on yourself.

      Working from home can be a mental test sometimes. Remember that you should allow yourself some slack here and there. What is important is that you complete your tasks and stay organized.


    1. Start and end your day with routines.

      A key to staying organized is to start and end your day with routines. Find what works for you! Do you prefer to shower, get dressed, make a pot of coffee and get right to work in the morning? Or would you rather have breakfast first? Do you prefer to end your workdays with a bit of exercise?


    1. Use focusing apps like Forest.

      When staying organized and focused gets too difficult, you can use a bit of outside help. Focusing apps like Forest help you to keep off your smartphone and stay focused for blocks of time of your choosing.


    1. Turn off the internet if you have to.

      If the tasks you need to do don’t require the internet, turn it off for a while as you work. This makes sure that you don’t get distracted as much—plus, it helps you to keep your thoughts organized!

     Working from home can be a blessing, but it isn’t always as easy as everyone makes it seem. Hopefully, these tips are able to help you transition into working from home more easily!

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