How to get things done if you work from home


Tiffany Clarke Harrison

featured contributor

Working freelance and from home can be amazing.

You can do what you want (heck yeah!), but without some structure and a little office space mentality, working from home can digress from one big sleigh ride into ‘I didn’t get anything done today.’

How to work from home and actually get things done

Here are four ways to start releasing that unaccomplished beast:
1. Put some pants on – Working from home is definitely a ‘pants optional’ situation, and getting dressed for work as a freelancer or entrepreneur is wildly unpopular.  I get it.  You’re the boss and the boss doesn’t like pants.  But getting dressed tells your body that—hey!  Good things are happening!– and subconsciously kicks you into work mode.  So put some pants on.
2. Set work hours – High-five to not being chained to the whole 9-5 thing.  But setting work hours, whatever they may be, makes you (and everyone who thinks that since you’re at home, you’re free to do anything at any time) take your work seriously.  You’re trying to build a career, and that requires time, organization, and planning.  And while we’re talking about planning…
3. Plan your work ahead and in small doses – Whenever I sit down to plan my day the morning of, it’s a total bust.  Why?  Because my day has already begun—kids are up, the dog needs to be let out, everyone’s hungry.    By the time I get around to planning, it’s late morning and I’m scrambling to get anything done.  I plan ahead to reduce that frazzled, ‘holy crap!’ feeling.  I give myself 3 must-do tasks and 3 ‘it’d be nice if I got to this’ tasks each day to prioritize and keep from getting overwhelmed.
4. Use a timer – We all know that, though necessary, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be a total timesuck if not used efficiently.  Setting a timer for social media or any other task helps keep your mind where it should be—on your work.  Knowing you only have 10 minutes to perform an online task prevents such good times as Facebook stalking or watching people eat cinnamon on YouTube.

Freedom requires greater self-discipline

The freedom that working from home offers requires that you exercise much more self-discipline about your schedule and work flow.  That said, it’s a pretty sweet gig.
What do you think?  What are some of your tips for working effectively from home?
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Tiffany Clarke Harrison
Tiffany Clarke Harrison is a copywriter for creative women entrepreneurs who are rockin’ their talents through businesses that help others live and enjoy their best life (e.g. business and life coaches, culinary goddesses, fitness instructors). She's the author of 'Read All Over: The Creative Girl's Guide to Writing for her Business' Website', and 24/7 husband & toddler-wrangler. Want more from Tiffany? Subscribe today!
  • Bradley Howard

    And remember to eat! I always seem to have lunch at about 4pm when working from home!