How To Be Productive When You Work From Home

by JR Griggs

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productivity Working from home has been an amazing experience and I would now consider myself unemployable. I could not imagine going back to a full time job. I make my own hours, I set my own pace. It’s been great!

But it took some time to get use to it and be productive. It is really easy to get lazy. So here are some of the issues that I had to deal with.

Motivate Yourself

Being that you no longer have a boss over you shoulder pushing you harder, you have to do this yourself. You need to be a self motivator to get things done and always be moving forward.

I found many times at first that I was satisfied with whatever I was doing even if I was not getting nearly as much done as I should. There was no one there to tell me I was slacking.

Eventually I had to realize this and start to expect more of myself and to push myself harder. Suddenly I noticed that I was getting much more done in the same amount of time. I just need to push myself and remember that if I don’t I will end up working for someone else again.

If I needed any motivation I could always drive by those guys on the streets holding signs for a restaurant.

Always make sure that you are staying motivated and ready to not only get the job done but to be working on the next big thing.


Although one of the benefits of working from home is the freedom you have. You still need to set a schedule in order to stay productive. One thing that was really hard to get use to was making my own hours. It would seem like this would be easy but it was hard to adapt.

At first I just thought “hey I can start whenever I want”. This was not as great of an idea as I thought. See I was starting at like 10-11am and thought it was the greatest thing. The problem was that my wife and kids were still starting there days at 7-8am. So at 5pm dinner was almost ready and they were expecting daddy to be available. This meant that I was only working on average 5-6 hours if I took a lunch break.

Although I hope to someday only work a few hours a day at this point I am still in the 8hr mode as I am doing a lot of different things. 5-6 hours wasn’t cutting it.

So then I started working again after the kids went to bed and would work late. Of course my wife did not like this.

So eventually I had to start working earlier so that I had more of a normal day. Don’t get me wrong it is still far better than getting up at 6am so I can be at a job by 8am and home by 6pm.

Right now I usually getup at about 7am and take a couple hours to eat with the family and do some reading, news etc… Then I try to wrap it up between 5-6pm. This has been better for us as a family. I also am getting more work done this way.

Check your schedule and see how much work you are getting done and how you can adjust it to be more productive and keep everyone happy.

Set Boundaries

Because I have a wife and kids at home, this too took some time to set some rules for productivity.

It was really hard for the kids to understand that although daddy is home it is not a weekend. It was also hard for my wife. It was real easy for her to forget that I am working and want to go to a store or the beach. Although I have been able to do that and adjust my schedule so that I have the freedom to hang out with them whenever. You have to be careful that it does not become the norm which will slow productivity a lot.

To be honest those days where I can take them to a movie in the morning or go to the beach have been motivational in themselves. I am just always careful that I do not start doing stuff like that everyday and never getting any work done.

Make sure you also have some rules about when you can be disturbed and when not. When I have my door shut is usually the sign that I should not be bothered and that has worked well. And try not to take for granted the opportunity that you have.

Turn It Off

Turn off anything that distracts you. That could be email, Twitter, TV, whatever it is that pulls you away from work. Occasionally I will have to shut down the email and Twitter so that I can get work done.

If you are doing things that don’t involve the internet you can disconnect from that too. Often I can get very distracted with news etc.. And if I just watch one YouTube video that can take an hour due to all the related videos 😉 Not good!

Try to disconnect and turn it off when you can.

Get Out

Finally one thing that does help is that if I have a lot to do, I will sometimes get out of the house and go to a coffee shop where it is quiet and has few distractions.

For some reason just the change of scenery and the atmosphere help me to be more productive. There are much less distractions and I can just focus on the task at hand.

Besides, it is another one of those cool freedoms that you can work from anywhere. Many would love to have their office be at a mall food court or a Panera Bread.


What areas have you struggled with and what tricks have you learned along the way?

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