5 ways to stay productive when you work for yourself

When you work for yourself, you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck or team members to keep you on your toes about deadlines. The onus of working efficiently and completing tasks on time lies with you and this means you sometimes have to put in more effort to stay on course.  While to-do lists and time management apps can be really helpful, you have to find a way to navigate your ‘work from home’ day without getting distracted or losing productivity.

Here are 5 ways to ensure you stay productive when you work for yourself:

1. Use a Calendar that works for you

In this digital age, most people use Google calendar or a similar scheduling app to book important appointments or events. It’s important to organise your daily tasks, both personal and professional, and include reminders, so you don’t feel stressed by having to remember each and everything small thing. If you prefer the traditional ‘paper and pen’ method, you can invest in a yearly calendar and make notes on a daily or weekly basis to help yourself stay on track.

2. Schedule your breaks

This might sound odd at first, but the truth is that no one can work non-stop without taking a short break every now and then. Scheduling your breaks will ensure that you take time off to do something calming in between important work tasks.

Since you have the luxury of working from home, your breaks can include anything from a 20-minute run to a 15-minute yoga routine. The important thing is to allow yourself time to relax no matter how busy your day seems.

3. Choose a time of day to tackle challenging tasks

For many people, early mornings or the hours before lunch are most productive. For others, working late in the evenings or at night is more conducive to completing difficult tasks. Decide what time of day works best for you and schedule your more ‘tedious’ tasks for that time slot.

4. Avoid taking on errands for friends or family

The unfortunate truth about working from home is that your loved ones might assume that you have a lot of time on your hands to help them out with errands. While you want to be a good friend or seem helpful, this doesn’t mean forgoing your own responsibilities or taking on more than you can handle. You can always offer to help them out outside of working hours but limit your distractions during the day when you are working.

5. Eat Healthy

A healthy diet is an important part of feeling more productive and getting more done. When you work from home, you have easy access to your kitchen, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have time to cook elaborate lunches; neither should you rely on fast-food or junk food. There are tons of delicious and easy to make recipes that can help you stay healthy and feel productive throughout the day.

One helpful way to continue eating healthy is to plan your snacks at the start of the week and add them to your shopping list. This way you can ensure that you stay away from unhealthier options when you’re having a particularly stressful day.

If you’ve tried other methods to stay productive while working for yourself, share your suggestions in the comments below.