Last Updated on September 7, 2022
Working from home can be a great experience, but it is important to create and stick to a routine. When you’re working in an office, it’s easy to fall into a routine because your environment is structured for you.
But when you’re doing remote work, it’s up to you to create that structure, that productive and consistent daily routine. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of a routine when working from home, and provide practical tips and insights to spur you on to success!
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Why is a Consistent Routine Important When You Work From Home?
So, why can’t you just roll out of bed, stumble into the kitchen and brew a cup of joe, then pad over to your makeshift desk and flop down to read the morning’s emails? No one’s going to see you (until that afternoon team meeting), you’re not punching a time clock, and you have all the live-long day to get some work done. Easy peasy.
Not so fast, my friend.
A consistent routine is important when you work from home because it helps to create a clear separation between your work life and your personal life. When you have set hours that you stick to, it is easier to focus on work and get into a productive mindset.
Additionally, a routine can help to reduce distractions and increase your efficiency. Of course, there will be days when you need to deviate from your routine, but having a basic framework in place will make it easier to stay on track.
So if you’re looking to increase your productivity and minimize distractions, creating a consistent routine is a good place to start.
A Designated Workspace
When you’re working from home, it’s important to have a designated workspace. This will help you to stay focused and avoid distractions. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a simple desk in a quiet corner of the house will do.
If you don’t have a dedicated space for work, it’s easy for your home life and your work life to start bleeding into each other. And that can be counterproductive.
So if you can, set up a small office in your home. Dedicate a room or corner to your work. And make sure to set some ground rules with your family or roommates. Let them know when you’re working and shouldn’t be disturbed.
That way, you can minimize distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.
While the actual workspace or desk can be put together relatively easily, one thing you don’t want to skimp on is the chair you sit on all day.
When you work from home, or even if you just spend a lot of time at your home office desk, it’s important to have a comfortable, supportive task chair. After all, you’re going to be sitting in it for hours at a time!
A good task chair will help to improve your posture and prevent back pain. It should be adjustable so that you can customize it to your own height and body shape. And it should have wheels so that you can easily move around your desk as you work.
Don’t skimp on your task chair – it’s an important investment in your health and productivity.
Components of a Consistent Work from Home Routine
No matter what your job is or how you like to work, there are some standard practices that can help you be more productive when working from home.
One way to help boost your productivity levels is to create a consistent routine for your workday. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to the same schedule every day, but having some set practices that you follow will help to keep you on track.
1 | Use planning tools to stay organized
You’re not alone if you’re feeling like you need to get your work-from-home routine figured out. I get it.
You wake up, try and tackle that project you’ve been putting off for weeks, get sidetracked by a million things, and before you know it the day is gone and you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to consider using some planning tools to help you stay organized and on track.
A to-do list is a great way to start. Get in the habit of writing out what needs to be done each day, and then tackling those items one by one. If you don’t finish everything on your list, that’s okay. Just move it over to the next day.
You can also try breaking down your projects into smaller tasks that can be easily completed. That way, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you check items off your list.
Another helpful tool is a calendar. Whether you prefer a physical planner or an online version, having a place where you can see upcoming deadlines and appointments can be very helpful in keeping yourself on track. Make sure to leave some breathing room in your schedule so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, and allow yourself some flexibility in case something comes up.
2 | A morning routine to begin the day
No doubt working from home has its perks. You can roll out of bed and be at your desk in seconds, there’s no need for expensive office clothes or commute costs, and you can take work breaks whenever you want.
However, as anyone who has worked from home knows, it can also be a challenge to stay focused and productive. One of the best ways to set yourself up for success when working from home is to establish a consistent morning routine.
Starting your day with a set routine helps to get your mind in the right frame for work. Even something as simple as taking a few minutes to stretch, meditate, or journal can make a big difference in how productive you are during the day.
Get your body moving in the morning. It might be some stretches as mentioned above, a short walk (indoors or outside if the climate allows), or a simple yoga session.
You know you’re going to be sitting for periods of time during the workday, so why not do something good for yourself during the morning routine and get some exercise!
Once you’re up and moving, take the time to eat a healthy breakfast and get dressed for the day – even if you’re just changing out of your pajamas into comfy clothes. Taking these small steps will help to put you in a positive headspace and make it easier to tackle your work tasks.
Plus, having a set routine can help to minimize distractions and maximize your focus.
3 | A defined work schedule
When you work from home, you might be tempted to let your work schedule slide. After all, with no commute and no boss breathing down your neck, what’s the harm in starting the day a little later or taking a longer lunch break?
However, failing to establish a consistent work schedule and work hours can actually be detrimental to your productivity. When you don’t have set hours, it’s easy to find yourself working at all hours of the day and night. This can lead to burnout and make it difficult to focus when it’s time to sit down and get some work done.
Instead, it’s important to establish a defined work schedule for yourself. Wake up at the same time each day and start working at the same time. Build in breaks for lunch and other activities, and make sure to clock out at a reasonable hour.
This will help you create a healthy balance between work and the rest of your life. It will also make it easier to focus when you’re sitting down to work because you’ll know that there’s an end in sight.
4 | Work-life balance
When you work from home, it can be easy to let work consume your life. You might find yourself working late into the night or getting up early to squeeze in a few more hours. While it’s important to be dedicated to your work, it’s also important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Otherwise, you’ll quickly burn out.
One way to achieve this balance is to establish a consistent routine for your work day.
- Wake up at the same time each day
- Take regular breaks throughout the day
- Make sure to schedule time for yourself, whether it’s going for a walk or taking a yoga class
- Dedicate some time each day to reconnect with loved ones and unwind
- When the work day is done, step away and leave it until the next day
What can happen if your work-life balance is, well, out of balance? The impact on you can be significant, my friend:
You might feel anxiety and depression. It can also affect your physical health: you might start to get sick more often, or you might have trouble sleeping. And it can take a toll on your relationships, too. If you’re always working, you won’t have any time for your friends and family. You might even start to feel isolated and alone.
By establishing boundaries between work and the rest of your life, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy balance and avoid burnout.
5 | Know your peak productivity time
Routines are important for all of us, but when you work from home, it can be easy to let your old routine slide. You might sleep in a little later, take more breaks during the day, or work late into the night.
While there’s nothing wrong with being a little flexible with your schedule, it’s important to understand your peak productivity times and make sure that you’re using those hours to get the most important work done.
If you’re not sure when you’re at your best, start by keeping a productivity journal for a week or two. Pay attention to how you feel at different times of day and what kind of work you’re able to accomplish during those periods.
Once you have a better understanding of when you’re most productive, try to structure your days accordingly. For example, if you find that you’re most alert in the morning, use that time to tackle tough projects, that difficult task, or get ahead on deadlines.
Or if you find that you do your best thinking in the evening, use that time for brainstorming and planning. Of course, there will be days when things don’t go according to plan and you’ll have to be flexible. But by understanding your peak productivity times, you can set yourself up for success and make working from home work for you.
6 | Know your triggers
We all have things in our life that can distract us either a little or a lot, and they are unique to us as individuals. I can’t tell you what can send your productive day down the rabbit hole of wasting time, but I can give you some ideas.
Do any of these activities get you off your game?
- social media (doesn’t matter which one/ones)
- talking on the phone
- the email inbox
- …you know what else
The key is to recognize what they are and be cognizant of keeping them under control. Schedule time in your day for them and set a timer if you have to, to stay within your allowed limits.
My Work from Home Routine
I’ve been working from home for more than a few years, so have had the time and opportunity to create a schedule that works for me. My kids are grown, I currently live alone, and I work for myself, so I’ve got incredible flexibility.
Even so, it is important for me to have a routine that gets me through the day and helps me to remain productive. I’m a morning person and also by nature am organized, so my work from home routine is tailored to my personality and preferences.
It goes something like this:
- wake up around 5:30
- morning routine, which includes quiet time/devotions, coffee and a quick review of the upcoming day, exercise, shower and get dressed, breakfast…then head to the office
- work for about 1 1/2 hours, ticking off the most challenging tasks if possible
- take a break for coffee and some light exercise or stretching
- work for about 1 1/2 hours
- work for about 1 1/2 hours
- break time including exercise
- work for about an hour
- time for dinner
Of course, life happens as well as appointments and commitments, so this routine doesn’t happen every day. But I try to maintain the balance between sitting on my rear and getting stuff done, and staying active as well as eating healthy.
I am also okay with being alone, and don’t have to socialize with other people every day. If you are more of a social creature you’ll want to build some time into your schedule for that. If you schedule it you’ll be more apt to keep it under control.
Remember to Be Flexible
One of the great things about working from home is that it offers a lot of flexibility. You may be able to set your own hours, and there’s no need to commute.
However, it can be easy to get too comfortable and let work slide. That’s why it’s important to have a routine and stick to it as much as possible. It doesn’t have to be rigid, but having some structure will help you stay on track.
For example, you might want to set a regular start time and take a break for lunch at the same time each day. And if you have young children at home, it can be helpful to schedule work around their naps or school days.
Of course, there will be days when things don’t go according to plan. But if you stick to your routine as much as possible, you’ll be more productive and less stressed in the long run.
Final Thoughts: The Importance of a Routine When Working from Home
Working from home can be a great way to have more control over your work schedule and productivity. However, it’s important to have a routine in place that helps you stay on track.
This could include setting regular start and break times, as well as being mindful of your distractions and how to avoid them.
By being flexible and understanding your own personal preferences and limitations, you can create a work from home routine that works for you.