Today, I’m going to give you my five biggest tips for working from home that help you keep your sanity and stay productive.
It can be a lot to live and work in the same space. I’ve done in for years building my activewear company, Cove. I’ve had days where I wanted to rip my hair out after being in the same space all day long without much human interaction. These five tips are essential when it comes to me building my own companies from my home – and I hope they help you, too!
My journey working from home
When I first started Cove, I did so out of my studio apartment in New York City. It was a whopping 490 square feet. This meant I couldn’t shut the door on my work space and had to look at my work all the time. It felt like I was always at work, and that was incredibly difficult. All of Cove’s inventory was in a storage unit in my building. It felt like I was living and working in a fishbowl – but I was doing it.
After New York, I upgraded to a two-bedroom apartment in Baltimore, Maryland, but I also had a full garage where I stored inventory. This all was huge. From Baltimore, I moved to Atlanta where I was able to finally get an office outside of my home. My house was finally just my house!
There are pros and cons to having an office outside of the home, but this set-up was definitely my preference.
Now I live with my boyfriend in Washington, D.C. I haven’t yet found an office I like for Cove, so I’m using a spare bedroom as my home office. I love the space, but I do plan to get another office outside of my home within the next few months.
Tip #1: Get up and out early
Because you work from home, it’s important to physically get yourself out of the door and in different environments with real humans around you. For me to do this, I like to get up between 4:30-6 a.m. to get to the gym for my workout first thing. This not only helps me take care of my mind and body, but I also get that social interaction and a fresh environment. Other options include walking the neighborhood listening to a favorite podcast (hi!) or swinging by a coffee spot.
And please, please, please: Make your bed first thing in the morning. Studies have shown this helps your day go better because you’re accomplishing a task right away. Your bedroom is where you start and end your day, so make it a peaceful place. Try doing it every day for the next week and tag me @TaylorMorganDesign on Instagram in your story or feed, using the hashtag #TaylorMorganMadeMe, and tell me how it’s going!
Tip #2: Run your errands first
If you have to go to the post office or grab something at Target, I suggest doing it first thing in the morning. Otherwise your day can get away from you and it doesn’t get done. Entrepreneurs tend to work later and never get things done in their personal life, so get up and handle those errands first.
This also helps build that momentum of accomplishing something, so you’re bringing that productive energy into your workday.
Tip #3: Have a designated work zone that you love – preferably where you can shut the door at the end of the day.
This hasn’t always been the case for me but if you can, have a work area where you can shut the door at the end of the day. (If you’re in a studio and it’s all one space, try and keep it clean and tidy so it’s a clean, inspiring space.) Being able to shut the door helps you separate work life and home life, and that’s incredibly valuable when working from home.
Also, try and make the space an area that you aesthetically love. There’s no right or wrong here, just make it an inviting space to you so you actually want to work there. A little pro tip here: Try and have your view from your desk looking out of a window. It doesn’t have to be pushed up against a window, but make sure you can easily see outside!
Tip #4: Take a midday “lunch break” outside your house
You don’t necessarily have to get lunch – although you could – but have a break that makes you get out and about in the world. It will energize you and give you a reboot for the second half of the day. Schedule lunch with a friend, have a business meeting, stop by a store you love, anything that gets you out, refreshed and inspired.
Tip #5: Have days you mix it up and work at a coffee shop or other spot
The best part of working from home is being able to decide where your office is for the day. On the days where my work can be remote, I’ll go to a space in my city that I love. I have a favorite coffee shop I’ll squat in or even go to the Lincoln Memorial and sketch new designs for Cove on the steps there.
Bonus tip: Try to batch schedule work calls and meetings for the same day
I schedule most of my calls on Fridays and block them together back-to-back so I can spend the other days actually working on my company. If I have to take a call on the other days, I do it first thing or last thing in the day so they don’t interrupt my flow the rest of the day.
So as a recap, here are my top tips:
- Get up and out early
- Run your errands first
- Have a designated work zone that you love – preferably where you can shut the door at the end of the day.
- Take a midday “lunch break” outside your house
- Have days you mix it up and work at a coffee shop or other spot
And Bonus: Try to batch schedule work calls and meetings for the same day
I love learning more tips on this topic, so if you have any, please share them with me on Instagram. Simply give your tips in your Instagram Stories, tagging @TaylorMorganDesign or @WhatTheEffPodcast and I’ll share your stories myself!