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Can I just say I have been waiting for 21 days to write this post on 5 tips for working from home? Why three weeks, you ask? Apparently, that’s how long it takes for you to form a habit and stick to it too! So, since I finally finished that timeline, this post is here to be read.

First things first. It’s with a good deal of joy that I announce to you all that I have started working from home, full time. (Takes a moment to do a happy jig)! Yes, after many years of working on freelance projects and part-time jobs, I finally decided to take the plunge and accept this role that I must say I am enjoying thoroughly!

It’s not easy to find a job that combines your passion with flexible hours and decent compensation. To be honest, I had stopped looking for anything along those lines a few years ago. So when this came along, it was natural for me to think twice before saying ‘Yes’, because I knew, for certain, that this would mean a huge shift from my comfort zone, where I’d settled for the last 9 years or so. 

Just give me a moment to soak in this feeling of happiness.

AAAHHH! Now, back to what we were talking about! 

So, the thing about working from home means that while you have the advantage of avoiding traffic, pollution and travel time, it does imply a huge number of adjustments and modifications in your routine. With a little effort and some smart planning, we can make that a seamless and comfortable shift.

5 Simple Tips to rock the work from home routine. #WorkingMom Click to Tweet

Tip # 1

Prioritise work

  • In my role, I discuss with my team members the night before on the tasks that need to be done on the morrow. We also have some duties that get assigned  for an entire week, so it’s best to have a scheduler or a planner such as Google Calendar to note your tasks. 
  • Once I know what the tasks are, I cross-check the items on my personal schedule for the day (folding laundry/ cooking lunch/ airing the sheets) and prioritise them on the basis of what needs to be done first.
  • Waking up early can be a significant advantage in this regard, as it seems like you gain an extra hour to do all the work you want done! This naturally means you go to bed early as well.

Tip # 2

Set a schedule

  • Decide on set times of the day for each task, almost as you would if you were going in to work at an office.
  • Finish the heavy-duty tasks first in the early part of the day when your energy levels are high.
  • Relegate lighter jobs to the afternoon, post lunch, when your eyelids are likely to start drooping.
  • If your work is connected to a laptop or a desktop, pick a spot in the house and make sure you start working there at the same time, everyday. Making it a habit ensures your items are all in one place, saving you time and energy.
Are you working from home, #moms and #entrepreneurs? Do you find yourself getting stressed? Here are my 5 simple #tips to help you manage this routine effectively.

Tip # 3

Turn off distractions but allow for interruptions

This one sounds contradictory, but it isn’t when you think about it. A distraction is self-created while an interruption is something you cannot control.
  • If you work online, do not open multiple tabs at once, unless  you need to use the copy-paste feature between two or three windows.
  • Resolutely turn off, mute or snooze notifications from Google hangouts/ Skype/ Facebook messenger/ Whatsapp. Better yet, put up a status that says ‘Working’ or ‘Busy’. People will understand.Trust me.
  • If you can, avoid personal calls during working hours. Politely ask friends/family to call you back if it is nothing urgent.
  • I work partly in social media so I have to be online while I am working. I solved this problem of distraction by creating a separate business account for my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so I would not get distracted by news feed or notifications. It’s been a blessing in more ways than I can count. 
  • If you have a young child at home, you will need to work around his/her schedule. Ensure that the employer knows about the situation and is okay with your being available at odd times during the day. 
  • Work-from-home moms WILL be interrupted by the courier service, the telephone ringing, the handyman showing up or the friendly neighbour right in the middle of a deadline. However, instead of losing your cool, look at it as the required 5-minute break that you would have taken. Shift the perspective just a bit.
#Tip: Allow for both distractions and interruptions. #WorkFromHome Click to Tweet

Tip # 4

Take well-timed breaks

  • Working with clear-cut deadlines and objectives works very well for me. If I know that I need to complete Task ‘A’ within 30 minutes, I do it. I use the timer on my phone to monitor my progress and feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s done.
  • Every half hour to one hour, I leave my desk and stretch, walk around, grab some salted almonds or a healthy snack. This gives the mind and the body the much-needed refreshment to handle more tasks.
  • Have a bottle of water or green tea on your desk so that you stay hydrated. Don’t forget to take restroom breaks amidst your working schedule.

Tip # 5

Do one thing that you love everyday

  • When all’s done you realise that doing one thing not connected to work is mandatory for a healthy perspective towards your job.
  • Find something you love- blogging, reading a book, swimming, taking a walk, playing badminton, writing in your journal, singing, aerobics, Zumba, yoga- to take the edge off the workday. 
  • If the thing that you love can help get you out of the house, even better. Staying indoors all day is not healthy, in any case, so do get some sunshine and some fresh air in your lungs regularly.
Yes, it’s been 21 days and I have managed to find myself comfortably set in this routine of mine now. I would like to include one sport or exercise as part of the schedule, so I intend to find time to incorporate that as well. 
Following these 5 tips for working from home has also enabled me to maintain my other love- blogging. I now find time to blog once to thrice a week across two blogs, reply to comments and even blog hop when I can. And guess what! I am in bed by 9:45 pm with a good book to end the day. Well, on most nights, for sure.
So, it’s not really hard when you think about it.
It just takes some planning, effort and discipline. 

*Psst! This article says it actually takes you 66 days to 12 months to form a new habit, conclusively. No way was I going to wait that long to post this though. I’m sure you understand. Right? Tell me you do!

Featured image courtesy: Shutterstock 
Working from home tips

* This post contains links to the Amazon affiliate program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my complete disclosure agreement here.

Need a snazzy t-shirt for working from home? This one is cool. 🙂

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.

49 Comments · June 22, 2015 at 2:34 am

Congrats on the new job, Shailaja.
Good tips.
planning, effort and discipline – the three pillars of getting every work done.

Jaibala Rao · June 22, 2015 at 2:49 am

I have been trying hard to get on a schedule. Nothing seems to work for me. Hoping to work out schedule that works and stick to it.

Aparna · June 22, 2015 at 2:50 am

Loved the tips Shailaja, it's nice that your experience would be able to help folks starting off on assignments like these :). All the very best at your new job, I'm sure you'll rock it as always.

Rachna · June 22, 2015 at 3:00 am

Good luck with the new job. Good tips too and they don't only apply to work. I feel our day goes well if we invest some time in planning the previous day. I take stock of my work for thr next week during

Rachna · June 22, 2015 at 3:02 am

the weekend, plan the food menus and the chores in the coming week but I do not plan it hourwise. 🙂

SHANAYA TALES · June 22, 2015 at 3:12 am

Congratulations on the new job, Shailaja. 🙂 I am so happy for you. I found myself nodding along as I read through this post, as I know how difficult working from home can be at times. Over the last few months, I have incorporated most of the above in my schedule. The only thing I struggle with is the 'early to bed, early to rise' thingy. One day I will conquer that too. 😀 Hopefully in the near future. 🙂

Ls · June 22, 2015 at 3:41 am

Congrats Shailaja! I love your tips and they are very relevant too. I've been WFH for some time now. But the worst thing I feel is we compromise on our own needs when trying to get everything else in place. Avoid that at all costs! All the best!

Lom Harshni · June 22, 2015 at 3:54 am

Congratulations Shailaja. I remember working with my infant sleeping in my lap and mNy times since then. All you wrote is so true.

Lom Harshni · June 22, 2015 at 3:54 am

Congratulations Shailaja. I remember working with my infant sleeping in my lap and mNy times since then. All you wrote is so true.

Aditi · June 22, 2015 at 8:41 am

Congratulations on the new job!! Yay!
Great tips…I find staying away from distractions the toughest! :-/

Soumya · June 22, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Congrats on the new job!! You so deserve this 🙂

Nice tips you have mentioned here. Speaking of which it can be implemented at work too. So, thank you 🙂

Pooja Rasal · June 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm

Amazingly written! and yes congrats on your work from home job 🙂

pepperedthoughts · June 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Congratulations to you! I would love to have a job that let me work from home. Although a lot of people say it's hard, I think the lack of commute is a blessing! Good luck 🙂

Shilpa Gupte · June 22, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Congrats on the new job, Shailaja! And, your post makes it all sound so possible and easy, but with a bit of a practice, of course!

Nabanita · June 24, 2015 at 5:53 am

I'll keep this in mind… I think we can use these tips while working from office too with all kinds of distractions that are present there …:)

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:03 am

Thank you so much, Sid 🙂 Yes, I agree that those three pillars will work with any job 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:04 am

I hope you find a schedule too, Jaibala. Start small with simple things at first and make it a habit. Slowly progress to larger tasks 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:05 am

Thank you so much,Aparna 🙂 I certainly hope this is helpful. I have found it so much simpler to slot my tasks and errands based on this schedule now and even find time to maybe get a quick lunch with friends if my work is done early. So yay!

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:06 am

Thank you so much, Rachna! Yes I agree that categorising and organising helps is various aspects of life and not just work. I hope these are workable solutions for those looking for ways to optimise their time either at home or at work. Planning is key, definitely.

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:10 am

Early to bed has become mandatory for me, Shantala. I feel rested, rejuvenated and better equipped to handle the day ahead. So do try it out as soon as possible 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:12 am

Yes it is important we take care of ourselves a good deal, Lata. Without our health and our emotional needs being met, it can very easily become a case of too much burnout. Glad you liked the tips 🙂 Thank you for reading and for the wishes.

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:13 am

Thank you so much, Lom. Glad it resonated with you 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:14 am

It's a work in progress, Aditi 🙂 Cutting the ties brutally is the only way forward 🙂 It was tough for me too, intitially. Now, I think I have it under control.I hope so 🙂 Thank you for the wishes!

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:16 am

Thank you so much, Soumya! Love you for this 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:20 am

Thank you so much, Pooja! Welcome to my blog 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:21 am

I agree. Working from home can have its disadvantages, but I, for one, love the freedom it bestows 🙂 Thank you so much!

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:21 am

Yep. It's just a question of working at it 🙂 Thanks Shilpa!

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 24, 2015 at 6:22 am

Oh yes, absolutely! Takes a bit of doing at first, but later it becomes simpler 🙂 Thanks Naba!

tulika singh · June 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

All I can say is that you are amazingly organised. That is probably why you get so much done. Congratulations.

Shilpa Garg · June 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Congratulations for your new job, Shailaja! Agree with all the pointers you shared. It takes a lot of discipline when you work from home. I love the freedom and flexibility to manage your time that comes this work from home 🙂

the little princess · June 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I work from home too..and I can do with some of these tips, Shailaja…especially the waking early part and asking friends to not call me during my work hours..they do take up such a huge part of your time! very very helpful indeed.

Parul · June 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Congrats again for your job and I am excited for you! Those are some great tips and I use this when I am at work – Prioritizing work, tried to take the much needed breaks, staying away from personal calls, avoiding distractions 🙂 Great post as always!

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I hope that's true, Tulika. Some days are so overwhelming though, but those are far and few in between

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 26, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Thank you so much, Shilpa! Yes indeed. I love the flexibility too but it takes management, rightly said 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Waking early has its distinct advantages, Titli. I know this for a fact since I started keeping a strict watch on my time online and shut off all devices by 9.30 pm. It really really helps! Thanks a ton for your warm comment 🙂

Shailaja Vishwanath · June 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Thank you so much, Parul ! I hope you find the tips useful in your workday too 🙂

Balaka Basu · June 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

congrats on your new job…great tips…you seem to be a very organised person…is your zodiac sign Leo?

Jordan McKee · March 7, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Really great tips. I have done a lot of research and consulting on this subject, and the points that you have gathered/practiced are vital. Thank you for taking the time to so beautifully share.

Tarang sinha · October 18, 2016 at 6:35 pm

You are very organised, Shailaja! No wonder you manage your time so well. I waste my time. Will follow these tips and try. Thanks for writing this.
Tarang sinha recently posted…Writing Romance? Four Things To Avoid.My Profile

    Shailaja · October 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you so much! I try to do what I can. Some days even I feel hassled with way too much on my plate.

Shilpa Gupte · September 7, 2018 at 1:50 pm

You and I are so in sync, as you said that day. Today I shared a similar post but to do with health. Healthcare for bloggers and those who work on their computer all day and how they need to take care. It’s as you said, a matter of habit.
I started working (finally) as a freelance content writer since last month and although initially it was a bit tough, I realized I needed to change certain habits if I had to find time for everything work, my blog and my home. So, it’s been some time since I made all the changes that you have mentioned in this post. And it’s so true. Everything gets sorted out (well, almost!) provided we make it into a habit. Time management skills are so needed whether you are working at home or outside.

Natasha · September 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Very handy tips. I thought I had commented on this post in the past, but looks like my comment never came through. Loved reading this all over again. Great reminder. Thanks Shy. <3

Busitips · December 9, 2018 at 1:16 am

Great content

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