11 of the Best Work-From-Home Tips

© POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne

By Ashley Paige, PopSugar

Being able to work from home is a huge privilege that more and more people are able to do thanks to technology and virtual hangouts, but it can also be incredibly isolating and challenging. Some days you might be able to really buckle down and get sh*t done, and others you might feel unmotivated and, frankly, a little lonely. So, whether your desk is actually your kitchen table or you've made your own at-home work station, setting rules and boundaries for yourself is key. Keep reading for 11 tips and tricks to help give you a structured routine and be as productive and efficient professional.


Create a clean work space.

© Getty / Utamaru Kido

"A separate office is ideal, but not necessary," Jane Miller, CEO and founder of JaneKnows.com, which provides career advice to millennials, told POPSUGAR. "Your kitchen table can work just fine, but clear off the dishes and get rid of any clutter." You'll lose focus easier in a messy area!


Make sure your workplace is away from where you relax.

© Getty / Tara Moore

I asked my Facebook friends about their personal work-from-home hacks, and a commenter mentioned that setting up your work space in a place that's away from your designated chill area is important. Basically, don't try to fill out all those sales reports while you're lying in bed. The distracting temptations - like the idea of a nap - are just too great to avoid.


Transplant yourself to an entirely new location.

© Getty / Oscar Wong

If your apartment is noisy, head to your building's business center and find your own little corner to work. And if you have a house, sit outside if the weather allows.


Buy a good desk chair.

© Getty / Bulgac

Another top Facebook commenter discussed his need for a comfy work chair in order to be productive ("A good ergonomic task chair changed my home work space," he said). You don't have to drain your bank account to buy a great chair, either.


Get dressed.

© Getty / Photo by Rafa Elias

"You don't need to wear high heels and a shift dress, but changing out of your PJs will help you transition from lazy to work mode," Jill Jacinto, a millennial career expert for Works, told POPSUGAR. I don't know about you, but when I lounge around in my baggiest sweats all day, I'm surely not in the mood to make an effort at anything. Put on jeans and a shirt - you'll feel more ready to take on the day's tasks.


Plan your workday around the times you're most productive.

© Getty / Emilija Manevska

Another winner from my informal Facebook poll, planning your assignments around your most productive hours is key. Not everyone is efficient from 9 to 5. Maybe you're better off breaking up the work from 7 a.m.-12 p.m., and then again from 6-9 p.m. Do what's best for you to ensure you get the most done!


Set realistic goals for the day.

© Getty / Towfiqu Photography

"Setting goals is always important to a successful outcome, but making sure they're doable in a reasonable time frame is equally important," Miller said. Don't try to take on the world in 45 minutes - assign specific stuff for every hour. Keep it practical!


Consider an app to limit your distractions.

© Getty / Towfiqu Photography

My friends recommended StayFocusd, which claims to "increase your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites." You can add this to Google Chrome for free - and it's super quick and easy to download.


Treat yourself after you finish something.

© Getty / PeopleImages

"Before you open your favorite blogs or read the news, look at your to-do list and work on your first task until you can cross it off," Jacinto said. "Afterwards, treat yourself to five minutes of Instagram scrolling [or] checking Tumblr posts. Set an actual alarm on your phone so you know when reward time is over and it's time to move on to the next project." Compensating yourself after getting something significant done is an awesome way to stay on the path. (Plus, that alarm hack is fab!)


Take breaks to talk to people.

© Getty / Luis Alvarez

"Schedule a few phone calls or Skype sessions to break up the day," Miller said. "Interacting with others will give you more of a sense of community and productivity." It's easy to get off track when you're all by yourself. Ensure that doesn't happen by calling your mom at 3 p.m. or Skyping your friend who moved across the country at noon.


Recap your day or week.

© Getty / Javier Zayas Photography

One of my Facebook friends said he reviews his progress on a weekly basis. You can even do this daily. "Make sure you take the time to reflect on what you accomplished - that will give you incentive to have an even more productive day tomorrow," Miller said. Pick a time to evaluate yourself. Did you complete your tasks? Did you reach your goals? Is your boss happy? Answer honestly. And hey, if you're not totally, 100 percent on track? It's OK. You are human, after all.

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