8 Tips for working more effectively from home

Wednesday Tutorial

8 Tips for working more effectively from home

If you’re anything like me then you thought working at home looked like working from bed, cuddling your puppers, and watching Grey’s Anatomy. Even though this may sound awesome, I can speak from experience that I wouldn’t recommend it! This year going full time into Wedding Photography has taught me so much about work life balance and productivity. Let me help you out and jump start your efficiency by sharing simple tips that I learned the hard way.

1. Create set work hours

Hello, my name is Emily and I am a workaholic. YALL no longer will I let that be my story. I used to have zero boundaries when it came to when I would work and it seriously affected me as a human and those around me. By not having set work hours I would work endlessly, because let’s face it as a small business owner the to-do list never ends there is always something that needs to be done. It resulted into me not being able to remember the last time I had showered, made a home cooked meal, or went to bed at a decent hour. I’m not saying it has to be traditional 8am-5pm, you have your own business, you do what makes most sense for you!
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there are seasons in our business where working long hours and hustling is pertinent for growth. But it is not sustainable and you will burn yourself out. You need to take care of yourself, get up and move your muscles, fuel your body with good things, and get a good nights rest. Shut everything down at your end time and don’t worry about it until your start time the next day.

2. Create a designated work area.

I know this may seem silly, but having a designated workspace was a game changer for me! 
Designating a certain space automatically provides some boundaries and structure.
Also I found workspaces can hinder or help creativity and energy. When Talon and I first got married the rent house we were living in didn’t have much natural light and it seriously affected me! I felt like I was in a cave and it sucked out my inspiration. For me having house plants, natural light, large desk, and clean workspace have exponentially boosted my mood and effectiveness.

3. Have a daily routine 

THIS is one of my greatest tools for productivity. Working from home can be overwhelming because not every day looks the same, maybe one day you have a shoot, client consult, colleague meeting, traveling etc.. I encourage you to find a routine that you implement every day, it doesn’t have to happen at the exact same time every day but you still do them everyday. For instance for my routine I like to start my morning slow and get in my bible reading and spending time with the Lord. I then go do something active, go to my workout class, go for a run, or walk my dogs. When I get home from that I make a protein shake / eat breakfast. I work for a few hours, then stop and take a 30-45min break to eat lunch with Talon, and work until 5 or 6 depending on Talon’s schedule 🙂 haha now you know more about my day then you probably need/want to!

4. Take a Lunch / Take Breaks 

A lot of us solo-entrepreneurs sit in front of computers ALL DAY… I urge you to get up, get some air, take break. Again don’t neglect yourself. Take the time to have a lunch & make yourself good food. I’m about to get real with you guys and admit something I’m not proud of, when I was working non-stop I wouldn’t take the time to stop and fuel myself, I’d just snack on chips/junk food, quickly microwave ramen noodles, drink energy drink after energy drink, and not care about my nutrition. And let me tell ya I. felt. like. crap.

5. Use Batching/ Batch Processing Technique 

To get the most productivity of my day I have started using the Technique of Batching. Before implementing batching I would have several tabs open trying to edit, respond to emails, update invoices, and blog simultaneously and I would get distracted from task to task and it would take forever to get anything done. Batching is grouping your work into sections and only focusing on one task at a time. For instance on Mondays I block 1-2 hours dedicated to planning/writing all my instagram posts for the week, then it’s done and I don’t have to worry about writing a post / thinking of my caption on the spot and wasting time I could be with friends/Talon in the evening. Another example of how I use batching for my schedule is I like to start my first hour of my work day replying to emails, and that is the only thing I will do for that hour. Then after that hour I will not look at my inbox again until my next designated time to do so.

6. Look ahead + Plan it out

On Thursdays I look ahead and plan out what big tasks have to get done for the following week. Even in the digital age, I still love writing my weekly and daily tasks in my planner. It is helpful for me to sit down, think through it all, and plan/write out how I am going to batch them and accomplish everything that has to get done that week.

7. Focus Up

Turn off the distractions and focus up. I used to think I could be that person that has Grey’s Anatomy playing in the corner while I do my work but then I’d find myself getting too distracted and realize I wasted precious time because I wasn’t working efficiently! 
Know your weaknesses. For me I turn off my wifi on my computer/phone so I am not tempted by email or social media notifications. Doing this has increased my productivity leaps and bounds!

8. Plan Meet ups and network with other entrepreneurs

I have found that being a solo-entrepreneur can be super lonely and isolating. It is so important to be a part of a community! You are not an island. You are not alone. 
If you don’t know where to start, great resource is joining your local Rising Tide Society. I also recommend looking on FB for local groups, you never know who you might connect with.