Did you know that there are over 3.7 million employees working from home at least half the time? Since 2005, this number has increased by 115%. Wow! With technology rapidly growing, working from home has become much easier to do. In fact, it has been quite beneficial to many moms, allowing them to encompass a healthy work-life balance. 90% of moms are now working from home due to a desire for family flexibility as their top reason.

When it comes to work, let’s face it- we want to work from home. Doesn’t it sound nice? You get to sleep in, work in your pajamas, take unlimited breaks… Well, no. It’s not like that at all. And, that’s absolutely not how you should be working from home anyway. In fact, it is the least productive way to get anything done. So, here’s a couple of tips on how to be productive when you actually are working from home.

1. Get started on time — or early- there’s nothing worse than rushing around and suddenly running out of time in your day.

Most people think that when you work from home, you get to sleep in and wake up whenever you feel like it. Although you do not need to be in the office at a specific time, you should start your day as soon as possible in order to accomplish everything. Inevitably, when you work from home, there’s going to be distractions-kids running around, laundry needing to be switched, phone’s ringing- so, getting a jump start on your day can help make up for the lost time later.

2. Get ready like you are going into the office

When working from home, it’s going to be tempting to wear sweats and lounge in bed while you do your work and snack on something. However, it is essential to get ready as you would if you were going into the office. So let’s start with this. First, dress professionally. Now, I’m not saying to wear a suit and tie, but dressing business casual (or as you would at the office) would certainly be the way to go. This will help to mentally prepare you to focus on your tasks and get work done. So, it’s important to do all of the things that you normally do to prepare for the office in order to get you set for the day.

In an article from Scientific American, there were studies mentioned about how clothing affects performance. It was proven that more formal outfits lead to higher abstract thinking, wearing a lab coat like a doctor can make you focus better, and wearing the color red helps athletes lift a heavier weight. Interesting, right? Clearly, what you wear has an impact.

3. Get more work done

Once you settle your kids and find that quiet time during your day, use it as a way to home-in on everything that needs to be completed. Take the time to focus and get it done while you don’t have anyone coming into your office asking you questions. Right when you begin your day, you should look over your list of everything that you need to get done. Typically, you’re not going to be able to get everything done, but setting yourself a goal will surely help to motivate you.

4. Declutter/Organize

Just like an office setting, you need to set yourself up to get your work done. If you’re working in a setting that has clutter everywhere, this will just create a distraction for you and you will never be able to focus strictly on your work. So, create a space that is just for your workload and have it resemble what your office at work looks like (or what it should look like!)

5. Reflect on what you accomplished

You may be thinking, “Why do I need to do that?”

Usually, when you complete a task, you often check it off your list and never think about it again. But, if you take the time at the end of the day to jot down what you did, you’ll find that you’ll feel more accomplished and better about all that you’ve completed while working at home. It will also help to keep you more organized.

6. Plan the following workday

This is something I personally do and I swear by it.

Take some time throughout the workday to make a list of what needs to get completed and how you’re going to complete it. Just doing this and preparing for the next workday will help you a ton. First, this will save you time in the morning. Many people begin their day with an outline of everything they need to do for that day. Although that may seem logical, it is actually more beneficial to write this list while you are in the working mode the day before. Next, planning the following workday while you have already gone through a whole day of knowing what you got done, will help you remember everything that you didn’t get to. While it is already fresh in your head, write it down. That way when you’re working from home, you’ll spend less time brainstorming how you’re going to get something done.

Just remember to follow the Six-P Formula that leads to business success. If you haven’t already heard of it, it says, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Once you are done working for the day, you’ll be able to stop thinking about those tasks and feel better knowing that you have a plan (it will even help you sleep better at night). Keep in mind, you may have to modify your plans. But that’s okay because at least you have a proper outline of your day!

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