To all the still somewhat new people working from home, I see you. I’ve been self-employed for six years now and it’s still a struggle to be productive at my desk when there are so many more entertaining things just outside my office door. Over the years I’ve found a few ways to increase productivity.

Keep Your Space Clean

This is one of those that people SAY it, but it’s easier said then done. At the end of every day I pick up my space, put any papers I need to look at later in a specific bin, and clear out any coffee mugs and plates that might have accumulated throughout the day. That way the next morning my space is inviting and I’m ready to get to work.

Try Different Setups

For the longest time working in bed was my JAM until suddenly it wasn’t. Then I had a desk in our bedroom but didn’t like how I couldn’t look outside. My current situation with my filming space and desk in one room is the best setup I’ve found. So if you’re not feeling overly productive where you’re currently working, try switching it up. Move your desk to face a window. If that’s distracting have your desk face a wall with a mood/inspiration board on it. Try different configurations until you find one that feels just right, goldilocks¬†style.

Add Nice Things to Look At

Now don’t go crazy with nick knacks and items because that’ll defeat the first tip, but a few plants, cute art pieces, or candles can really help motivate you. I have this gorgeous crinkle fern off the side of my desk and it brightens even the most grey Michigan days. Add a few photos of your family, friends, or kids to keep you motivated to get your work done so you can spend time with them.

Writing in a planner

Have a Good Chair

Trust me on this one. I was so stubborn for years that some crappy chair we basically pulled out of a dumpster was working just fine. It wasn’t. This chair¬†I now own might not be the cutest, but it’s damn good and I highly recommend it. I find myself able to stay working longer without having a sore back at the end of a long day of video meetings. Plus anything is better than a dumpster chair. So invest the money, your body and productivity will thank you in spades.

Take Frequent Breaks

But if you’re working from home, make sure you give yourself a set time to come back. It’s so easy to get distracted when you’re on a break and find yourself suddenly re-watching Bridgerton on Netflix for the third time during the work day. To stay productive, give yourself short breaks every hour and take time away for your desk for lunch, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. You’ll feel recharged and focused when you get back.

If you’re working from home, what is the hardest part about the experience for you?