How to organise your day when working from home

Organise your day when working from home

Working from home is great. It gives you freedom, flexibility and the opportunity to plan your daily routine in a way that suits you best. But like everything else, it also has its downsides. You’re more prone to procrastination, distraction, working until late at night and forgetting to socialise. Basically, it’s not that easy to organise your day when working from home!

It’s been a year since I’ve started my new career journey and I wanted to share with you my favourite tips to help you organise your day when working from home.

Get up at the same time every morning

It can be so tempting to sleep in when you don’t have anywhere to be. But let me tell you: sleeping in can be the worst enemy of productivity when you’re working from home!

First of all, your body needs a routine to function properly. Even if you don’t need to start working at a specific time every morning, it’s best to stick to a certain sleep pattern that will assure that you’re energised and focused. I try to get up at approximately the same time every day, around 7 am – even on the weekends. By now I am so used to this time that I’m not even that tired when my alarm rings.

Recently I’ve even been using a sleep cycle app to track my sleep pattern and wake me up at the best moment within the time frame I set. So far I’ve found that it works quite well!

Another reason to avoid sleeping in is that when you wake up late, you’ll be tempted to start working right away. And that’s not a good idea!

Whenever I do wake up later, I usually feel guilty and go to my computer first thing in the morning. And before I know, it’s 5 pm and I still haven’t taken time to get ready! Doing this can really take a toll on your productivity and make you feel sluggish throughout the whole day.

Getting up at the same time every morning really is the first step to organise your day when working from home!

Follow a work-from-home morning routine before starting your work

Even if you’re not leaving the house right away, it’s still important to take the time to get ready. The right morning routine will energise you and help you stay focused and productive!

After waking up, start by making lemon water and get ready for the day before even looking at your computer. Get dressed, take a shower, have your coffee and make yourself feel good. I also love to exercise before work because I always feel so much more awake afterwards.

Whenever I don’t get ready right away, I tend to avoid going outside (because I look like crap) and generally don’t feel my best, which in turn impacts my performance. And if I don’t drink water first thing in the morning, I often forget to drink altogether and get a headache a couple of hours later.

So, don’t start your workday at home until you feel ready to tackle it. You’ll get so much more done if you take that little bit of extra time in the morning! And you’ll be far more productive when working from home.

Always have a to-do list to organise your day when working from home

I keep mentioning to-do lists in every single one of my productivity posts – and for a good reason! Short and prioritised to-do lists really make a world of a difference and help you organise your day when working from home.

Personally, I always keep daily to-do lists that are short enough not to overwhelm me. And I love including all my tasks (not just work) on there! You can read about my recommendations on to-do lists and prioritising in more detail here and here.

Keeping a to-do list will structure your workday and boost productivity at the same time.

Designate a specific workspace in your home

Having an office or a designated workspace in your home really helps with the separation of work and personal life. I have set up my office in the guest bedroom: I open it every morning and close the door in the evening when I’m done with my work. My computer stays there, too, so that I’m not tempted to continue working until late at night.

Whenever I work on my bed or my couch, I get distracted a lot faster and tend to be less productive overall. And I also have a hard time switching off at night, because everything around me reminds me of work and I keep thinking about my to-do list for the next day.

Having a designated workspace really does boost your productivity and helps create that good work-life balance we all strive for!

Take small breaks after every task

I love to start my day with the most important task on my to-do list and finish it before breakfast. Not only does this make sure that the task is done, but it also helps me take a relaxing breakfast break before I tackle the rest of my list.

Throughout the day, taking small breaks after every completed task establishes a reward system that keeps you motivated and productive. You can use your breaks to go outside, get groceries, call your grandma, do laundry, or even read or watch some YouTube videos.

When you organise your time like this, you won’t feel exhausted at the end of the day. And you won’t have a pile of work around the house waiting for you, either!

I always enjoy balancing work with other things that I need or want to do because it makes me twice as productive while still giving my brain a break. And it makes me excited to finish the task I’m on, which makes me work more efficiently!

Take the time to make healthy food

When you’re working from home, it can be so tempting to just grab a quick snack instead of cooking real food for lunch. For the first few months of my journey, I’ve been living off pasta and pesto!

And yet, eating unhealthy snacks and fast food will leave you feeling tired in the afternoon and is also not a good idea in the long run. Instead, find healthy foods that you can cook really quickly. I love buying frozen vegetable mixes for that. I’ll usually throw them in a steamer and eat them by themselves if I really don’t have time, or use them to make myself a simple meal.

Having a healthy lunch break really does help you organise your day when working from home, even if it’s a short one!

Find time to go outside and socialise

My biggest problem with working from home is that I don’t go outside enough. It’s just so tempting to stay in and work all day!

I suggest that you find a way to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day, no matter how busy you are. You could go for a walk every morning or evening, walk to the grocery store instead of driving, sit in the garden and read for a while…

It’s also a great idea to have different (social) activities planned in the evening. You can take classes, go to the gym, meet up with friends or go for a drink with your partner. This also helps you end your workday properly, which leads me to my last point:

End your at-home workday

Always remember: it is not a good idea to work until you go to bed. You’ll have trouble sleeping, won’t be productive the next day, and lose motivation really quickly.

No matter how you organise your day when working from home, it’s crucial to leave time for your personal life. You don’t have to end your day at the same time every evening, but make sure that you end it properly by shutting off your computer and closing the office door behind you.

So here you go, those are all my tips to help you organise your day when working from home! If you liked this post, please be so kind as to share it with your friends who work from home!

29 Replies to “How to organise your day when working from home”

  1. ”don’t start your work day until you feel ready to tackle it” that’s so well said! Lately, I feel much more productive and excited to get things done when I take some time for my morning routine.

    Ending the work day is a great idea. I often find myself later in the day thinking about answering comments, emails, spending a few minutes on Pinterest etc. But actually setting an hour to end the work is a much better idea to stay more organized and focused throughout the day.
    Such a helpful post!

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I’m glad that you found it helpful! It’s definitely not easy to separate work and personal life when you’re working from home, but this works quite well for me. I hope it’ll work for you as well!

  2. Hey love what a great post! These tips were so helpful to be because I struggle staying focused while at home. Keep up the great writing ❤️

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  3. I definitely need my own designated work area. And go outside more often.

    1. It really helps!

  4. I try everytime to organize my day and I usually fail! Your post motivated me though! I find the hardest to cook a healthy meal daily though! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Maybe you can try cooking bigger quantities so you don’t have to cook every day? I personally love having leftovers, it saves so much time!

  5. Always interesting reading how other stay at home workers keep things going. One of the main points that caught my interest was the healthy food – unfortunately, I don’t take care of myself well enough because it takes too long (or because I’m lazy).

    1. I’m the same, I always struggle with that! But whenever I make sure that I have healthy food that’s quick to make it makes it so much easier.

  6. These are great ideas. I’ve recently started blogging and I find myself forgetting about everything but blogging and I’m burning out. I need to create a schedule for myself =)

    1. I totally get that, I’m the same if I’m not careful! Breaks and routines really help. 🙂

      1. Thanks for the great suggestions! They are very helpful.

  7. Wow! These are some great tips! The extra point I would add about having a morning routine is also that I go as far as to get dressed in clothes presentable enough to leave the house in and I even put on a full face of makeup (which is surprising to most people). The reason is, like you’ve said, I am more likely to take my midday walk if I look better BEFORE it’s time and I find that I personally feel better about myself if I pass by a mirror and the person I see looking back at me looks gorgeous and ready to rock. So, even though it costs a little extra to maintain a makeup routine everyday, it is totally worth it. Thanks for reminding us that preparation affects our performance.

    1. You’re right, it does really help to put on makeup when you plan on leaving the house! Even just adding BB cream and mascara make such a difference in how I feel.

  8. I need this in my life right now. I have been practicing waking up the same time everyday but I need to accept that I need to take breaks and to socialise too.

    1. I’ve been struggling a lot with breaks and socialising at the beginning as well because it felt unproductive, but after I while it really sunk in that they make me more productive in the end. So it gets easier. 🙂

  9. These are awesome tips. I love being organized and productive but I do find it very hard at times to really sit down and focus. This article has shown me how to manage my time when working from home.

    1. Thank you, I’m so happy that you found them helpful!

  10. I definitely agree that it’s important to write a list the night before! Even if I think I know exactly what I need to do the next day, I’ll still end up getting side-tracked or have one of those moments where I stare at my computer and my brain turns to mush because I know I’m supposed to be doing something but can’t recall what it is. The reward system is also a great idea!

    1. The same thing happens to me when I don’t have a clear plan! And it’s the worst because not only is it unproductive to stare at your screen, but it’s not even fun. I definitely prefer taking actual breaks.

  11. These are some great tips! I’ve recently started using time-blocking to schedule my tasks for the day. I’m regretting putting off trying this method because Inwas afraid it would stress me out if I didn’t follow everything to the exact minute. But just the opposite happens. I relax knowing that I’m getting to every task. My day is much more ordered and productive. I make sure to schedule breaks as well.

    1. That’s great that is works so well for you! I haven’t tried time-blocking yet, I’ll need to look into that. 🙂

  12. The funny thing is, I´ve been a writer for a long time and I thought I already knew everything there was to know about working from home but when I recently started to blog I understood that things weren´t going to work out if I didn´t change a thing or to in my daily routine.
    It may sound like writing and blogging are pretty much the same thing but as I found out they couldn´t be more different.
    When I started blogging I notice I would have to create a routine in the first place, things couldn´t be as free as sit down and write from morning to night in one day and then on the next never even touch my computer.
    A few of the tips you gave, waking up at the same hour every day and keeping your computer in your office were really important to me.
    I´m still learning how to cope with this new lifestyle so I loved reading your article and I´ll be sure to write down all your tips!

    1. I’m so glad that these tips were helpful to you!
      And I totally get what you mean about the difference between writing and blogging. I translate, which is somewhat similar I guess, and I have a ton of work on some days and none on others. For blogging, it’s more about staying consistent and working a little bit every day.
      Now I do my daily blogging tasks first thing in the morning so that I don’t skip them when my day gets crazy.

  13. This is great! Definitely help to be organised when working from home haha!

    1. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  14. I just found your site and I love it! I resonate with so much of it. In the post I read before this, you asked what we do to keep up our productivity when working from home and I thought, “lotsss of breaks!” And then I saw you wrote it here:) I have worked as a behavior technician, and the job is literally based off of the proven fact that reward systems WORK. Like, all the time. And, punishment does not. Like, never. I really really resonate with the turning off work struggle. I often feel guilty about not being present with my partner. One thing I do whenever I’m really stuck (it really does feel like I’m physically stuck in work mode if I didn’t have a satisfying day) I do something creative. My website is all about finding yourself through creativity. I never saw myself as the crafty/DIY/creative type, until this summer when I started working at home and I just felt…worthless. I started trying new things I always wanted to, but was scared (I mean- I’m home alone who cares right?!) and I found out I LOVE art-so many forms of it. And I was able to reconnect with my 6, and 9, and 13 year old self, that little girl loved to write. And she was GOOD at it! I hardly post much of my personal writing, but when I do it’s the content that gets the most likes. That’s not what matters of course, but the point is, I like me better when I’m writing or being creative, too. I set a goal to better my penmanship- which led to me hand lettering and I find it so soothing to trace big swirly letters with pretty pens or brush tips, and I am satisfied with that. Then, I am able to shut off for the night. I encourage you to try something creative the next time you can’t shut off! You will surprise yourself!! Lovely posts.

    1. Hi Kailey, thank you so much for your comment! I loved to write as well when I was little… I always thought I would write a book one day, – who knows, haha! It’s such a great idea to do something creative when you can’t shut off! I always find that journaling really helps me work through stuff, but your comment actually inspired me to maybe try painting again. I used to love it so much growing up!

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