How to work from home and stay productive: 12 tips!

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a freelance, here are some tips for how to work from home more effectively.


When you work from home, the environment has lots of distractions and the risk is to lose a lot of time while working. Equally, a lack of plan can lead to overworking and forgetting those all-important screen breaks. The answer? Apply some tips and develop a homeworking routine that sets you up your day. Let’s go through some tips to make your day more productive.


1. Time Boxing, una strategia per la gestione del tempo

Making effective use of your time is a major part of knowing how to work from home. You’re up against a home full of potential distractions, and you’re on your own with the challenge. Time Boxing is an approach to task and time management that sets rigid constraints on how long a given task or project can take to complete. This term comes from agile software development, in which a time box is a defined period during which a task must be accomplished.

What you need to do is to give a certain amount of time to each activity you need to complete. This amount of time is called Time Box. Let’s give you an example.

Let’s say that a everyday you need yo check out you email. This action can make you waste a lot of time everyday because most of the time we’re not doing it properly. What we suggest to you is to dedicate for example to the activity of checking email just 5 minutes every 2 hours. In order to help you can set up next to you a timer with the 5 minutes. When the timer stops you need to stop what you’re doing and change to another different activity.

This method will help you to keep your focus on what you’re doing. Time Boxing needs practice, of course, but as you’re going through it you’ll understand the importance of time and we’ll start wasting less. If you feel you’re not doing your job at the highest quality possible in this amount of time you can just increase a little bit your time box. What you always need to remember is to stop your actions when the timer rings.


Time BoxingDaily Goals



2. Set up your daily goals (or even longer)

This is a broad topic because you can set up goals for your life, for an year, for a month and for a day. Choosing which time of goal is the one to need to focus on depends on the type of job you’re doing. But let’s start from the basis. Keeping your eye on the big picture in terms of your goals and objectives is harder when you’re outside the office environment. The day before you work day we suggest to you to write down a list a what you have to do. Using this method you’ll end up being more productive because by the end of the day you need to finish all of these activities and set up the ones for the next day. You can even plan you goals ahead for the entire week. The best thing about setting goals is that you’re giving yourself deadlines. Without deadlines, especially the you work from home, the risk is to continue procrastinating. Some common distraction-factors for homeworkers include TV, smartphones, household tasks, your kids and even your cat (how adorable, isn’t it?). Set at least five goals per day. We’re sure you’ll start wasting less time. And you can even combine this tip with tip number 1.


3. Get dressed as you're going to your office

There’s no need to don a suit and shine your shoes for a day of remote work but there’s a lot of power in wearing something that makes you feel energized and capable. No-one is really watching or judging you (apart from your wife or husband and kids). But you need to get dressed for yourself. Pay attention to what you wear to work. Jump in the shower first thing and put on something that makes you feel ready for the day. Being to confortable will make your mindset less productive so put you pyjamas under you pillow and start your working day as you’re at your offce. This will help you for sure


Messy Desk

4. Tisy and clean your desk

At the end of the day your desk or working table can start being a little bit messy. Since you’re doing a lot of tasks everyday your desk can appear like a bomb exploded on it with all your sketches, some books, your laptop and pens everywhere. By the end of the day it’s very important to clean it. In this way you’ll find easily what you left behind and everything you need to start you day. If you’ll do it on a daily basis your routine will start differently.



5. Carve out some time for your workout

If you’ll work from home it’s inevitable to have a more sedentary life. Walking or jogging is perfect even just for 20 to 30 minutes. What is important is to do it regularly. If you’re not able to go outside with the use of technology you can simply start your home workout even without equipment. There’s plenty of videos on Youtube that you can follow. It’s all about choosing which kind of workout suits our needs and passions. By doingexercises regularly you blood an oxygen flow will be better, and you’ll start having clearer ideas and having more energy.


6. Collaborate and communicate

Whether you’re a small business owner or an employee located away from your main office, remote work somewhat removes you from your clients and colleagues, and can make good customer service that bit more difficult. Fortunately, you can keep your communication flow with helpful communication technology. Unfortunately nowadays you can have an overload of information and can be easily reached by everyone.

Our suggestion is not being too reachable to everyone but sets a certain time of the day when you colleagues can call you and you will answer to their emails or messages. For example if you start working at 8 a.m., set 2 hours in the morning when no-one can call you by setting you phone off. You’ll start answering emails, phone calls etc from 10 a.m. In that way those very first few hours will be incredibly productive. After that you can start answering your colleagues even with live calls. The type of call is really powerful because you can get lots of informations even for your customers and you can show them your work and share your screen.


7. Take breaks


As a homeworker, you might find it easy to work long hours without taking a break. Marathon sessions may feel like a productive experience, BUT your time can be better spent after resting and recharging. Taking breaks is fundamental. Think about your body, your body needs several hours of rest per day. This is the same for your brain. Try to use the time boxing tips even to plan your breaks. To help you get into the habit, set an alarm clock to go off every two hours in the room farthest from your desk. We would suggest you to take a coffee or tea break for about 10 minutes and relax but do not lose your focus. You can use this time to read a book or some news.


8. Work smarter not harder

When you work at home you need to work smarter and not harder. What about working less hour per day but in a more productive and smart way? You can enjoy the rest of the day with your beloved ones. We have seen many times that when we have just two activities to do in a day we use to expand those tasks just to fill the working hours. By doing so we're just staying in our office doing our job slower. What we can do to work smarter is to set everyday some small improvements to make our job less stressfull and more productive. To do so be always up-to-date by following some online courses and improve everyday a little bit. This business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency is called “Kaizen” in the Japanese culture.


9. Go paperless

If you work in an office you’ll always see how much paper goes to waste. The best way to go paperless it to have a double monitor. This of course requires an investment but believe me you won't regret it.


Messy Desktop

10. Tidy and clean your

Working at home means for many of you working with your laptop. Somentimes even your desktop can be messier than you desk because you’re working with so many different files.
At the end of the day try to do the same as you do with your desk. Clean it and make easy to find your files. You’ll be faster then ever.



11. Make a safe connetion to your office computer

Remote Desktop

If you’re an employee and you’re asked by your company to work from home you’ll probably need to access to files and softwares that are located in the servers of your workplace. To do so you’ll need to have a remote desktop app. This is a more technical argument and we would suggest to ask to the IT person of you company because all of the companies to it differently. The main Remote Desktop apps are Teamviewer, Microsoft Remote Desktop and Chrome Remote Desktop. Usually a remote desktop connection is done in a more safe way by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. To know more about it and how to set it up ask to your IT support.


12. Use some Virtual Assistants

When you start understanding how time is important in being productive you’ll find out that you cannot be by yourself. If you have some colleagues or you have some employees working for you, you will simply assign them some tasks. But if you’re a freelance and you’re working by yourself you don’t have the same chance. This is why you can ask to some Virtual Assistants to help you doing some tasks. You can pay them just for some hours to help you. In this way you can delegate. On Fiverr you can fins lots of professionals doing a lot of different things that can help you with your job.



Working at home can be the best thing you ever did for your career, but it often comes with challenges too.
If you want to know more please fill this form with your questions and a member of the Labelado Staff will respond as soon as possible.