10 Pratical Ways to Be Productive While Working From Home
Use the links to download a free infographic with the 10 tips.
I left my job on February 28 of this year. I was fearful at first, but I am determined to do everything God has called me to do. I gave a 6-week notice at work and in those six weeks, I was a guest on a great panel discussion and we received a lot of useful information. As I was thinking about it afterward, I got a great idea to expand on the topic of Faith & Focus in general. So here it is: 10 Practical Ways to Be Productive While Working From Home
1. Consistently spend the first part of your day with God in prayer and reading and studying His Word
2. Be mindful of what you watch and listen to. Feed your faith
3. Limit distractions by creating a written schedule
4. Get dressed for work every day
5. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know
6. Focus on the task at hand
7. Remember your why
8. Get an accountability partner
9. Make time to reset and recharge
10. Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He is our helper and He will never lead us wrong
1. Consistently spend the first part of your day with God in prayer and reading/studying His Word.
Here are some scriptures to focus on to spend time with God:
Psalm 105:4; Psalm 27:8; Acts 17:26-27; Psalm 37:4; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5-6;
Proverbs 8:17; Psalm 5:3
As a person of the Christian faith, spending time with God should be our top priority. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Things come up, life happens, and before you know it God is put on the back burner. One of the main excuses for not spending time with God is time. “I don’t have time”, we say. I have used this excuse more times than I would like to remember. But God gives us all 24 hours each day. Somewhere inside of those 24 hours we have to “make” time for God.
God gives us all 24 hours each day. Somewhere inside of those 24 hours we have to “make” time for God.
Now that I am working from home at least a whole 1 hour and 30 minutes has opened up in my allotted 24-hour day. I commuted 45 minutes to work and at least the same amount of time back home. I did this 5 sometimes 6 days a week. That is plenty enough time to dedicate to God. I still get up at the same time I did when I worked outside the home and I dedicate at least 2 hours to God. Let me tell you, it has not always been the easiest thing to do. There were some days I decided to sleep in and some days I just laid in bed and watched T.V. Now I prepare myself the night before by thinking or speaking my intention for the next day. My literal thought or words are, “I intend to get up when my alarm goes off at 4 am and spend time reading my Bible and praying.” I make sure my Bible, notebook, pen, and anything else I might need are readily available when I get up so I do not have to spend time looking for them.
Some of you may be saying, “But I’ve always worked from home. I don’t have any extra time to do any of that.” To you, I say, go to bed earlier so that you can get up earlier and when your alarm goes off, do not hit that snooze button! Just get up! I promise you it gets easier. You have to create the habit of getting up as soon as that alarm goes off.
“Do I have to do it in the morning? I’m not a morning person.” No, you don’t have to do it in the morning but think about it: what you do in the first few hours of your day sets the tone for your day. Besides, shouldn’t we consult the One (God) Who already established the plans for our life before we were even conceived. God already knows what is going to happen throughout your day. Many times, He will prepare you, but you have to be able to know and hear His voice.
Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
I am a fan of shoes. I like cute shoes. Sometimes those cute shoes are uncomfortable. I remember many days getting ready for work and God leading me to wear a pair of shoes that were different than what I decided to wear. Every time I chose to supersede God’s instructions, I would end up with awfully bad foot pain before the workday ended.
If you would rather spend time with God your lunch break or after you get off work, it’s fine because the main objective is to spend time with God. What I will tell you is that spending time with God in those early morning hours helps to keep your mind on Him. The Bible tells us that “He will keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on Him.” (Isaiah 26:3). In Proverbs 8:17, God tells us that He loves those who love Him; and those that seek Him early shall find Him.
2. Be Mindful of What You Watch and Listen To – Feed Your Faith
As you go through your day listen to inspirational music and messages. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on good things. Things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and things of good repute. You will only think about the things that capture your attention. My pastor has taught us that “you will focus on what you pay attention to.” If you are watching T.V shows, talk shows, the news, and movies all day, then those things are going to have your attention. Those are the things you are going to think about. There are times when I do watch T.V., but when I really need to focus to get a project done, then I turn off the T.V. and listen to gospel or inspirational instrumental music. Even as I am working, the words from the song will also help me to think about God.
Another reason to feed your faith is that the Holy Spirit can only help you as much as you help yourself. Before Jesus was crucified, He told the disciples that He would send a comforter, someone to help bring things back to their remembrance (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit can only bring the things of God to our remembrance. If you have not deposited God’s Word or anything godly into you, then the Holy Spirit is limited by what help He can give. So, go FEED YOUR FAITH!
3. Limit Distractions by Creating a Written Schedule
In general accounting and finance are fairly structured. There are some things you just don’t veer from and you most definitely don’t have room for much creativity. Some things have to be done by certain times of the month, quarter, and year that result in a lot of headaches (maybe some heartache) if not completed properly or on time. This is where schedules come in handy. I have 2 schedules. My first schedule is very general:
4 AM – 6 AM – Wake up, prayer, personal Bible Study
6 AM – 7 AM – Let the dogs out, water garden and plants, morning walk
7 AM – 9 AM – Breakfast, laundry / general house cleaning
9 AM – 10 AM – Shower and get ready for work
10 AM – 5 PM – Work
My 2nd schedule is more detailed. It has everything that I need to do for work including virtual meetings, webinars, working on projects, etc. Do I always hit every time-mark every day? No. The schedule is meant to guide and remind you about the things you say are important to you. A Schedule also helps to keep you from overextending or double-booking yourself. Think of your schedule as a tool to be used more than something that dictates your day. I suggest including time for checking emails and voicemails, watching T.V and social media as part of your schedule. Also, schedule your breaks and meals. Remind your family and friends that you are working. It’s easy to take a quick nonbusiness phone call and an hour or 2 later you’re still on that call or you decided to call someone else. Before you know it, your whole day is out of whack and you have to play catch up with your work.
4. Get dressed for work every day
This is actually something God told me to do even before I left my secular job. So why is it important to get dressed for work every day? After all, you’re not around people and if you are scheduled for a virtual meeting all you need is a nice top. No one will ever know. Here are 2 reasons to get dressed for work every day:
You will be more productive
The way you’re dressed causes your mind to change. If you’re dressed in sweats and an old t-shirt, you are not going to want to work. All that’s going to make you do is want to lounge around watching T.V or sleeping all day. On the other hand, when you have on a nice business casual outfit, then your mind shifts to work mode. If your focus is on your work, then you will be more productive.
You will be ready to move if you need to leave your house or join a virtual meeting
Sometimes in business unexpected or emergency meetings happen. Even though we are mostly sheltering in place does not mean there are no fires to put out at our jobs. If your manager or supervisor sends you a message and says, “use the link below to join a virtual meeting in 15 minutes; please have your camera on” will you honestly be able to make yourself 100% presentable? If you’re already ready, then you don’t have to get ready!
5. Don’t Be Afraid of What You Don’t Know
It is okay if you don’t know everything! You are only human. No one in the world knows everything. Do not beat yourself up. First, you have to acknowledge the fact that you don’t know everything. Secondly, if someone is requesting something from you that is outside of your scope of knowledge let them know you will research the subject and get back to them. Below are 3 ways to get the information you need:
Reach out to family and friends that you know have certain knowledge, skills, and abilities and ask them advice and recommendations. (Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.)
Make Google be your best friend.
Research 4 or 5 different sources but give yourself a time limit so you don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed
6. Focus on the Task at Hand
Focus – A central point; the point of concentration (Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Edition) (Kindle Location 151292). Packard Technologies. Kindle Edition.)
It is so easy to lose focus when there are so many things going on in our personal lives and the world especially if you are working from home. Below are some tips to help you stay focused and get things done:
Write down the things you said you would do if you had more time
Prioritize: Determine what is most important to you and create (write it down) a plan to accomplish it Habakkuk 2:2-3 (Then the LORD answered and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. (3) For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Don’t wait for your circumstances to be perfect. When you start moving, God will show you the next step.
7. Remember Your Why – Move Anyway
Working from home can start very exciting. After you do it for a while and settle into a routine it can seem boring. Reaching your goals does not happen overnight. You have to put in the work and be consistent
1. Do not let your feelings determine what you will and will not do. You do not want to get to a place of living a life of regret because your feelings led you.
2. Remember why you got started. Every vision begins with an idea.
3. Create a vision board for what you are trying to achieve and put it in a place where you will look at it every day.
8. Get an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone to help us stay on task. When you have someone who asks about your progress and reminds you of what you said you were going to do then you are more apt to put in some work every day towards your goal.
Set a recurring weekly meeting to discuss what you have started, what you’re working on, and what you have completed
Make sure this person will encourage you, give you constructive criticism, and gently call you out when you are missing a lot of targets
Let your accountability partner know when you are stuck; they may be able to help.
9. Make Time to Reset and Recharge
Self-care is the best care. Even Jesus took some time to go by Himself and pray. We all need to rest at some point in time. If you do not voluntarily take time to rest, your body will force you too. Pay attention to your body and take heed when it starts to tell you things need to change. Below are more reasons for self-care:
If you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone or anything else
Even God took a day off after He finished creating the world. (Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
It’s easy to get caught up in constantly checking emails and doing a little more work here and there. Make sure your colleagues know that when you’re off, you’re off.
10.Always Be Open to the Leading of the Holy Spirit. He is Our helper and He Will Never Lead Us Wrong.
I thought I was leaving my secular job to do one thing, but God has shifted my focus to something that never entered my mind before.
Don’t overthink what the Holy Spirit is leading you to do. As long as you’re not doing anything contrary to God’s Word you’ll be okay. God already knew what actions you would take and He’s graced us for what I like to call “creating learning opportunities”.
Grab your free infographic here: 10 Practical Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home
I would love to know what you do to stay productive whether you work from home or not. Leave a comment below!
Have a great God-focused day!