How to Stay Productive while Working from Home

A little over a year ago, Jared & I decided that I needed to cut back at work to 4 days a week.  This was a big financial hit but we knew it was necessary for me to have time to work on our lawn care business, pay bills, take on consulting projects and work on this space.  It was during this time that Peacock Paper & Gifts was born! 

This was a big decision and one I wavered on a lot.  I had always worked full-time and had never even imagined cutting back on my hours.  After a lot of talking, prayer and consideration, we decided to go for it.  Since I took a pay cut to make this happen, I have to make that day at home profitable for us.  That means staying focused, being productive and finding ways to make our businesses even more successful.  My day off isn't an "off day," it's a full work day (sometimes 10-12 hours) just at home for different businesses.   

I am not an expert on this subject but have learned a lot over the past year!  I receive a lot of questions about how I do a full-time job in 4 days and then run our companies on the other day.  Short answer: it's really freaking hard.  BUT totally worth it!  Today, I decided to share with you my tips on how to stay productive while working from home!  If you all want to hear more on this subject like how I negotiated my 4 day work week, how we make it work budget wise, etc. let me know!

Set a schedule.

Setting a schedule for your day is so important!  Without one, you'll work all day and not have a lot to show for it.  Trust me.  When I first started my day at home, I just worked on whatever and didn't really have a structured day.  This just didn't work for me very well!

When I first wake up, I post my blog post for the day and any social media posts I have scheduled for first thing in the morning.  After I post first thing, I workout, eat breakfast and get ready for the day.  During this time, I typically unload the dishwasher or tidy up the house before heading into my office.  I plan to be in my office from 9 to 3:30 at the very least.  Some days, I get started really early and some days I keep working until 7 or 8.  It really depends on the day. 

I make my to-do list for the day and prioritize what needs to be done.  After that, my days look very different but are similarly structured.  I pay bills and organize any financial to-do's, work on upcoming blog & social media posts and schedule those, shoot flat lay photos, respond to customer emails, work on new product design, etc.  After I eat lunch, I run any necessary errands.  I drop off mail, ship packages, make bank deposits, etc.  After I finish those errands, I go back in the office and finish up any work leftover.  I try to stop around 3:30 or 4 to cook dinner and hang out with Jared.  This is obviously not always possible but I try! 

Make a prioritized task list.

A whole day seems like a lot of time but I promise you it goes by so fast!  If I don't have a good task list to follow, it makes for an erratic day.  Making a list of everything that needs to get done and prioritizing it really helps me.  If I can get the big things at the top of the list completed, I feel so much more accomplished at the end of the day.

Take a lunch break.

Breaks are important!  I try to keep my lunch break to around 20-30 minutes.  Just long enough to sit down at the table with a TV show or a book. Or sometimes I just sit and eat in silence for a complete mental break!  I really try to stay off my phone/social media/email during this time.

Turn off the TV and music.

When I first started working from home, I would play through whatever I had on the DVR or listen to music.  While entertaining, I noticed this really affected my productivity.  I was so distracted without even noticing it!  Really sticking to a quiet office has made a big difference and helps me stay focused with a clear mind. 

Do not work on house projects.

I give myself a few minutes to pick up in the mornings before I go in my office but then I'm done until after I shut down for the day.  I had a bad habit in the beginning of trying to clean, do laundry, organize or whatever on this day and it was eating up my time.  I really had to clarify in my mind that it was TIME TO WORK not clean. 

Make sure family & friends know you're working.
This one is HARD.  When people know you're home and more accessible, they want to chat, text, grab lunch, etc.  I really try to put my phone on silent and only check it once per hour to help me stay on task.  This drives Jared crazy though when he needs something lol so I'm going to have to look into the do not disturb setting on the iPhone!  I grab lunch with Jared, family or friends sometimes but I try to keep it to once a month if I can.  Not that I don't enjoy it, it's just that my time is limited on those days!

Hopefully this helps you if you work from home!  It can be a hard adjustment but it has been totally worth it to us!  Since we're still growing our businesses, it's still something we have to financially budget for but we know it will pay off in the long run. It's worth it to sleep more, be less stressed and have the ability to really push our businesses forward.


  1. I agree that having a schedule is key! And making a to do list! It's hard for me to not want to clean since everything is open and I can't go shut a door to an office to block it out, but hey, I guess that is just motivation to keep things tidy on the regular!

  2. I dont get to work from home that often, but when I do I really love how much I get accomplished by having the TV off and just being focused. I think the schedule is so important! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston