How to Productively Work from Home Even If You’re Not a Morning Person
Self-awareness is important. One fact that I’ve come to terms with about myself is that I’m not a morning person. I love staying up until very late at night. But for some reason, late at night is not when I’m most creative or productive. The earlier I can get into the working groove, the more productive I am during the day. If you’re also not a morning person, here are some tactics that I use to get the most of my mornings:
Schedule Afternoon Appointments
Working from home means that you’re only accountable to yourself. Getting out of bed and showing up each morning can be difficult for even the most responsible workers. I’ve found that setting up afternoon appointments is a huge way to overcome late starts in the morning.
Having afternoon conference calls and in-person meetings with clients or partners gives you a reason to stop pressing the snooze button. It pushes you to cross to-dos off your list in the morning before you have appointments. Procrastination tends to happen when you feel there is unlimited time to do what you need to do.
Don’t Rely on Your Biological Clock
I used to wake up whenever my body wanted to at first when I started working from home. This is a mistake until your body gets comfortable with a routine. Working from home is still working. Doing so without a plan can lead to disorganization and a lack of productivity.
Set the alarm in the morning until you fall into a workflow where you wake up at a reasonable time on your own. Also, take a shower and get dressed like it’s a regular workday at a corporate job. Working in your pajamas is cool in theory, but it can make you feel a little bit too comfortable.
Find a Place to Work Other Than Your Bed
Have you ever woke up early and put hours of “work” in, but realized that you haven’t had much actual work output? I can relate. Try harder to separate your workspace from your sleeping space when this happens. Your bed and couch are for relaxing and sleeping.
When you’re working from bed, it’s easy to get distracted by things that you do when preparing for sleep like watching Netflix, scanning horoscopes, or checking Facebook.
If you don’t have a dedicated office, work from your kitchen table, head out to a coffee shop, or sign up for a co-working space. Get access to the clubroom or computer room if you live in an apartment or condo complex. Setting boundaries can also help with work-life balance.
Test and Retest Routines Until Something Sticks
Listen to your body and understand your patterns. What does it take for you to wake up in the morning earlier? Do you need to fall asleep at a reasonable hour? Do you need to wake up, drink coffee, and meditate for at least an hour to fully wake up before doing work?
For me, waking up, drinking tea, listening to an inspirational podcast or video, and then taking a walk outside helps me wake up fully so I can be productive during the day. Figure out what works best for you and rock with it.
Adjusting into working from home can be difficult if you’re not a morning person. You may have been excited to work from home because you can technically sleep in all day. Be careful here. A lot of quality work can get done in the morning. Many successful people have morning routines that start quite early as well.
I’m a fellow non-morning person so I understand the struggle. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Work on making small adjustments so you can begin to use your morning hours wisely.