Working and writing from home sounds like a dream come true …until a whole day goes by and you realize you wrote nothing.
All that ‘extra time’ wasn’t so extra after all.
Don’t kick yourself too hard
…things are crazy, emotional, and ever-changing. You deserve time to be sad, work through things, and adjust to these temporary, but ongoing changes to life.
Regroup. That, my friends, takes time.
When, and only when, you’re ready to get things back up to speed, go ahead and use the tips and tricks below to get your days back on track.
Attention – Basics Ahead!
Yes, for a lot of you, this is going to sound basic, but that’s by design.
I’ve seen a lot of posts and emails full of advanced techniques on being more productive at home, but if you’ve never worked from home, it’s best to start with the basics.
Remember, these are basic, so if you’ve got this, you’ve got this. If you don’t, give some of these a try.
How to Write While You’re Stuck At Home
I’m writing this from home, of course, because that’s the smart move these days, but I miss my coffee house writing more than almost anything else.
I make better coffee at home, but I write best in public, surrounded by people who are there, but not talking to me. 😉
I’ve been working and writing from home for years now, but for many of you, this is new, so I thought I’d give you a few tips that I’ve found helpful to keep me working, writing, and productive.
1. Enjoy working in your pajamas, but only if you find yourself actually getting work done
I know, it’s the dream, but it doesn’t always work out to be a good dream. For some, especially at first, too-casual dress can lead to a too-casual attitude about writing.
You might be doing fine in jammies, but if you think you can do better (i.e., write more), but aren’t, try putting on some ‘Casual Friday’ clothes on for a few days and see if it makes a difference in your word count or productivity. You might be surprised.
FYI, you can still brag about writing in your jammies on social media. No one has to know you put pants on.
2. Use your former commute time wisely
Most of us have to drive, cycle, or take mass transit to work, but now your alarm goes off, and your commute is from your bed to the kitchen. That’s 30 seconds, not 30 minutes.
That 30 minutes is the free writing time you’ve always wanted as an author, right?
It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes before and after work, either. You can rearrange your schedule to use that time wisely. You have a free HOUR to write whenever you can fit it in.
3. If you don’t use a calendar, maybe try using a calendar
I was a printing and publishing specialist and consultant for over 25 years, which meant meetings and schedules, so a calendar has always been part of my adult work life. Even working for myself, it means I don’t miss calling clients, have time for my family, and always have time to get things done.
I’m still surprised when people tell me they don’t use a calendar. To some people, it’s like a badge of honor not to be ‘tied down,’ but you know what else is a badge of honor? Not missing important meetings, webinars, and opportunities to write your book!
Look, you don’t have to put everything down in your calendar, but it can really help, especially when things are new, crazy, and when you’re trying to maximize the time you have available.
4. Schedule your work and writing time
People who work at home can get sucked in to always working, but you’ve got multiple jobs, and one of them is writing. Schedule it. and protect that time, just like you would your day job time. Maybe more.
To start, free calendars like Google Calendar can sync with your phone, send an email or pop-up notification to your desktop and mobile, and chime and vibrate when something important is about to happen in your life.
What’s the most important thing to put on your calendar? Writing time. Block it out, protect it, and put it on repeat.
5. Only change if you need to change, but don’t fool yourself that you can’t also do better
We can all fall into the trap of assuming we’re ‘doing fine’ when we might be able to do better with just a few small changes.
Many of my clients think they’re very productive until they track their time and realize they waste hours of potential writing time scrambling to make deadlines they should have known about, overslept, or spent too much time on social media.
Am I the only one who thinks this guy looks like Nick Stephenson? It’s not…
Take an honest look at how you spend your time, for at least one workweek.
If you look back and see gaps you don’t even remember, or lots of wasted time that you could have used for writing, see if a few of these tips can help.
Now, what’s your best tip for ME?
A lot of you are consistent and prolific writers, and I’d love to know what helps you stay that way.
What’s your best tip for keeping yourself writing and productive at home?
Hey, maybe your tip will make it into my next book!