8 Tips To Stay Sane While Working From Home

Working at home sounds like a dream come true for most people. I have been working at home for several years now and I do love the convenience of it. However, I’ve heard from others that they were surprised at some of the challenges that it raises, too. You may save an hour from not having to commute, but the convenience of being surrounded by distractions can take up that extra time if you aren’t careful. Here are my top tips for keeping your sanity while working from home.

tips for keeping your sanity while working from home

  1. Have a morning routine to help wake you up. I used to just try to walk out of the bedroom and sit down to work. I found that I was still only half-awake. Now I try to eat breakfast, get dressed, and take my dogs out before starting to work. It helps wake me up when I have a full morning routine.
  2. Set hours for your schedule. The ability to theoretically work at 11pm at night is really nice, but working late into the evening because you didn’t get enough done earlier in the day is not fun. Creating specific work hours helps me to ensure that I am not working right up until bed time.
  3. Create a weekly schedule. The freedom of not being required to do any task at any given time is nice. However, if I just wing it, I tend to put off my least favorite tasks for too long. I have a weekly schedule so I know what I am doing each Wednesday, for example. Plus, I have a scheduled time to do that task that I dislike so I can’t push it off to infinity.
  4. Limit visitors during work hours. When your friends and family members know that you’re home, they may think that means you can be their full time babysitter, or that they can stop over whenever they are free. If this becomes a frequent problem you may have to create boundaries to ensure that other people aren’t soaking up your work time!
  5. Limit distractions. Pay attention to whether having music or TV in the background helps or hurts your productivity. For me, having music playing to tune out outside noise helps, but TV can suck me in so I leave that off. Chewing gum can help me focus more too. Learn what works for you and do what you can to limit distractions and stay focused.
  6. Try to get back to work quickly after getting distracted. If someone important calls, it’s easy to then laze about a bit before jumping back to working. I try to be conscious of getting back to work as soon as possible after distractions occur so that I don’t fall further behind than is necessary.
  7. Reschedule when it’s too much. Yes, this is the opposite advice from #7! However, on days when there is just one thing after another being thrown at me, I just give up sometimes. I find a way to work that days to-do list into days in the future. I often do this when babysitting. I only babysit 1-2 days a month, so I don’t feel comfortable with making them entertain themselves for what little time I have them. On babysitting days, I just make up my mind to not bother trying to work while the kids are here.
  8. Track expenses and receipts. Whether you are a business owner, contracted employee or are a traditional employee who is working from home, your home-office related expenses will factor in somehow. If you work online, keep track of your internet bills, for example. I keep a ziploc where I store physical receipts, and an email folder where I store online receipts, so that they are easy to find at tax time.

Do you work from home? How do you avoid distractions and stay on track?

Hi there! I am Emily Evert, the owner of Emily Reviews. I am 25 and live in a small town in Michigan with my boyfriend Ryan and our two pugs. I have a large family and I adore my nieces and nephews. I am a calorie counter who loves soda. I budget to save money so I can spend it on my dogs. I love reading memoirs, and learning about child development and psychology. I love watching The Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, Sister Wives and Veep. I like listening to Jason Isbell, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and Blue October. I created Emily Reviews as a creative outlet to share my life and the products that I love with others.

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This post currently has 11 responses.

  • Jeanine Carlson

    My worst problem is the hubby. He tends to think my time isn’t important and he should be able to control it. It’s hard to get him to leave me be when I’m trying to focus on something but I just can’t focus and have a meaningful conversation with him at the same time. And I don’t think it’s fair to nod every once in a while and mumble a non commital mmm-hmmm, yeah either.

  • Peggy Nunn

    I did work at home with company. My husband was nice about not interrupting because I was working and on messenger all the time. Now i am retired but still have things to do for each morning on the computer. He doesn’t have an issue talking to me all the time now. You just have to have people realize… working is working… no where you are sitting.

  • Lauryn R

    I basically work from home (husband owns his own business and I’m his secretary) so I know the difficulties. I also take care of our three kids (8,4, and 3), which makes it even harder on me. Figuring out the best methods to make the most of my time really helps me keep my sanity. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this.

  • Amber Ludwig

    SUCH great suggestions!! I can only imagine trying to work from home!! Home is such a comfort space for me that I think it would be so super hard!! This is a great way to separate home life from working.

  • gloria patterson

    You did not mention anything about working from home with kids.

    A company I worked for was thinking about doing that and we were all asked to submit ideas and problems we saw.

    • It’s an interesting topic for sure! I imagine that people who try to work at home with kids (particularly ones that aren’t yet of school-age) could use tips and advice. I don’t have children of my own though so it’s not something I’m really qualified to give advice on unfortunately.

  • Esperanza Gailliard

    I have worked from home for years and I run a homeschool online. I think it is the best thing I have ever done in my life!

  • Mary Gardner

    These are great suggestions. I especially can relate to people dropping by or asking for babysitting because they know you are home.

  • Dorothy Boucher

    WOW! These are super great advice. I know its so important for me or anyone to stay on track and not deviate from what needs to be done.

  • Marilyn Nawara

    I’ve worked from home for the past 15 years and love it. Having a dedicated office with a door and set business hours is a must. It took a few years to for everyone to understand that I wasn’t available for calls, visits or babysitting.

  • katie

    These are great tips! My husband works from home but I’ll share these with him to see if there’s anything we can do to help his work schedule.

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