Tips For Staying Sane When Working From Home

Many often dream about working from home and being location independent. You can create your own schedule, wear pajamas (this is a huge positive, right?!), be in control, and so on. Being able to work from home and/or be location independent can be a great thing. I know this because I’ve been working from home…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 4, 2023

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Work From Home Tips - How To Stay Sane (1)Many often dream about working from home and being location independent.

You can create your own schedule, wear pajamas (this is a huge positive, right?!), be in control, and so on.

Being able to work from home and/or be location independent can be a great thing. I know this because I’ve been working from home for a few years now and I truly love it. I’m actually typing this in my RV while traveling around the country.

However, even with that being said, there are many things a person needs to keep in mind if they want to work from home (or on the road, while traveling, etc.) and that is why I am publishing this post today about my top work from home tips.

I know several people who have tried working from home only to find that they have a hard time getting anything done. While I’m not one of those people (I LOVE working from home), I know there are certain things that may hold you back if you’re not careful.

This is why it’s important to realize that working from home doesn’t mean you are retired.

You still have work that needs to be completed and you still have to earn a living. Cutting out your commute, being able to wear your pajamas on certain days, and being your own boss all may seem like great positives, but you have to remember that you still have a job.

Here are my work from home tips and some of the many ways you can stay sane.

 

Stick to a work schedule.

For the first of my work from home tips, I highly recommend creating some sort of work schedule.

Even if you can have the most flexible schedule in the world, it’s usually wise to still have somewhat of a work schedule. This way you can mentally get into the “work zone” each day and have fewer distractions.

Related: Check out my monthly online income reports where I show you how I make over $30,000 a month online!

 

Have a dedicated work area.

Similar to sticking to a work schedule, having a dedicated work area can help you work better due to the fact that you will be in a spot in your home that is used just for work.

This can help you separate work and life, be more organized, and get in the zone each day.

Related: How To Be More Productive: 17 Tips To Help You Live A Better Life

 

Exercise regularly.

When working from home, it can be quite easy to sit in one spot ALL day long.

Unlike with going to work where you may have to walk into work, walk to someone’s desk, and so on, you may find yourself getting a lot less movement in your day when you work from home.

By exercising regularly, you can stay healthy, refresh yourself, and clear your mind.

 

Hire help if you need it.

Outsourcing work can help you focus more on tasks that you need to complete, find “experts” who can do certain tasks better than you (such as accounting or legal work), manage a better work-life balance, and more.

You don’t have to only hire help for your work either. You can hire help for both work and home life. This could mean finding a virtual assistant, a nanny, a housekeeper, and so on.

 

Cut out distractions.

While social media and TV may be great at times, you have to be careful so that it’s not impacting your work in a negative way.

Working from home means that no one is watching over your shoulder, which may lead to you being more distracted. Due to this, it’s always a good idea to cut out things such as social media, TV, and so on while you are working so that you can be more efficient with your time.

 

Socialize with others.

Working from home can sometimes make a person feel a little lonely. You don’t have the normal socialization that you may receive when you go into an office, which may make a person feel like they are cut off from the world.

There are still many ways to socialize with others. You could join a club, hang out with friends, call coworkers, or even work in a shared space with small business owners.

 

Don’t run errands for others all day long.

There’s a common myth that people who work from home don’t actually do anything all day. This sometimes leads to friends and family members asking for favors from those who work from home.

Many of my online work friends are constantly asked to babysit, run errands, and so on from others. While the occasional favor may not be so bad, of course, usually favors of those who work from home start with “I know you have nothing to do today so will you…”

If you have the time and you want to, by all means say yes to every favor. But, I believe you need to be realistic and this is one of my important work from home tips. Running errands all day for others can prevent you from completing work and it can also cost you money.

 

Take breaks.

This may not apply to all work from home jobs, but for many working from home means that you may have somewhat of a flexible schedule. So, as long as you get your work done, you can most likely take any breaks that you think you deserve or need.

This is something I highly recommend everyone who works from home do.

A break can help you feel more refreshed so that you can work better. Whenever I am feeling stuck with work, I always take a break and that almost always helps.

 

Have fun.

In the end, you need to remember to have fun and this is one of my top work from home tips.

Spend more time with your family, be successful with your career choice, do things that you’ve always wanted to do, and more.

How do you stay sane and get work done when working from home? What are your top work from home tips?


Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Starting the day with some exercise is great, otherwise I find some days I don’t even leave the house. I like to walk/jog/cycle outside to get some fresh air. I use that time to mentally plan my day and find I’m much more productive because of it.

    1. Stockbeard

      Agreed Emma. Plus there are many studies showing that starting with some exercise is a good way to get focused for the rest of the day.

      1. I need to work on starting the day with exercise. I usually start by working from my bed!

  2. Sophie

    These are all so incredibly spot on. It admittedly took a couple of years of working from home to get really productive all the time. One other thing that really helped was getting super in tune with how I feel and honouring those days where I genuinely need a break whether for an hour or for the day. That made me so much more willing to be dedicated and productive the rest of the time.

  3. I can’t have any distractions around me when I am working from home and setting a schedule is key for me to actually get stuff done. Great tips! Starting the day but getting up and ready always helps me prepare for work time.

  4. Great points, especially about socializing, but also knowing when to say to know to others’ requests. I know this was hard for me to balance when I was working from home.

  5. Hannah

    I work from home, and I find that the best thing for me is to develop a schedule that maximizes my productivity. My freelance work happens in the morning, then a break with my husband and son before I transition into my regular job. I try do my regular job in two intensive increments to maximize flow and minimize distraction. Usually this yields great results.

  6. The dedicated work area is huge. I work from home only very occasionally, but when I do, if I try to set up in the main living areas of our house, I find I’m vastly less productive compared to if I head down to the office area that we have set up.

  7. Since I work at home full-time for someone else, I take frequent breaks throughout the day after I’ve reached certain work milestones. I process claims so for instance, I’ll make a goal of being half-way complete with my overall workload for the day before I take a longer break. In order to take a break for blogging, etc. I have to hit certain personal work goals as well. It works out and I’m able to complete the amount of work I’m supposed to do before I stop working for the day. I’m occasionally able to get other things done as well. I’m hoping today will be one of them:)

  8. I don’t work from home, but I can see how having a dedicated work space is important!

  9. I’ve been working from home for almost three years now and that’s a really good list.

    Setting expectations with my wife was one thing I didn’t expect going into it. When she was stay-at-home mom, she would come through and ask me to help her with things throughout the day. Then, when she went back to working part time she would expect household chores to get done while she was gone. It was hard to balance since I wanted to help out, but eventually we settled on a schedule of ‘office’ time that doesn’t get interrupted.

  10. Sarah

    This is a great list. I still need to find a dedicated work zone for myself. I set up a small desk in our bedroom but typically the laundry piles and huge bins of unfinished craft projects are way too distracting. I also really need to work on making a work schedule. I’ve tried a few different things but with two kids, age four and under, it makes it really tough. Somebody wet the bed or needs a snack, or goodness knows what else.

    1. Yes, I bet that makes it tough!

  11. Sticking to a schedule and getting regular exercise have been huge for me. I think it’s also important to have realistic expectations. For example, I no longer expect to get anything done during my daughter’s waking hours! Trying to work with her in the office with me was a recipe for disaster and frustration every time. Once I gave up the idea of getting anything done then, it went much better. I also started working early in the morning before she gets up, at night after she goes to bed, and of course naptime!!

  12. This is a goal my wife & I wanting to accomplish as well. Or even being able to work a job outside the home that requires fewer hours is awesome too. Sticking to a schedule and not getting distracted by social media or errands is a biggee.

    There are periods of non-productivity with having a regular 9-5 job too, but at least you know you will be paid still.

    1. Yes! That’s what makes it so different when it comes to working from home and working a regular 9-5.

  13. Luis Rodriguez

    I recently started working from home and maintain some semblance of a schedule and routine. Fortunately I don’t have many distractions which is a blessing.
    The most challenging part for me right now is the socializing. I’m not getting out much except to go running.

    1. Get out and socialize ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Megan

      Luis I’ve been working from home as a satellite employee for over 2 years and I actually bartend 2 days each week for fun and also to have my socializing time and feel less isolated. Plus the extra cash is a nice bonus. ๐Ÿ™‚ Finding a service industry job is surprisingly easy and many restaurants don’t require previous experience.

      1. Luis Rodriguez

        Thank you Megan. I appreciate your comment and it does give me something to consider.

  14. When I was working from home full time, people started asking me to run errands for them for their “emergencies”. I was asked to house sit, go to the post office, talk to their house contractor! They even got mad at me when I refused. But one has to be strong with this and especially temptations. This is a very real list that happens!

    1. Yes, it’s crazy how “okay” some people think it is to ask for so many errands.

  15. Krystal

    I don’t work from home, but this is a desire of mine. My concern though — as silly as this sounds — is dealing with my cat begging all day to either go outside or eat!

    1. Haha my dogs beg a lot now that I work from home.

  16. Jack

    Spot on with the exercise comment. Last time I was taking some time off, I kept my gym membership.

    I could have canceled it and saved the money and worked out at home. But when you’re working from home, having a place to spend time outside the home on a regular basis is more important than ever.

  17. I usually only work from home one day a week or so, but can see how doing it every day could post some challenges. I make sure to get up and take a walk throughout the day. Exercise is crucial. And make sure to talk to actual humans once work is done ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, exercise is so important!

  18. Diana

    Michelle, I really liked this article because I could relate to it. In a way, I will admit after working as an employee for a large practice, then a large law firm, and finally a contractor for a well-known company. I finally realized I am not a morning person, I rather be outside during the day to explore and travel, interact with other people instead of being in a cubicle all day, and my health as gone down hill after my accident. Hence why I’m trying to figure out what do I love to do so I can consider it full time and have a flexible schedule so I can enjoy going for a hike during the day or travel, and spending time with my future dog.

    Thanks for these wonderful tips! It should help me how to stay focus on while writing my blog, too.

  19. Amy @ DebtGal

    These all make a lot of sense. Not snacking all day would be the biggest challenge for me!

  20. Mr Hairy

    If you have kids, find ways to keep them distracted. Nothing kills productivity like hearing “I’m sooooooo bored” every five minutes.

  21. Absolutely agree I tend to have a scheme for my day job, my side hustles taking planned breaks or I would became really stressed!

  22. Barb

    Hi,
    I found your site last week and have been busy reviewing all the posts and information that I can from it. I have just started my own blog and was interested in how others got their start. When I ran across yours, of course I was interested in learning everything I possibly could about starting out and growing. I didn’t start it as a business, I just felt like I wanted to reach out to anyone out there, I have been more or less stuck at home for the past couple of years due to an illness and have wanted to find an outlet but I had never considered blogging until a couple of weeks ago. I do not know if I have anything to say that others would like to hear but I thought I would give it a shot. If you get a chance please stop by and see what you think, I would be very grateful for any kind of criticism or suggestions you may have.

    1. Hello Barb!

      I always highly recommend that a blog be on WordPress. You can find out more here – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2013/02/blogger-or-wordpress-tips-on-how-to-move.html

      1. Barb

        Hi Michelle,

        I took your advice and moved over to WordPress. Thank you for replying it was much appreciated. Oh, and by the way, the new blog is 24bas10.wordpress.com, if you have a moment take a look, there is only one post for now, but I am going to try and blog on Tuesday and Fridays.
        I don’t have aa particular direction just yet, but I’m hoping I will find a direction once I get going. Once again, thank you for the info and Merry Christmas.

        1. Unfortunately, you still are not on the correct version on WordPress. Like I said in the post, I highly recommend switching to paid WordPress.

          1. Barb

            Sorry I had just realized my mistake and was busy setting up the paid site. So the domain name is 24bas10.com. Again, thank you for getting back to me

            1. Awesome! So, you are self-hosted now?

  23. Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver

    I work full time and work on my side hustles in the evening. My 9-5 keeps me in check (I only have a small window of time to devote to side hustling!), so I do wonder what it would be like if I didn’t have that giving my schedule structure. Great tips!

  24. Distractions are one of the things that I’m worried about. I have a slight problem with checking social media too much. I have to nip that in the bud.

    1. I have that problem too. It’s tough!

  25. My work from home situation is a little unique because it’s still for someone else on a specific work schedule. So that helps. I have to get up and get through the first slew of emails. Once I’m caught up, then I can start goofing off a bit on social media.

    The main impediment to my concentration is that my husband is home all day too. And gets bored easily. It took years to get him to the point that he’ll give me quiet time during that first set of emails. And he still grumbles a bit.

    1. I know exactly what you mean!

  26. Working from home is good because it allows bloggers and content marketers to have a piece of mind when writing unique content from scratch in a peaceful atmosphere. Like you mentioned indirectly, working from home can allegedly create laziness, because you set your own hours and do as you please. Working from home requires discipline because you’re not on someone else’s schedule in terms of working for them and not having a pension plan intact. Cardio and exercise is “the transformation work from home solution,” because cardio, exercise, and good solid nutrition will keep work at home professionals inspired toward “making healthy transformational changes.”

  27. Michelle,

    Exercising is the elixir for overcoming many health-related ailments. It’s so easy to not do it. A person has to want to do it and desire a healthier lifestyle, because working from home is making some people lazy.

  28. What has worked for me is that I start early in the morning to work on my side hustle and it is scheduled. It feels great that I am able to start and finish early so that I have the rest of my days for family, exercise, and some other activities I love doing such as playing badminton.