5 Tips to Be Productive While Working from Home

If you are a photographer, there is a strong possibility that you do a fair amount of work from home. With such an abundance of media and devices fighting for your attention, it can be a struggle to stay productive. Use the following tips to help you stay efficient so you can get out of your house and have a life!

Get a Routine 

Setting yourself into a routine is the most important tip I can give you. They say it takes 21 days to break habits, even the hard ones. Do this by first, setting your alarm and getting up at a decent hour. You’ll never feel productive if you’re sleeping until noon everyday, half the day is burnt while you’re getting beauty sleep. Once you’ve dragged yourself out of bed, get ready for the day; dressing like you are going to work can make you feel like you are going to accomplish something. Make sure to grab some breakfast too, you’ll need fuel to keep yourself focused. Throwing some exercise in your day is also a great way to blow off steam and burn that energy that builds up sitting on a computer all day. 

Remember, You Do It ALL

When you’re working from home, you’re probably the sole employee. If that’s the case, remember: you’re the janitor, the marketing team, customer service, the IT person, and oh yeah- the photographer and retoucher. Make yourself a schedule to fill those duties, or you may end up neglecting the less desirable, but equally important, tasks. Also, make sure to try to fit in some scheduled breaks to get up from your chair, getting your blood moving, keeps your brain happy. The bonus to walking away from an edit for ten minutes, is a fresh look at it when you return. I use the dead simple, BreakTime app, to ensure I get up every once in awhile. 

Stay Away from Social Media

We all know how big of a time-suck social media can be, and most of us actually use it for marketing, which blurs the lines of work/play. Set time to do your social media work, but don’t do personal facebooking until one of your breaks.  If you have trouble staying away, like myself, you should try a timer app that will lock you out of the website for a predetermined period of time. Extensions like Facebook Nanny and Stay Focused can restrict your access to certain websites during specified hours of the day. 

Find a Great Task Manager

I’ve tested dozens of task manager apps to try and keep my head on straight. There is a plethora of options, each with their own pros and cons. You’ll be able to find one to suite your needs without much trouble. I’m always looking for something new and amazing that syncs across my computer and mobile devices, but surprisingly enough, the option I keep going back to is the most elementary: the ol’ trusty white board on the wall. While my apps keep all my tasks neat and synced, they are easily ignored. The whiteboard above my desk is always glaring down at me disapprovingly when I’m not diligently chipping away at my tasks. 

Make Time for Free Time

For a large amount of you, you actually spend your “free time” doing photography. However, it’s important to give yourself some actual free time. Take a nice drive or go for a walk. I sit on the computer at work for 8 hours a day and come home to process a wedding, but I always make time to watch my favorite show while I eat dinner. When I don’t have something to shoot, I also enjoy finding new places to hike on the weekends. 

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Joao Ferreira's picture

What is the first app?

Kyle Ford's picture

The first photo shown? That's break time.

Joao Ferreira's picture

Thank you Kyle!!

Jennifer Kelley's picture

I find that going somewhere first thing in the morning is a must for me. When I worked from home, 99% of the time I was far more productive on the days I took my son to school. Why? Because I was forced to get up and get moving around. So now on days I work from home, even on the weekends, I find it important to get out of the house first thing whether it's to get coffee or go to the gym. I'd like to think it's because it gets my blood flowing but in reality by the time I get home I'm too awake to want to go back to bed.

Limor Garfinkle's picture

Great article! Very useful info!

Kyle Ford's picture

Thanks so much Limor!

Bhargav Boppa's picture

Thanks for the article Kyle, very helpful. What is the task manager app shown in the photo here

Kyle Ford's picture

Thanks! That's Wunderlist for MacOS. It syncs across all my platforms which is pretty nice.

Michal Sviga's picture

Great article. Break time app is very good. I did not know before. If are you looking for task manager? I compare almost 70 features in 80 todo apps. It is great comparison table with filtering. http://todocompare.com

Paul Tucker's picture

Good read... sadly, I found it while on social media. Ouch... caught red-handed. :)

Kyle Ford's picture

Haha, social media is great, just not when you're trying to get shit done!

Kyle Ford's picture

Yea it's really tough to keep from all the messages flowing in while you're working on your fb page. I actually use Asana at work! Great suggestion.