Time Management Tips For Working At Home: 5 Best Practices

Are you able to work from home? How difficult is it for you to follow some time management tips for working at home?

As a result, you may find it challenging to focus on your most important tasks.


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Best practices while working from home

Remote work can be rewarding, but it’s not easy to do all the time. This post will go over a couple of methods I learned when trying it out for a week.

  1. Don’t Start Work After Waking Up
  2. Listen To Background Noise
  3. Setting Up Your Best Physical Workspace
  4. Remember To Take Breaks
  5. Dress For Success At Home
Time management tips for working at home: This post goes over some helpful tips for working from home.

Don’t start work after waking up

In previous years, one thing I used to do would be check email after waking up. It gave me something to do in my first waking hour or so, but I didn’t get any real work done. 

For those working from home, starting a job right away is something they often do. One reason could be needing to fill in time in place of commuting. Although it can be an advantage, there are other things you can do in your first waking minutes or hours.

Best tips for working at home: It's not to check email right after waking up. I believe it's much better to hold off on it until later in the day.

My activities

I spent my first two waking hours doing non-related work activities. After getting dressed and making the bed, I practiced meditation for about 15 minutes each morning. 

Meditating is so beneficial that it helps me relax and clears my mind before continuing my day. After that, I’ll write down three priorities that I need to get done that day.

Sometimes, doing these initial activities before working can help set your day up for success. Now your activities don’t have to be like mine. For some people, going to the gym first thing is the best way to kick off their day. 

You might want to read a book after waking up or take your dog for a walk. Anything other than work (i.e., checking email) will benefit the start of your day after waking up.

Some people may think to themselves, “It doesn’t matter where I want to work around the house. I’ll work on my bed!” But if you’re like me, you can’t work in a spot that’s too comfortable. So, if you have a home office that includes a big desk, use that as your primary workspace.

Eric T. Seil (Site owner of notimekillers.com)

Listen to background noise

This practice may vary for some people, but it can help to remain focused. Unlike at a typical office, the noise level can be low-moderate (i.e., people talking, music playing). 

But if you don’t work well in dead silence, you’ll want to have some noise. When working at home, it can be tranquil. 

Or you take advantage of playing music or listening to a podcast. As long as it’s not distracting, it can help if listening to music is your thing.

What I use for background noise

For me, I’m someone who can easily get distracted. Whether it’s people moving around or loud music playing, it doesn’t help me one way or the other. 

What I did was listen to music that helped me stay focused. I used a music app, such as brain.fm. It’s a music app designed for your needs and helps improve your concentration. 

Best tips for working at home: Brain.fm is a great app for listening to focus music. It helps stay focused when I need to work.

Brain.fm uses science and research to learn how music helps improve mood and productivity levels. From what I’ve tried out, Brain.fm has helped me stay focused on getting things done around the house.

Setting up your best physical workspace

When working from home, you want to find the best spot to work. Some people may think, “It doesn’t matter where I want to work around the house. I’ll work on my bed!” 

But if you’re like me, you can’t work in a spot that’s too comfortable. So if you have a home office that includes a big desk, use that as your primary workspace. 

Best tips for working at home: Having a nice space to work at home matters. A home office dedicated to your work will help you stay focused.

Where I work in my apartment

So I have two areas I utilize for work. The first one is an ergonomic standing desk where I keep myself active. The second one is a shorter desk around the corner. 

My primary desk gives me more room to spread out any notes I have. I go back and forth between the two, and both of them work well. It’s nice that I get to rotate between sitting at my desk or standing if I don’t want to sit.

Remember to take breaks

It may sound easy to take breaks working at home. But you could end up working for 3-5 hours straight without leaving your desk. 

If you’re working at the office, breaks become common if distractions surround you. Whether that’s chatting with a co-worker or going to the break/lounge area, there are plenty of moments where you can take a brief break. While working at home with no distractions, there are times when you forget to take breaks when needed.

How I schedule my breaks

When I worked at home last week, I set reminders to take breaks when needed. I have a little timer app installed on my laptop. 

When I put the timer, I’m aware of pausing within an hour after work. Some days, I tried the Pomodoro technique, where I worked in 25-minute time blocks, followed by 5-minute breaks. 

It was a struggle the first time around, but I found myself getting more done than usual. As long as I schedule my break periods, I knew I would keep myself productive at home.

Dress for success at home

Knowing what you wear at home can make a difference. Dressing up at home as you would in the office has some benefits. 

Yes, it’s tempting to want to work in your pajamas. But the goal is not to be super comfortable while working. 

Sure, you want to relax and have a little comfort, but being uncomfortable at work can make you more productive sometimes. There’s a common saying that if you work from home, dress as you would going into the office.

Best tips for working at home: It's a good idea to dress up at home, as you would going into the office.

My experience 

I have to say I was relieved but struggled with the idea of dressing up. I’m glad I didn’t have to wear a business casual outfit (or wear a suit at home). 

When I was used to making the old habit of not dressing up, I felt less productive somehow. So even though I was not obligated to dress appropriately at home, it has its upsides and downsides. 

Although I thought it was a good lesson learned! If I work from home down the road, I’ll make my best effort to dress as I would at the office.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “How To Start Your Workday: 5 Things To Avoid When Possible“, to get your day off on the right track. Seriously, they can help you a lot.

Final Words

Overall, my little self-experiment working at home was beneficial. I figured with being off work the past week. 

I use my time to understand what it would be like to work remotely. I learned a lot, and not as easy as I thought it would be. 

Your TurnWhich tips work best for you working at home?

I would like to get your thoughts on this topic. Which of the practices would you consider trying? Are there any tips you use if you work from home?

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts. I am looking forward to hearing your feedback, and I will be happy to respond.

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Eric is a content writer and the site owner of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can follow Eric on LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

4 thoughts on “Time Management Tips For Working At Home: 5 Best Practices”

  1. Hey Eric,

    I have to say you have a very useful topic in this current state we are in. I am in an industry that requires me to be present but has had a few close calls with following the CDC guidelines when dealing with Covid. I did have to work from home a few weeks out of the last year and a half. 

    I agree with most of what you said. I find it better for me to have a designated area set up and the tools you need to perform. Mine was set up on the fly and got me through but was nothing like my station at work. 

    What I disagree with is getting started when you wake up. I find myself being more focused and able to complete my work if I just get up and get started. Once I am sidetracked I end up on a different project. It is nice to be able to take a break when needed and care for my pups throughout the day though. 

    I have picked up a few tips I will be working on from this reading. 

    Thanks for that


    • Hi Chad,

      With remote work being more common these days, people need to find ways to be productive working at home. It’s not easy- it was a rough transition for a lot of people in 2020. But adjusting overtime, it gets easier.

      I like your takeaway on starting work right away. It hasn’t been my thing, but it differs for a lot of people. So your perspective will help out readers with their remote work practices.

      I’m glad to know you’ll use some of these tips. I sure they’ll be helpful.

      Thank you for sharing- it’s much appreciated!

  2. Hi Eric, 

    Thanks for the post on your thoughts on working from home. There certainly are plenty of people doing it recently. 

    I like to get dressed for work at the beginning of the day, have breakfast, and then settle into work. I have an app that I set up to go off periodically to remind me to take breaks. 

    It is true that sometimes you can get so engrossed in your work that it is hard to stop. A standing desk would definitely be more ergonomically efficient!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      When don’t want to stop working, it can be very challenging sometimes. I’ve been through it many times when I’m doing deep work sessions.

      However, I know it’s necessary to stop and needing to take breaks. There are times where you need to recharge and refreshen your mind. It’s why I like using the Pomodoro technique– it helps with working on short periods of work.

      What you do during your day is spot on. It sounds like you have a nice set of daily activities to get through your day smoothly. So I say keep up with it!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- it’s very much appreciated.


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