I think all developers can agree - and probably most of the reason that we get into this type of work - is the potenial for working from our homes full-time and making a decent income. Arguably this type of work environment can be more challenging if you do not make great strides to ensure you keep your productivity a top priority during certain hours of the day.
As we have heard before, with great power comes great responsibility... so as someone who works from home and has quite a few remote jobs and positions, here is my top 5 tips for keeping yourself in check and being as productive as possible while you're working from home.
1. Do not sleep in.
I get it - some of us are morning people and some of us are not. Personally, I am the furthest thing from a morning person you could probably imagine. I tend to have trouble going to bed at a decent hour so I get enough sleep, so I definitely have to put more effort than some to ensure I can begin my day as comfortably early as possible.
A few things that you can do the moment you get up are...
- Hit the gym. I know this sounds terrible, but if you're consistent and stick with it, you'll have more energy throughout the day and overall be more productive.
- Have a nice breakfast. I used to not eat breakfast at all, or have one that was pretty half-ass. My best mornings always include an awesome breakfast during a large window of time where I can actually sit and enjoy it.
- Go sit in the sun! I have heard this from a doctor in the past. If you have trouble getting moving in the morning, head outside with your cup of coffee and sit in the bright, warm sun. The natural light will help energize your body, your mind, you'll very quickly feel more awake.
2. Shower and dress as early as possible.
Now I'm going to preface this by saying you don't have to do this every single day. I mean, sometimes we have those rainy days and it's just great to stay in your PJs and work near the fireplace while watching the snow fall outside... that's great.
My point is, this shouldn't be done every day. I used to be bad with this, so I can personally say it's a great way to feel more "official" with your work day. Take a hot shower, shape your beard, and put on a nice set of clothes. After all, once your morning block of work is complete you'll want to go out for a quick bite at the local cafe, so you'll already be dressed.
3. Have a dedicated space for work.
This may sound obvious, but a lot of my fellow freelancers just seem to slouch on the couch and work from the coffee table. I recommend against this. Not only does this not count as a workspace according to the IRS, but it's better to have a dedicated corner (or better yet, a room) which is a distraction free environment that encourages productivity.
4. Have a strict time when your workday ends.
Probably the most important tip here. I am super guilty of this. Definitely pick a time where your work day officially ends. Try not to work past that time or even late in the evening and into the night. I get it, there will be nights where a project needs more time and you are working remote with another team and blah-blah-blah... but that isn't the point I'm making. It's all about keeping things consistent for the most part, so pick a time where you quit working and stick with it. This is good for your mental health and will probably keep your girlfriend or wife happy as well.
5. Enjoy it, but don't take it for granted.
Make sure to enjoy it! This is after all, the gold-standard of all developer gigs. Always remember this is something a lot of people admire and also dream of doing, so be sure to keep yourself disciplined, on point with your work, and most importantly...stay trustworthy.