How to Stay Productive at Home

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

A requirement to stay at home seems like it would be useful for screenwriters. It’s the perfect way to force yourself to finish that script, right? Then why is being productive at home so hard??

We understand! Sometimes having a lot of extra time doesn’t equate to extra productivity. Here are our tips for how you can actually get things done, whether that’s writing, editing, reading or some other kind of planning.

Find a designated work space

Find a space in your house or apartment that can be a work space. We aren’t all lucky enough to have an office or desk, but trying to work in your pajamas in bed might be a recipe for disaster. Simply sitting at a table might help you feel like you’re in work mode and not rest mode. You might also be able to order a desk online even when some stores are closed.

Create some structure

If you carve out specific work time, you won’t be as tempted to put it off or let it merge into just another part of your day. Some creatives try to work for a certain amount of hours; others aim for a goal such as pages written.

You can also try out the Pomodoro technique, which incorporates timed breaks.

Make your bed and put on clean clothes

These might seem like silly suggestions, but studies have shown that people who make their beds are more productive. The reasoning behind this is that you can start your day having already accomplished something. It can also help you focus on work if you’re not surrounded by a mess of things that aren’t done. (That said, you don’t have to scrub the floors until they’re perfect before you get started… that’s called procrastinating!)

Clean clothes can also help you feel like you’re in work mode and not rest mode. I’m not saying you have to put on jeans and a button-up shirt – even clean gym clothes or sweatpants can work. Just don’t sit around all day in the same clothes you slept in!

Set reasonable goals

Many creative people make the mistake of setting impossible goals. Nobody can actually write a screenplay in a week. (Our guide recommends six!) Most creative professionals don’t always sit at a desk working for eight hours straight, either. If you work for two hours a day, five days a week, for a month, you’ll get a lot more done than if you work for eight hours a day and then give up after two days.

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. You don’t have to “win” it. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Use white noise or inspiring music

Miss the white noise of a coffee shop? You can actually hit play on a YouTube video that gives you the same vibe:

Or, if your house or apartment is surrounded by loud noises and neighbors, you can try a video of white noise to drown it out:

If you’re someone who can work while listening to music, that never hurts, either. Lyrics tend to distract me, but classical is always a good backdrop!

What are your tips for staying productive at home? Share them with us in the comments below!

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