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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 11 August 2023
  • Public Relations

How to Stay Productive Working from Home: Strategies to Keep You Going Without Burning Out

Working from home has become increasingly popular in today's business world, as it offers employees the flexibility to stay focused and work on certain tasks without the need to commute to an office.

Work from home productivity

In fact, a study by Stanford University of 16,000 workers over nine months found that working from home increased worker productivity by 13%.

Despite the positive impact remote work has had in terms of business productivity gains and saved commuting time, it isn't without its own set of challenges. For small business owners and many remote workers, it can be hard to stay on top of things and focused when surrounded by everyday distractions.

By implementing some simple work-from-home productivity strategies and practices, however, you can effectively manage your remote work without burning yourself out.

In this blog post, we’ll explore tips on how to manage your work-life balance while maximizing remote work productivity for a better time working from home. Read on for advice that will help you stay productive and successful while making sure you avoid burnout!

Start the day with a plan

The rise in popularity of working from home in the past few years has led many businesses to opt for hybrid and remote work environments. Starting the day with a plan can help remote workers optimize their productivity and make sure they are getting the most out of their work days.

Having a plan can help remote workers prioritize their work tasks and set aside time for virtual meetings and phone calls. It can also provide structure to their remote environment, helping them stay organized and on track with their goals. Planning each day will also give remote workers an opportunity to reflect on what they have accomplished so far and set future goals.

There are many strategies to help you set your days up for success. Here are a few that are especially great for remote teams with multiple employees working from home.

Create a Daily To-Do List

Working from home can be a great way to stay productive, but it can also be challenging to stay on top of all the tasks, assignments and responsibilities that come with it. Creating a daily to-do list is an incredibly powerful tool that can help remote workers make the most of their time and stay organized.

By creating a daily list, remote workers can break down their average day into manageable chunks and prioritize their tasks so they know what needs to be done first. This will help them maximize their productivity and ensure that they are making the most of their time spent working from home.

Not only will this help them stay organized and on top of their work, but it will also provide clarity on what needs to be done each day so they can focus on achieving maximum productivity.

Prioritize Important and Time-Consuming Tasks

Working from home has become the norm for many of us, and it can be a great way to get things done without having to worry about commuting or office politics. However, it is important to prioritize tasks and focus on the most important ones first.

Mark Twain once said that if you have to eat a live frog, do it first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. Remote workers can take inspiration from the famous author and figuratively "eat the frog" when prioritizing their tasks. This will help you stay productive and ensure that you are not wasting time on unnecessary assignments.

Take regular breaks throughout the day

Taking regular breaks throughout the day is essential for both on-site employees and those working remotely. Breaks give us a chance to take a step back from our work, clear our minds, and refresh our energy levels. For on-site workers and those working from home, taking a break in the form of going outside for some fresh air or having informal conversations with colleagues can be beneficial.

Taking breaks also provides an opportunity to reflect on what has been done so far and plan what needs to be done next. It is important to remember that taking breaks does not mean that productivity will suffer; rather, it helps people stay productive by allowing them to recharge.

The Importance of Short Breaks

Working remotely or in an office can be draining and stressful. To stay productive and motivated, it is important to take short breaks from work every hour or two. Taking a 10–15-minute break can allow your brain and eyes to reset and recharge, enabling you to come back more focused and productive.

It's especially important to take short breaks in the morning, as that is when they're most effective.

Short breaks are especially beneficial for remote teams who are constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, calls, texts, etc. Taking regular breaks can help them stay focused on their tasks without feeling exhausted.

The Importance of Longer Breaks

It is just as important to take time for longer breaks. Taking an extended break allows you to rest and nourish your body, which is essential for productivity. It also helps to reduce stress, improve concentration, and keep you motivated.

As more companies embrace hybrid and remote work models, taking longer breaks from work will become increasingly important for all– whether they are in an office or working remotely. By taking regular breaks throughout the day, we can ensure that we remain productive while also taking care of ourselves mentally and physically.

Create an organized workspace

Having an organized workspace or dedicated office space can greatly increase productivity and decrease stress levels. One of the biggest steps in achieving this is decluttering your work area.

This means getting rid of anything that is unused or unnecessary, and finding an appropriate place for everything else. Once your space is decluttered, it is important to maintain its tidiness through consistent cleaning and organization.

This can be achieved through daily routine, such as putting away items after use and wiping down surfaces. Add in a little natural light (if you can) and your remote work productivity has a great chance to shine!

Staying organized will also help minimize physical distractions and allow you to stay productive while working remotely on a daily basis. Moreover, having a workspace designed for work-from-home activities can encourage collaboration, especially when you include the right remote work technology.

Use helpful technology

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, apps that boost productivity and provide motivation have become more accessible than ever before. Whether you're looking to manage your time more efficiently, maintain focus on your tasks at hand or simply stay on top of your goals, there's an app out there that can help you stay productive at home.

From project management tools that break down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps to habit-tracking apps that help you develop better routines, these helpful technologies can provide many benefits.

With just a quick download, you can transform your smartphone into a powerful tool that not only maximizes your potential but motivates you to keep pushing forward.

Top Productivity Apps

Here are a few productivity apps to help you stay on top of your work and avoid burnout.


In today's work environment, an increasing number of office workers are opting for remote work to improve their mental health and productivity. However, the isolation and anxiety that often accompany working from home can prove counterproductive.

Headspace offers a valuable resource for workers looking to manage their emotions and find tranquility. With specially designed guided meditations for listeners, Headspace can provide effective techniques for combating stress and anxiety, ultimately enabling more workers to remain productive. By utilizing this powerful tool, workers can manage stress and anxiety levels even while working from home.

Focus/Work Mode (on iPhones)

With the rise of remote work and the digital age, it has become increasingly difficult to focus and be productive. We are constantly being bombarded with notifications from our phones, leaving us distracted and unable to concentrate on the task at hand. However, if you are an iPhone user, there are a few ways you can help yourself stay focused and be more productive.

Under Settings, go to Focus to set time limits for yourself and to mute notifications, texts and calls to help you stay connected to your responsibilities when working remotely. With these tips in mind, you’ll have no problem continuing to work productively even when away from your office.


Freedom is a productivity tool that cuts out time-wasting distractions to help you be more productive to get more work done. Whether you’re in the office or at home, this app can make sure you don’t get distracted and stay productive during your work hours. The app makes sense for many people, as it freezes all the distracting apps and websites that can prevent them from finishing their daily task list.


Forest is an innovative app that provides a fun and engaging way to increase productivity while helping to make the world a better place. By working with organizations to plant trees and end world hunger, Forest encourages users to focus on their work by providing rewards for sustained periods of productivity. The app also provides users with detailed insights into their productivity habits, giving them the tools they need to make meaningful changes in their daily lives.

Set boundaries between work and leisure

Working remotely can be a great way to stay productive and efficient while still having the freedom to manage your own time. However, it is important to set boundaries between work and leisure in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This can be especially challenging when working from home, where family members, household chores, and other home-life activities can easily interfere with productivity.

Creating an office environment at home is one way to help set boundaries between work and leisure. This will help you focus on the task at hand without all the distractions that come with working from home. Additionally, taking breaks throughout the day and engaging in activities like brainstorming new ideas or going for a walk can help you refresh your mind and body while also providing much-needed mental health benefits.

Practice self-care

As more and more people work remotely there’s a growing need for mental health self-care. It's important for remote workers to be mindful of their working hours and take breaks throughout the day to stay productive. Not only does this help with productivity, but it also helps with overall health.

It’s no secret that most employees worry about their work-life balance. Taking breaks throughout the day and focusing on self-care can help reduce that stress and make you a more productive worker.

Post-Work Self-Care Activities

As the world continues to move toward remote work, it is important for all employees to have a post-work self-care routine. Working from home can be both mentally and physically draining, and it is essential to take some time out for yourself at the end of the day. This could include disconnecting from all your accounts, taking a break from your work, and doing something that relaxes you. Taking this time each day can help you stay productive, motivated and ready for the next.

Here are some self-care activities to consider doing when your work day comes to an end.


Exercising is one of the greatest investments most of us can make for our health and productivity. When we exercise, our glucose, blood, and oxygen levels increase significantly, which helps to boost concentration and inner motivation. It promotes relaxation while keeping us active and alert.

Additionally, exercise has been shown to stimulate the growth of new connections in the brain cells and stimulate brain plasticity.

When workers are feeling exhausted due to long hours worked, exercise becomes an even more important factor in the work-life balance for most employees generally, especially when it comes to improving work-from-home productivity.

Taking time out of a busy schedule to exercise can be beneficial in boosting energy levels, escalating motivation at work, improving concentration span and maximizing overall the performance of those working from home as well as those working in office.

By making an appointment with yourself amid a busy schedule, you will benefit from a boost in energy, motivation at work and improved concentration, resulting in enhanced overall performance. 


Staying productive at home has its challenges when it comes to managing stress levels. Studies show that meditation can be a great tool to help people focus, stay motivated and retain knowledge better. It can be a powerful resource for remote employees to increase their efficiency and improve their productivity at home.

Developing a regular practice of meditation can help employees face workday stress as well as the struggles of staying productive while working from home. With the right tools like guided meditations, breathing exercises, and visual aids, you can tune into your inner peace and harness your emotional intelligence in order to increase labor productivity and tackle anything that comes your way.


Every remote worker knows the important role a healthy diet plays in sustaining their productivity gains. The average workday for a remote employee is often filled with copious amounts of video calls, phone conversations, and plenty of messages to read and respond to.

Fortunately, healthy food you cook and eat plays an important role in your brain functioning which also contributes directly to your productivity. Eating good meals leads to feeling energized and full of focus. Therefore, consuming healthy food is one way to ensure that you make the most of your average workday and avoid feeling drained due to a lack of nutrition.

Talk to Family and Friends

Working from home can be exciting with its flexibility and no commute; however, it might also be isolating and difficult to switch off. Many people are now used to working alone instead of sharing workspaces with coworkers. For a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to take time out of your remote workdays to talk with family and friends.

Taking a break to talk with a friend or family member not only allows for more productive work but also noticeably benefits relationships and mental well-being. Talking about simple everyday moments can simply make us feel connected with the world again. Taking this time out lets us de-stress, offer support if needed, listen to others’ stories and build empathy toward those around us, not just at our workplace but in our lives too.

Watch a Movie

If you are one of the many employees that spends most of their day in front of a computer, then taking some time off to watch a movie or television series can be beneficial for your productivity. Watching a flick or show can help you clear your head and unwind; it gives your mind time to relax and come back to your work with more energy, enthusiasm, and focus.

It is also a great way to disconnect to come back feeling recharged and productive, as remote work comes with its own set of challenges. By maintaining a healthy balance between work efficiency and restful hours, you as a remote worker can manage both your mental well-being and professional goals at the same time.

Clean Up

With the rise of remote work, it's essential to have an organized workspace at home. By tidying up your work area and living space, you can create a more productive environment where you can feel relaxed and fulfilled while working remotely at your current job.

Having an organized and clean workspace is key to making sure that your focus isn’t interrupted by a cluttered room. It also makes it easier to transition from work mode back into “relaxation mode.” Plus, having separation between work and home life will give you mental clarity and make it easier to stay productive throughout the day.

By organizing remote work arrangements with furniture appropriate for work, computer equipment and cables neatly and sensibly positioned, and documents and other necessary materials close at hand, you’ll set yourself up for success in both short-term projects as well as long-term goals. With care, it is possible to create a calm environment amidst your chaotic life and maintain productivity as you work from home.

Go to Therapy

Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, remote work provides the convenience of working in your own space without having to commute to an office environment. On the other hand, it can lead to feelings of isolation, poor job satisfaction, and decreased productivity. That's where therapy comes in– it can provide mental support for people who work from home by giving them strategies for staying positive, productive, and focused on the task at hand.

Furthermore, therapy has been found to be beneficial for improving job performance and work-from-home productivity by helping individuals to gain insight into their emotions and learn coping mechanisms that promote healthy working habits. In short, therapy can help you balance and harmonize your need to be productive with the realities of working from home, with good health practices that will allow you to make the most of your work-from-home experience.

Working from home has become the norm in the current climate, and many companies are transitioning to at least a hybrid work model. Although it has allowed us to save money and time due to not having to go into a physical office, there are still distractions and challenges that can come with remote work.

Being intentional with our time, creating boundaries between work and home life, and taking care of our well-being can help us be productive while working from home. We hope that these tips will help you better your remote work environment so your productivity stays high.

Stay motivated and on track by relying on other resources, such as The UPS Store, which can help grow your business through a range of small business services from shipping services to printing materials. Learn more about how we can help your small business succeed whether your business follows a hybrid model or one where you work from home. 

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