A WFH Playbook:
9 Ways to Manage

Lady working from home, frustrated
Photo by Magnet Me via Unsplash

Published: April 8, 2021 

A little over a year ago, I started working from home. Not by choice, either. I was one of the millions of hospitality workers who were out of work in 2020.

My work from home, or WFH, journey began when I opened Content by Carrie Jean, a one-stop-shop for small business owners for all their digital content and virtual assistance needs.

My friends, family, and social media followers began asking how I managed to get everything done. Between my house, pets, clients, boyfriend, and self care, there’s a LOT to take care of—and I don’t even have children!

That’s why I made a list of the 9 ways I manage myself when things take a turn for the worst, things get a little unorganized and I get a little unmotivated. Plus, I share a free (actually free, no email required!printable PDF to hang by your desk for daily reminders. 

Save this WFH playbook for later, friends! You’ll be referring back to it. Ready to get started?


Here are 9 ways you can manage yourself working from home:

1.       Assign designated workspaces. Your brain will pair work emotions with where you work, much live Pavlov’s dogs who started drooling at the sound of a bell. Don’t let work ruin your precious bed.

2.       Work only during your assigned work hours. Don’t have a set schedule? Make one up that works best for you and stick to it.

3.       If you HAVE to work outside of hours (it happens!), definitely work in your designated area. This will stop your brain from getting all mixed up.

4.       Create a work uniform. I like to wear something comfortable, but not too comfortable. Like a blouse, cardigan, with nice leggings. If you do one thing, set boundaries! I ONLY work in pajama’s on special occasions like mental health days, birthdays, or sick days.

5.       Know when you’re most productive, creative, sluggish, or plain useless. Create your schedule around this if you can. I always write in the morning. You won’t catch me writing in the afternoon because that’s when I’m most sluggish. Instead, I work on fun, creative tasks like web design or social media images.

6.       Practice bits of self-awareness. This is KEY to managing yourself. If you know when you begin to feel angry, anxious, or even just hungry, you can take care of the issue before it starts to negatively impact your productivity when you’re working from home.

7.       Like routines? Set one! Don’t like routines? Find a few key productive habits to stick to every day. If I don’t read before I start my day, I feel off. This routine helps me feel sane. I like when I know what to expect—even it’s one small thing each day. But don’t beat yourself up if you stray from your routine. We’re humans, not machines.

 Pro Tip: Plan your potty breaks! For you and your dog. Both of your bodies will get used to it and your poo breaks will become way less distracting.

8.       Manage screen time. You can do this by setting timers for yourself. Also follow pages like Emma Coaches on Instagram! She shares amazing tips on reducing phone addiction.

Personal Tip: I put my phone in the other room or in a drawer if I’m having a bad phone day. Sometimes, I’ll even hide between two books if I need to hear it. That way, I don’t even see my phone and my brain doesn’t feel the need to look at all of its pretty colors.

9.       Use scheduling applications or planners to hold yourself accountable to tasks and reduce distraction times. Block off certain times for certain tasks and stick to it!

Bonus Tip

When you feel yourself beginning to get distracted, simply become aware of it. Here’s an affirmation:

“Hey Brain/Rockstar/Self, I’m trying to get some amazing work done here. If you’d let me do that, it’d be great.”

Go one step further by holding a mini visualization in your head. Picture yourself crushing your task list, imagine what it feels like to have everything done, and breathe deeply into that feeling.

You can even try longer guided meditations on YouTube or Insight Timer. Plus, physical exercise like yoga, weight training, or long endurance walks will help you increase your brain muscle and produce endorphins. The more endorphins you produce, the more ‘Zen’ you’ll feel. The more Zen you feel, the higher your focus will be. 

Not into all of that? You could look into hiring a virtual assistant. Now, where in the world can you find one of those? Right here!

Manage Dog Distractions

  1. Crate train your dog.
  2. Teach the command, “place”.
  3. Work on impulse control with your dog.
  4.  Order boredom crusher toys or stuff a Kong.
  5. Follow a strict routine when it comes to feeding, potty breaks, chewing, crate chillin’, etc.

If you don’t do any of that but still complain, you suck! Not your dog. Sorry to say it!

Man on bed with his dog and laptop working from home
Photo by Good Faces via Unsplash

Now, you have 9 ways to fight distractions and increase productivity while you’re working from home. Whether you own or your own business like me, or work for someone else, you can implement these tips to stay motivated and organized no matter who you answer to.


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Need a virtual assistant to help you stay extra motivated and organized? Reach out to Carrie Jean to get more time out of your workday. 

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Carrie Jean is a Hoosier-turned-Californian and a one-of-a-kind hybrid professional. In addition to content and copy writing, she offers virtual assistance, web/graphic design, and much more. Fun Fact: She loves Abe Lincoln.

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