I’d be perfectly happy if I could spend all of my time reading books outside in the sun, cooking, and shopping online, but sadly, those things don’t accomplish much other than amusing me. But only recently have I come up with a routine that makes doing work – dare I say it – kind of enjoyable. I do a lot of work at home, so it’s easy to get distracted or lose motivation. So today, I thought I’d share my six tips for getting work done and staying motivated.

1// Create a Work Space: If you’re working at home, it’s definitely tempting to camp out on the sofa with your laptop (and maybe a bag of pretzels…), but it’s way better to work at a desk or table. Make a work space – I have an office, but it can be as simple as a desk or table in a quiet space. Whatever the case, make it a clean, distraction-free space that you love – my office is filled with white lacquer furniture and bright red accessories – but make it a designated work area. If you spend extra time there, it stops being a serious place to do work (and you might as well just stay on the couch). And if you make it a clean, pretty and inspiring place, you’ll actually want to go there – it’s like tricking yourself into doing work.

2// Hydrate: It’s easy to get bored when you’re doing work. Sometimes I eat when I’m bored, convinced that if I’m munching on a pretzel (pretzels are totally my weakness) I’ll be able to focus on doing work. But instead of consuming all those extra calories, I’ll keep a glass of ice cold water on my desk (you can substitute tea, coffee, or whatever else you like). It gives my mouth something to do, keeps me feeling refreshed, and helps me achieve my goal of staying hydrated.

3// Keep a Notepad Handy: A lot of times when I’m working, lots of miscellaneous things pop into my head and have the potential to distract me. That’s what I should write a blog post about! I need to find a new quinoa recipe. I should see if that one skirt from Zara is still available. Instead of acting on the thought, I keep a small notepad nearby to jot things down – it ensures that I’ll remember them for later, but helps me keep my mind focused on the task at hand.

4// White Noise: Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t work effectively in total silence. No matter what I’m doing, I always have to have some kind of background noise. I remembered reading about Coffitivity awhile ago, and started using it this week. I love it. It totally feels like you’re in Starbucks, and it’s just enough noise to keep that catchy song from running through your head and driving you crazy.

5// Keep Your Space Well-Lit: This one really goes without saying. It’s hard to stay positive in a dark area, and letting lots of light in – be it natural or artificial – keeps you motivated, happy and awake.

6// Know When to Take A Break: If you feel yourself getting burned out, take a break – step outside, do some lunges, pet your dog, grab a snack – do something to rejuvenate yourself. But don’t make it too long, or else you’ll lose all motivation and it’ll be really hard to get back to work.

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