How to stay productive while working from home
Do you struggle to remain productive when working from home? Here are some tips to help to be more efficient when you’re working remotely.
Working from home is no longer a novelty it is a reality for many people. A reality that may not change anytime soon for some. This means that more than ever you need to know exactly how you can remain productive while you are working at home.
This is not always easy, it can be challenging to remain productive but it is not impossible. Here are some productivity tips that will assist you in making the most of your time.
Set up dedicated workspace
You need to set up a dedicated workspace. It doesn’t have to be a whole room but it should be a space in which you can comfortably work so that you can be more productive. Working at a kitchen table or on your sofa may not bother you at first but as the weeks go by you will begin to feel the stress in your back and your shoulders.
Having a comfortable office space means that you have a desk that is adequate for your needs and a comfortable chair to sit on. It is best to get an adjustable chair, so you can position it for more comfort when you need it.
You might want to consider buying some acoustic lighting from companies like Muffle Ltd online. This is especially important if your home office is subject to any noise that may come in from the street or your neighbors. Acoustic lighting will absorb some of these sounds and make your office more peaceful and quiet.
You can even choose to paint your home office in a color that is completely different from the rest of the house. This will have a psychological impact on you and have to make a distinction between your working environment and your home environment.
When you are working from home the distractions can be many. However, there are some distractions that you can control and others that you cannot. Your phone is one distraction that you can control.
You may need to set your home phone or your cell phone to voice mail so that you can avoid taking calls in the middle of your working session. You should also turn off your notifications so that you are not constantly checking social media.
Remember that when you become distracted for a minute to even look at your email it can cause a shift in your focus and your brain is going to need time to refocus again. This is valuable time that can make the task that you are doing take longer than it should.
Try to make your office space or home office space as quiet as possible so that you can avoid being distracted.
One of the best things that you can do to increase your productivity is using project management software.
This will help you to keep track of any assignments that you have and also assist you with coordinating with other team members so that you can stay on top of your work. You can use productivity software on your own but it is better to use it as a team.
Create a to-do list
To-do lists are one of the simplest and easiest ways in which you can stay on top of what you have to do.
You need to create a to-do list that incorporates everything that you have to do for the day. You’re going to have to schedule what you need to do for your home, you are also going to have tasks that you need to do for work.
Select slots in the day in which you can accomplish your goals for work and home. This is the only way to ensure that you do not feel frustrated at the end of the day.
It is always best to create your to-do list the day before. This way you can hit the ground running in the morning.
If you have a large task to do it can be very overwhelming, one of the things that will help you to actually get this task done is to break them up into bite-size pieces. Make sure that your to-do list reflects this.
Breaking up your tasks into small simple goals that are easy to achieve, will help you to be more productive. It will also prevent you from procrastinating because you are feeling overwhelmed by the task in front of you.
Set your boundaries
When you work from home and live with others it is very important that you set boundaries so that you don’t become frustrated. As mentioned before, if possible it is best to have your desk in a room where you are not interrupted.
If it is not possible then you need to set some rules so that everyone knows when you are working and would prefer not to be interrupted. Clearly setting boundaries with those around you is one of the first steps to increasing your productivity.
Bear in mind though, that it is very important that you try to create some kind of work-life balance when you are working from home. If you don’t take the time to do this you will be working even more than you did when you were going to an office.
There should be times when you just relax with your family or your friends without interruption from any form of work.
Identify your most productive hours
Everybody has different times of the day when they are more productive than others. For example, some people are early risers and are more productive very early in the morning.
Others are more productive late at night.
When you work from home one of the best things you can do for yourself is to identify your productivity zone and set your schedule to revolve around this period. When you do this you are setting yourself up for success.
Take a break
There are times when you will need to take a break from work. Taking frequent breaks will help to recharge you and make you more productive. During these breaks, you will need to maintain your distance from work.
This is not the time to be checking your emails or catching up with what is happening on Twitter or Instagram. It should be a real break away from everything.
Try doing something completely different such as going for a walk, starting dinner, or doing some laundry. The bottom line is that whatever you choose to do should be non-work-related. This will give your mind a break. When you do return to work you will be recharged and motivated to become more productive.
Join a co-working space
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you should never get out of the house.
Joining a co-working space or even going to a coffee shop at least a few times a week is a great way to recharge and refresh yourself.
Being in the same environment every day can make you become unproductive especially when it is not ideal. This is why co-working spaces were invented.
Having a co-working space puts you around other people who are dedicated and committed to getting their work done. This means that even when you do not feel as if you want to do any work on a particular day, you will be energized by those around you.
It’s a great way to have a traditional work setting vibe while still embracing the work-at-home culture. It may just be that you don’t need a co-working space. Getting out of the house and going to a coffee shop or a park to work on some days, maybe just what you need to feel refreshed.
Work to the beat of your own drum
With so many people working from home everybody has created their own system for how to develop productivity. Some are doing better than others. The important thing to note is that what works for your friend or family member may not necessarily work for you and this is okay.
When it comes to working from home it is important to look at what it takes to make you feel inspired and the type of environment that you prefer.
For example, one person may love to have music in the background while working, while another may prefer it to be completely silent. This is a personal preference and no one is wrong or right it is just what works for an individual.
You are now equipped with the knowledge you need to ensure that you are more productive than ever when working at home. You do not have to implement all of the strategies at once, in fact, you do not need to implement all of them.
Just do what works for you. The important thing is that you stay on task and get your work done on time. This will ensure that you enjoy a great work-life and a great social life as well.
Photo by Helena Lopes