5 tips to be more productive when working from home
Last modified: 2019/08/06 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Working from home is a serious luxury; with the ability to eat, drink or move around whenever you want, hang out with your pets or plants and sing along to blaring music. Of course, the modern comfort of working from your house or apartment comes down to one thing and one thing only: work. Some find it difficult to be productive at home, as the environment is not always conducive to getting things done. So, what can you do to make sure all your work is completed by end of day?
If you’re looking for some tips and tricks to be as productive as possible when working from home, then you’ve come to the right place. Without the peer pressure or obligations of an office environment, you might get sidetracked, but here are the best ways to avoid this happening.
5 tips to be more productive when working from home
1- Keep a schedule
When it comes to staying on task, the number one thing you need is the uninterrupted focus. This is why it’s crucial to eliminate anything that may lead to guiding you away from your workflow. First things first, when you wake up in the morning it’s best to get straight to work. Even if moving from your bed to your desk seems initially uncomfortable, diving head first into a project as soon as you’re awake will help you make gradual progress on it throughout the day. Prolonged morning coffee or news breaks can actually translate to a sluggish day all around.
Another note is that interruptions can easily kill your workflow, and a 15-minute phone call with a friend or family member may derail your productivity over the course of a day. When working from home, the best way to stay on task is to set a strict schedule. Stick to set hours and make sure to take breaks when you feel you need them. This may feel rigid, but it’ll help you be serious about your workload and get things done.
2- Treat working from home as you would working from an office
There is a definite mental associate between showering, dressing oneself for a day of work and heading into the office. When working from home, do what it takes to make it feel as if you’re heading into the office for the day. For some, this will mean changing out of pyjamas and into regular clothing. For others, it could be as simple as having a cup of coffee or taking a short walk before sitting down in front of your computer for the day.
Having a dedicated area in your home for work-related activities can help you to stay engaged with the tasks at hand. Keep the bare minimum essentials for you to conduct your work. Try to avoid setting up your laptop in your bed or on your couch, as these spaces are associated with leisure time. If possible, we’d suggest dedicating a specific room or section of a room to complete work-related tasks.
3- Set restrictions on social media and other distractions
Let’s be honest, for the most part, social media platforms are a huge waste of time and a constant distraction. It’s easy to ignore work by simply scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, or ending up on a website that is in place just to derail your productivity. In order to counteract this behaviour, we’d suggest removing all social media links from browser shortcuts and logging out of your accounts.
Working in incognito mode or another form of private browsing will allow you to avoid the auto-completion of these website names. This will help you to avoid the temptation of signing into these sites altogether.
4- Find ways to communicate with others
Working from home can often feel isolating, and this isolation can lead to a lack of productivity. It may be difficult to know how to proceed on certain projects, or you may experience writers' block. Make sure that when working from home, you have a way to communicate with coworkers or mentors. Create ways to stay in touch with others, whether that means a company Slack account or group chat.
Aside from chatting with coworkers about current projects, make time to interact with the outside world. Step out for a coffee, incorporate some form of exercise into the day, spend your lunch break outside. Whatever the case, it’s important to find ways to avoid too much solitude, as this could inhibit the creative process altogether.
5- Take breaks and move around
Finding ways to reward yourself, take breaks and as mentioned, be sure to incorporate exercise into your work routine. Sitting all day long is extremely bad for your health, causing injuries and pain in places like the neck and back. Try working a small stretch routine or yoga into your workflow, one that you complete twice a day. This will alleviate any pain and help you to concentrate.
If you begin to feel mentally exhausted, remember you can always take a break. Most entrepreneurs know that their work will always be there and that you could work forever. For this reason, it’s crucial to structure time for breaks, even if they feel unnecessary and you’re used to powering through. Lastly, make sure to reward yourself throughout the day.
For example, get the more challenging tasks of the day out of the way early and complete the easier stuff in the afternoon when the energy is a bit lacking. Finding ways to add a bit of excitement and interest into your day can really make the entire workday much more enjoyable.