Many people are starting to work from home these days and while it is convenient, it is still important to be productive. It’s easy to get distracted or get too comfortable and before you know it the whole day has passed and you don’t have a lot to show for it. So to avoid that, we put together a few proven ways that will increase your productivity working from home:
1. Set Work Hours
You may have strict work hours already set by your employer or your work day may be more flexible. Whatever the case is, you should decide what your work hours will be in advance and do your best to stick to it. Avoid starting your work day whenever you feel like it or taking up weird work hours just because you can. Deciding the hours that you will work will help you “get to work” on time, be productive during your work day and end your day at the appropriate time as well.
2. Make A Daily Schedule
It’s important to take a few minutes each evening to make tomorrow’s schedule. Of course you may have set calls and meetings that are already on your calendar, but writing down your daily to-do’s is important for time management. If you worked in an office previously, you probably had a routine and maybe a few sticky notes reminding you of daily tasks. Learn about this one time management technique that will help you increase your productivity and only take about 10 minutes to do each day.
3. Reduce Work Creep
“Work creep” is the idea that work can invade your personal or home life. This is an easy trap to fall into working from home so you should be aware of it. Having set hours and making a daily schedule are important ways to avoid work creep. Engaging in work related activities beyond your set hours can burn you out and reduce your productivity during your normal work hours. If you find yourself working longer than you ought to, try setting an alarm or calendar reminder 15 minutes before you should stop working to remind yourself to start winding down. Another way to reduce work creep is to have a spot where you work in your home that is separate from your usual home activities...
4. Set Up A Dedicated Workstation
It’s important to separate “work” and “home.” One easy way to do this is to set up a dedicated workstation. If you already have a desk at home, then use that and make sure to set it up so you have everything you might need to stay on task. If you don’t have a desk, you can check consignment stores or simply use a table. Your work space should be comfortable and have all of the supplies that you may need for your day, like your computer, headphones, a notepad, pen, sticky notes, etc. If it’s possible, avoid setting up your workstation in your bedroom and if you have no other choice then consider getting a room divider so that you keep work and sleep separate in your mind and your room.
5. Don’t Work In Your Pajamas
Even though you are skipping your commute, you should still try to keep a normal morning routine. This includes getting dressed! You don’t have to dress up as much as if you were going to work (unless you really want to), but you should not work in your pajamas. Be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you will forget you’re working and doze off. How you’re dressed affects how you feel and this can impact your productivity in a negative or positive way.
6. Minimize Distractions
It can be very distracting working from home, which is one reason why the placement and set up of your workstation are important. If anyone else is home during the day, try to work in a place where you can close the door. Playing low music can help you focus, especially classical music. You probably can’t silence your phone all day, especially if you are interacting with your boss or co-workers on it, but do your best to keep work communication on the computer so you can put your phone on do not disturb during tasks that require focused attention.
7. Take Breaks
It has been proven that taking breaks during the workday increases productivity. Just because you’re home does not change that fact. Every hour or two make sure you get up from your desk and walk around the house or outside. It’s important to stretch your legs and take your focus off of your computer screen. Be sure to take a lunch break away from your desk! Exercise can be a great break from the work day even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
8. Go Outside
Get out of your office! You can take a walk or run outside and enjoy the fresh air as a break. After work, try to do something outside of the house so you don’t develop cabin fever. Even if you just stop by the grocery store or run some errands it will feel good to get out of the house. The first few weeks you may not notice it developing but one day you will realize that you need to get out of the house and this can really diminish your productivity. Be mindful before it gets to that point and do yourself a favor and find some things to do outside of the house on a daily basis.
For more ways to increase productivity working from home, read 8 Tricks To Ease Stress & Stay Focused.
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