While it certainly has its perks, working from home can also be a challenge. Not only are you solely responsible for your work, there’s also the matter of avoiding distractions and staying productive throughout the working day.
While it can be incredibly tempting to switch on the TV, chill out with your family or take a snack break in the kitchen, it’s important to stay focused on the tasks at hand – just like you would in the workplace. Read on to discover 20 top tips that can help!
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1. Start early in the day
If you wake up ready to brew some coffee and start your day, you’ll be able to work through your morning routine before the work day begins!
By getting a head start, you’ll have more time available to balance projects or take a break if you need to later in the day.
You’ll also be able to finish earlier, giving you time to spend with friends or family in the evening.
2. Pretend you’re heading to the office
By pretending you’re actually going to a brick and mortar workplace, you’ll get yourself in the best mindset for the working day ahead. If you adapt to the idea of being ‘at home’, you may find it’s all too tempting to take a nap and relax instead.
3. Create a daily schedule – and stick to it!
By having a set schedule or plan for your day, you’ll know exactly what you need to accomplish and when it will need to be completed. This allows you to arrange your time effectively, getting everything finished by the deadlines.
4. Designate a ‘work space’ in your home
While lying in bed with your laptop may seem appealing, it’s worth getting up and setting up a designated work space at your desk, or anywhere else in the home you can associate with work.
You’ll naturally begin to make the connection that this space is a productive one and relaxing can be done elsewhere.
5. Get out of the house
Sometimes it can be helpful to take a walk and get some air to refresh your mind. If that’s the case, take a quick break.
Even 15 minutes of fresh air and a change of scenery can give you the mental reset you need to continue your day productively.
6. Know your temptations
It’s important to know what your vices are in order to prevent them affecting your work. Let’s take social media for example.
If you’re prone to checking your notifications every few minutes, try downloading software that will temporarily block the sites from your browser.
You’ll be able to set your own time limits, knowing you’ll be able to get back to your friend requests and comments as soon as the work day is over.
7. Set achievable goals to boost your motivation
When you reach a goal you’ve been working towards, you’ll no doubt feel a sense of pride and excitement. So why not reach them multiple times a day?
By having something to work towards, you’ll find yourself working faster and harder in order to make those achievements possible.
8. Work out when you’re most productive
Everyone has their own working style. Perhaps you feel sluggish in the morning but work super effectively late at night. Whatever your preference, it’s worth working out when you work the best and basing your schedule on your most productive periods. You’ll get more done and have more time left over.
9. Save calls and emails for later
By arranging calls, email conversations and virtual meetings for the afternoon, you’ll be able to wake up and get straight on with your work for the day without interruption.
This way, you can get plenty done before the call comes in, leaving you with not much to do after.
10. A non-distracting distraction!
Sometimes, a distraction can be a good thing. It can serve a reward after particular chunks of work are completed.
Plus, having one ‘allowed’ distraction will prevent you from getting distracted from other temptations around the home.
11. Use technology to your advantage
With so many apps and programs available today, managing your productivity is more effective than ever. Try to do lists, time managers, stop watches or anything you need to motivate yourself.
12. Create playlists to fuel your creativity
Music can be a great energizer. Put together a playlist of your favorite tracks and get into the rhythm of your tasks.
13. Get chores done throughout the day
Household chores such as laundry can serve as the perfect ‘timer’ for your daily tasks. For example, try throwing some laundry into the washer before starting a project and aim to have it completed by the time your clothes are clean.
Not only will you save time on chores, you’ll be setting yourself motivational tasks throughout the day.
14. Be honest with your family or housemates
If your family or housemates are a distraction, it’s time to be honest. Politely explain to them that while you’re working, they need to be respectful of your need for peace and quiet.
15. Take a break if you need it
When you need a break, you need a break – it’s simple. Without giving your brain a chance to rest, you’ll lose your ability to focus, resulting in a slide in the quality of your work.
Instead, work little and often rather than for hours on end. Give yourself a chance to recharge.
16. Try to stay social
Working from home can be lonely. During your break, why not call a friend or meet someone for coffee? This will prevent you from longing for the social tendencies of the office.
17. Prepare your meals in advance
Just like you’d prepare a lunch or breakfast to take to work, try to do the same at home.
You’ll save the time spent on cooking or preparing food during the day, giving you a real break to enjoy at lunch time.
18. Try to finish work at the same time each day
If you know there’s a time you usually stop working, you’ll gradually learn to differentiate between your work and personal life.
Being able to switch off at the end of the day allows you to relax, recharge and refresh before the next day.
19. Create a background noise
Leaving the TV on may seem counter productive, but a little background noise at a low volume can actually boost your productivity. Think of it a little like the general noise and voices you’d hear in a bustling office.
By taking note of these helpful tips and applying them to your projects as you work from home, you’ll likely find yourself enjoying more productive, rewarding work days. Keep up the great work!