For some working from home is a dream come true, and flexible working hours makes them more productive.
80% of people who work from home say they experience less work-related stress.
On the other hand, for some, working from home can be quite challenging. Focusing on work, without getting distracted by chores and other home activities, may be impossible. And without good time management and planning, juggling work and family quickly turns into a nightmare.
But there are ways for making working from home productive and satisfying.
These are simple strategies that will help you get into (and out of) the work mindset.
Strategies for Being Productive While Working From Home
What started off as a temporary solution, working from home, might be here to stay.
It’s anticipated that 25%-30% of the global workforce will be working remotely by the end of 2021.
Learning how to be productive while working from home is more important than ever.
Set up your work space
First thing you want to do is find a space in your home where you’ll be working.
Setting up your workspace doesn’t have to include remodeling or any investment. All you really need is a desk, this can even be a part of the kitchen table, since basically all the work is done from the computer.
Avoid working from the bed or couch, those are relaxing places that should not be associated with work. When working from home the line between work and home is already blurred so you have to make extra effort to separate the two.
Have your workspace clean and clear from clutter. Best practice is to clean that space at the end of your work day so that every day you have a clean start.
Separate work life and personal life
Having a clear line between work life and personal life is vital.
Traditionally that line is commuting to and from the workplace. But with that out of the picture you might want to get a bit creative.
Take anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour (more or less depending on your schedule and duties) before and after work to do an activity that will substitute commuting. Use this time to work on a hobby, learn a language, read a book, do a quick stretch, try an art therapy activity or anything else that is not work-related. In time this will create a trigger in the brain that will help you switch easily between work and personal life.
Start your day the right way with 7 Step Morning Routine For Motivation Boost.
Schedule working time and plan breaks
It can be too easy, when working from home, to fall into a trap of working all day long. It happens to everyone. If you don’t set clear working hours you’ll end up constantly thinking and stressing about work.
Nothing kills productivity more than switching between work tasks and home chores.
Since the office is now inside your home instead of an outside location, you lost that clear line between work and personal life. And the only way to efficiently balance work and personal life is to set clear working hours and stick to them.
53% of people working from home agree flexible schedule allows them to have more balanced work and family life.
One of the key factors of productivity, while working from home, is having set working hours. Find times that work best for you. Remember you have flexibility to work in 2-3 shifts and create the schedule to work in your peak times, whenever they are.
Another important thing is to schedule breaks and plan for them. Working from home means you can use your breaks for rest or for personal matters. Get the most out of breaks by planning activities. Spend time with family/friends, exercise, do house chores/run errands, spend time on passions and hobbies or simply relaxing.
Scheduling work times and planning breaks will give you a sense of control over your day. This sense of control will allow you to focus and be productive.
Schedule your day with the help of Time Management Apps That Will Increase Your Productivity.
Dress for work
Messy hair, unwashed face and pajama doesn’t say I’m productive.
Wash your face, make your hair and dress yourself appropriately.
By doing this you will get out of the home-relaxed slumber and get yourself into a let’s-do-this state of mind.
Pick comfortable everyday clothes so that you are ready to have a work-related video call or get out of the house if needed.
Our brains are already conditioned that getting dressed and ready for the day means business. Use this to your advantage, it will help you be more productive while working at home.
Your office is inside your home and that makes it really challenging to focus on work. It’s hard to be productive with all the distractions around you. You’ll have to go an extra mile to keep the focus and be productive.
- Log out from all the social media. If you need to use social media for work then dedicate specific time for that.
- Turn off notifications for emails. And set the time when you will check emails and respond to them.
- Position your desk in a way that you don’t see the rest of the house. This will hugely minimize the amount of distractions.
- Make an agreement with family/roommates to not disturb you while working (unless it’s a real emergency). Hang your working hours on the fridge for everyone to know when you’re (not) available.
Multi-tasking was long considered the most productive method of work. But now we know better. Because you can never really do two or more tasks at once.
What you are actually doing is jumping from one task to the other. Giving each task just a bare minimum of focus and time.
To do the task at hand properly, you must give it your full attention. That way you will minimize errors and finish the task quicker.
Organize your workday
For the majority of workers working from home means more hours spent working. To avoid this you must learn how to organize your workday.
Make a plan for the workday in a way that you first do the most important/demanding tasks. At the beginning of the day your energy levels are at their maximum and it’s only logical to use that time to do the most challenging tasks that require your full attention.
Then list all small 5-10 minute tasks and schedule time to do all of them at once. This way you will not break your focus from bigger tasks with small ones. And having a set time to do them in will prevent you from spending more time on them than it’s needed.
When allotting time for each task, give it always less time than you think it’s needed to complete it. This way you will be more focused and less likely to get distracted.
Have an end of the work day routine
To mark the end of the work day, finish it with the same routine every day.
Set goals you need and want to accomplish on the following day. Then go on with creating a realistic to-do list, with first items on the list being the most important.
To learn how to write a realistic to-do list read 6 Genius Tips For Making Efficient To-Do List.
And finish off with cleaning your workspace. This will allow you to have a fresh start the next day. And will hide the days’ work from sight so you can have a relaxing, work-free evening at home.
Working from home, while challenging, has many benefits.
Without wasting time on commute every day, you’ve really been given the gift of time. And with few simple strategies you can make working from home productive and successful.
Do you struggle with being productive while working from home? Share your experience with us in the comments.