Working from home is a great way to eliminate your commute, boost your mood, and get some much-needed self-care in. For many business owners, their home is also their office. While the benefits of working remotely can be great, it is often a struggle to stay productive with so many possible distractions. Rather than losing work hours by playing with your pets or getting that extra hour of sleep, use your work from home time to stay organized, tackle your goals, and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Here are 10 tips to help you be productive while working from home.
Whether you create that workspace at a coffee shop, in your home, or at a co-working area, creating a space dedicated to work, and only work, is imperative. When you have a space dedicated solely to business, you will be less likely to be distracted because you have created your own mini office environment. You can arrange your workspace any way that makes you comfortable, just make sure it is distinct from your normal habitat at home.
Changing into your office attire may seem silly when nobody will see you, but it makes a difference in the intentions you set for the day. Setting and maintaining a routine, such as waking up and making coffee, getting out of bed, and sitting at a desk are all little things you can do that will make a big difference in your productivity for the day. These small efforts will help you to feel like you’re really in the office, even when you’re at home.
You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, but rising earlier allows you to be productive for more hours of the day. If you wake up before your household and even your team, you are able to eliminate a lot of distractions that could arise in those early hours of the morning. Working from home can be more distracting than working in the office, so you need to capitalize on opportunities that lend themselves to productivity.
While it’s tempting to plop down on the couch with laptop in hand (see our first tip on this) and turn on some mindless television, keeping the remote away will help to maximize your motivation. Even if you’re not actively watching, the chatter in the background can be distracting and cause your work quality to suffer. Avoid falling into bad habits with technology in order to accomplish your tasks for the day.
Staying focused and on track while at home can be significantly more difficult than in the office, so it’s important to take note of timing. Setting alarms every 30 minutes to an hour can remind you to switch tasks, prepare for any virtual meetings you may have, or even take a break to eat lunch. By setting these reminders, you will help yourself to meet the expectations of a normal workday, while also giving yourself time to relax.
Social media is one of the biggest distractions in a workday, especially when working from home. It can be extremely easy to just open up Instagram and start scrolling and lose an hour without someone to hold you accountable. Before your workday begins, make sure to log out of all social media, and even delete the apps from your phone, if possible. Eliminating that distraction from the start will boost your productivity and organization.
Responsibilities and tasks can sometimes be difficult to keep track of, especially when working from home. Lists of your daily deliverables can help to solidify your hourly breakdown, keep you on track to hit your goals, and improve your mood when you get to cross items off.
When we’re in the office, it’s easy to take a minute to walk to the water cooler, chat with a coworker, or grab a quick lunch with a friend. But when we’re working from home, making those distinctive times for breaks can be a little more difficult to navigate. Giving yourself room to take a breather, grab a snack, or go for a walk are all great ways to help stay focused and calm when you get back to your desk. Everyone needs a break now and then!
Touching base with your team is important for all employees, but especially when working from home. Without your physical presence, staying in the loop can be significantly more difficult, especially when issues arise. Making sure your team is able to get in contact with you, whether it’s on the phone, through email, or instant messenger, is important to maintaining an even workflow throughout the day.
A trap we all fall into time to time is working far beyond our normal hours because we’re “in the middle of something”. This is much more prevalent when working from home because we don’t have others around us leaving the office and ending their workday. Set a time to call it quits and stick to it rather than burning yourself out.