How to be Productive While Working from Home
Working from home may sound like a dream to many, but it comes with its fair share of obstacles. It’s a transition that can be surprisingly difficult. From your cat knocking your coffee all over your keyboard, your dog’s relentless request to throw his ball, “Peppa Pig” on full blast in the background or the endless temptation of a fridge full snacks – are just a few struggles that you may need to navigate when moving from working in an office to full time out of your home. Here are some tips that can help keep your productivity flowing in a world full of distractions.
Establish a Routine and Set Boundaries
Set a schedule and stick to it as best you can. Decide what time you will start your workday and when you should be wrapping up to close out the day. This can be difficult if you have children in the home or pets all striving for your attention. Even friends and family who know you are home during the day can be disruptive. Set clear boundaries with those in and out of the home while you are working. Whatever your morning or evening looks like, keep it constant to mark the beginning and end of working hours.
Get Moving in the Morning
Studies have shown that morning exercise can improve attention, visual learning and decision making. Additionally, physical activity and stretching can help improve posture, focus, concentration and can reduce the body’s stress hormone, cortisol. Try starting your day with an early gym session or take your dog for a walk around the block – either way, morning exercise is a great way to start the day on a positive note.
Stay on Track
We are all wired differently. When working from home, you won’t necessarily have someone to remind you what needs to be done each day and it’s easy to lose sight of those tasks. To-do lists and schedules come naturally to some, while others struggle to maintain a constant. What’s important is to find what works best for you and your lifestyle. There are a plethora of resources that can help you stay on task and on schedule. Using a to-do list or calendar app to push out reminders virtually or implement a planner or handwritten lists. Start your day by reviewing priorities, tasks and deadlines and cross off completed items as you’re checking tasks off of your list.
It may sound counter intuitive, but taking breaks actually increases productivity helping to refresh the mind and boost creativity. Make sure you fully understand your company’s policy on work hours and break times, but don’t shortchange yourself. Take the time away you need to come back recharged and ready to finish the workday.
Take Time Away from Home
When you work 100% from home, it’s easy to get caught up in both work and life responsibilities. Before you know it, it’s been 5 days since you’ve left the house. Your body needs to move, and sunshine and fresh air does the body good. Sunlight is the body’s main source of Vitamin D and even just a few minutes of exposure can help increase levels. Try taking a walk while on a call, even just to and from the mailbox.
Dedicate Office Space
Unfortunately, not everyone has an extra room to dedicate solely to office space. Wherever you choose to set up your home office, keep it clean and clear from distractions to the best of your ability. Investing in a good set of headphones can help close out audible distractions and maintain focus.
Working from home can be productive, rewarding and fun – but it’s up to you to make the most of it.