Working from home can be both a luxury and a challenge (and with the COVID-19 situation, a necessity). While being able to get your work done in pajamas or sweats is certainly fun, working from home has its unique set of challenges that can really put a damper on your productivity. In this article, we’ll explore 5 ways to improve productivity working from home.
Here are a few tips to improve productivity working from home:
1. Treat your home workspace like an office
While you can certainly forgo many of the formalities of a typical workplace when at home, one of the biggest dampeners to productivity is not treating your work as, well, work!
If your workspace is in the middle of your home(figuratively, and maybe even literally), you will be surrounded by distractions: whether it’s your partner, your kids, or even the TV and video games. Animal Crossing, anyone?
So even if you’re not leaving the house for work, try to set up a dedicated space for working where you have to get up, go there, and do your work undisturbed.
If you have an extra room, turn it into your home office so you can shut yourself in if necessary.
If you don’t have an extra room, choose a spot somewhere and mark it off as your home office, and establish a boundary for everyone in your home: when you’re in the office, you’re working.
2. Break up work into chunks to improve productivity working from home
So now that you’ve set up your home office and you’re relatively distraction-free, everything is fine, right?
Chances are, you’ll still get distractions! Just being at home sometimes reminds you that the dishes need to be done, the laundry needs to be washed, the clothes need to be folded, the living room needs to be vacuumed, and the list can go on and on.
Often, we’ll end up putting off harder tasks – typically work-related – for easier household tasks. Our brain ends up getting the better of us in these situations.
You won’t have finished your work, but it won’t seem like you wasted your day, either. So it’s a sense of false productivity, at least as far as work is concerned. That’s not to say laundry and vacuuming are not important, but that office hours are office hours!
If you still feel distracted, one solution is to break up your working time into chunks. So once you sit at your desk, set a time of say one hour and be mentally prepared to work for one continuous hour.
Once the hour is up, you can take a break or go attend to something else, which will also have a slot of time marked off.
This way you can manage your time well and be on top of work and household tasks. As a result, a good method to improve productivity working from home
3. Stay energized and hydrated
Staying hydrated is an unexpected but key factor in being productive. Studies have shown that being well hydrated can result in a 14% increase in productivity. That’s quite a significant number!
Sipping water throughout the workday will help keep you fresh and going strong.
For an extra boost, you can also try refreshing cold beverages like cold brew coffee (learn how to make it here). Cold-brew coffee actually results in caffeine being released more gradually, spreading out the period of the energy boost.
Since the coffee is already cold, you can enjoy it over a longer period of time. Hot coffee will lose its flavor once it reaches room temperature!
You can also try fresh juices. Whatever you prefer, really – the important thing is that you remain hydrated and sip something throughout the workday.
4. Set your own schedule to improve productivity working from home
If your work is mostly independent and not bound by anyone else’s schedule, you may even be able to completely overhaul your schedule to suit yourself.
Some people tend to be night owls. For them, getting up early is a monumental task, and some of their best work in the late hours of the night.
When working from home, you may have the luxury of sleeping in and starting your office time whenever it suits you best.
Of course, if your work involves regularly meeting up with other people, you may not be able to pull this off.
Still, you can certainly move the typical 9-5 timeslot around to any other time that suits you best.
5. To-do lists are your friend
This really builds upon the chunking concept covered in point number two, but it’s perhaps one of the most important takeaways here.
Make to-do lists of the tasks you need to do and hold yourself accountable to the list. It will help you stay organized and assist in planning out your day.
You can even combine the advice from point 2 with this by marking off timeslots in your to-do list.
For example, your improve productivity working from the home list could be something like:
Attend to emails: 30 minutes
Run the washing machine: 10 minutes
Finish up design work for client X: 1 hour
Break: 10 minutes
And so on. The total time will be whatever you’ve set aside for your work. Remember, hold yourself accountable to the list!
We hope you find these tips useful. As more and more people are shifting to working from home, it seems like we may be in for a paradigm shift.