Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. But if you were able .to transition from working in an office to working from home, you can consider yourself lucky. There are so many businesses that are really suffering right now and some have closed altogether.
With that said, If you’re still making an adjustment to working outside of an office setting and need some help, we’ve put together a few tips to make your working from home life a little easier and also more productive!
So, let’s get started.
Set up an actual office space
First of all, if you plan to get anything done on a consistent basis, you will need a designated work area. Yes, I know we’ve said it before. But, really, if you truly want to get work done, you will have to have an office space. You may be able to sit on a comfy couch and type part of the time, but there will be days when you are going to need your office supplies, your folders, your pens, your notebooks, etc. and you’re going to need them to be in one handy location where you can find them, spread them out, and actually use them. If you don’t have a room that you can use as an office, the next best thing is to carve out space in a bedroom, the family room, or even a corner in the dining room or kitchen and set up a desk with a few supplies and really good task lighting. It doesn’t have to be a big desk but it needs to be large enough to hold your laptop or desktop with a bit a room to spare.
Get dressed for work.
Next, there will be days when comfy clothes and slippers will help you survive a busy work at home day. Especially, if you had to work late the night before. However, you’re going to feel so much more productive if you get up and get dressed just like you did when you went to work in the office..(Well at least change out of your pajamas!). First of all, you’ll be much less likely to want to crawl back into bed, and second, psychologically, it sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to go to work. When you’re mentally prepared for work you’ll obviously be more productive. Plus, it will be less stressful when you’re dressed and ready for those inevitable impromptu Zoom meetings!
Set boundaries and enforce them
Another tip to help you be your most productive self is to eliminate distractions. and avoid anything that will take your time and attention away from your work. That means turn off Netflix and consider using apps that block social media sites. Also, make sure friends and family know, that even though you’re at home that you are still working so for the most part, you won’t be available to chat, have them over for coffee, or run errands unless it’s on breaks or lunch hours.
Also, avoid multitasking. You might think that you can do two or three things at one time but starting and stopping tasks will just slow down your momentum and keep you from getting work done quickly and efficiently.
Practice Time Blocking
Time blocking is a great productivity booster. If you haven’t tried it then do yourself a favor, pick a task, set a timer, and work on that one specific thing for the next 25 minutes. For example, set an alarm on your phone and then audit files or type up reports for 30 minutes or make sales calls one right after the other for the next 2 hours. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you shut out everything else and focus on one specific thing for a specific period of time.
Make a to do list
An obvious productivity helper is to make a to-do list. There are articles that recommend making to-do lists and others that don’t. But I’m a big fan of a daily to-do list. I like having everything written down so I don’t forget anything. And I get a sense of satisfaction from a list of tasks that have been checked off as done at the end of the day.
Being busy does not mean you are productive. You have to determine ahead of time what is important and what really needs to get done and then work on those things.
If it helps, reward yourself at the end of the day or at the end of the week when you’ve completed a particularly grueling list. Your rewards don’t have to be anything big. You can buy yourself a few discounted Kindle books, buy a box of your favorite Keurig coffee pods, or order your favorite flavor of tea off of Amazon. Go get a pedicure on Saturday morning or pick a day, take off a little bit early, order dinner in, and watch movies.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or any money at all for that matter.
Rewarding yourself, however, will send a message to your brain that productivity is a good thing and you’ll look forward to having a completed to-do list.
To stay productive, give yourself breaks. Go outside and walk around a park or at least go outside and get about 10 minutes of sunshine each day. Take time to get yourself a cup of tea or a fresh bottle of water.
Then, at the end of the workday, turn off your computer and stop all of your work activities. I know it’s tempting to continue to work when there isn’t a division between your work life and your home life. however, doing so will only cause you to work yourself into the ground and you’ll get burnt out. Taking breaks and days off will actually help you retain your momentum and your creativity.
Eat healthy snacks
If you want to stay productive, eat snacks that give you energy. Instead of eating sugary snacks that are full of carbs, munch on an apple or a handful of mixed nuts. Other good choices are celery with peanut butter, a piece of string cheese, a hard-boiled egg, or a small dish of berries. Munching on healthy snacks and drinking a bottle of water late in the afternoon will increase your energy and your productivity and will help you get through the rest of your workday.
Drink plenty of water
Speaking of water, it’s important to drink plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated. A study sited at gtphub.com says, “Improving productivity starts with a glass of water. Water eases dehydration and expands the brain’s grey matter. By drinking enough water every day, people see a 14 percent increase in productivity at work and at home.” Amazingly enough, drinking water even ensures you can complete projects faster so make drinking water a priority.
Listen To Music
Research shows that listening to music can also help with productivity. Some researchers also say listening to music helps with creativity and your mood.
Now, the jury’s out, so to speak, as to what kind of music you should or shouldn’t listen to. I have heard Brian Tracy say you should only listen to classical music. Other reports I have read suggest you can listen to any type of music that suits your preferences as long as it’s not terribly jarring. They say If it’s too loud, too fast, too jarring it can be a distraction rather than a help. I say try different genres and see what works for you. For me, I work better when things are quiet. If I have music on, classical music or instrumental music seems to be the least distracting when I’m trying to work.
Keep Your Work Area Clean and Comfortable
We talked about having a desk earlier but also make sure your work area is clean and free from clutter. Purchase a comfortable office chair. Make sure the temperature is set to what you would consider to be a pleasant setting. Use task lighting that helps you adequately see what you’re working on or set up your desk where there’s plenty of natural light. Control the noise around you. And, lastly, wear blue-blocking glasses to help with eye strain and headaches if those are problems for you. All of these things will help you be your most productive self!
Review and A Favor
So there you have it. We’ve just discussed 10 easy ways to make your work from home experience more productive. I’m sure you have a few suggestions as well. Please do us a favor and share them in the comments below. But before you go, let’s review.
Here are the 10 ways to increase your productivity when you work from home:
- Set up an actual office space.
- Get dressed like you’re going to work!
- Set boundaries and enforce them!
- Practice time blocking.
- Make a to-do list.
- Take breaks.
- Eat healthy snacks.
- Don’t forget to drink your water.
- Listen to music.
- And finally, keep your work area clean and comfortable.
Now, I know you are already a rock star employee but hopefully, some of this information has sparked an “aha moment” with you and has given you a few new things to implement in your workday that you weren’t already doing.
Oh and P.S. To better serve you, we have compiled a survey to get a few ideas of what might help you on your work journey. We would be forever in your debt if you will take a few minutes and fill it out. I promise it won’t take more than a few minutes…five at the most. Thank you in advance and have a great week.
You can type directly into this form.