With hybrid and fully remote jobs on the rise, working from home is not going away anytime soon. It has become the new normal, yet, it’s still hard to find motivation sometimes in this job environment. To help you out, here are eight proven ways to be more productive while working from home.
1. Start your day off right
Working from home, it can be tempting to wake up and roll out of bed 15 minutes before you log on. However, making sure you start your day off right is important to have a productive work from home morning routine. Try to wake up when you normally would if you were to work in an office and use the time to have a nice morning. This means something different to everyone: maybe for you, it’s making yourself a cup of coffee and reading a book before work, or going on a short walk outside, or taking ten minutes to meditate before you get your day started – or all three! Whatever it may be, having those moments to yourself rather than waking up and jumping into work straight away can steer you towards a more productive mindset.
2. Stick to a regular routine
Adding onto the previous tip, establishing a regular routine when working from home helps you stay on track and bring a lot of productivity as a result. Having a designated time when you wake up, log on to work, take breaks, have lunch, and log off is a great way to schedule your day and helps you fall into a daily routine. Other things that will help establish routine are getting dressed for work (which doesn’t have to mean putting on a suit to sit at home, but you should definitely change out of your pyjamas) and having regular check-ins with colleagues or your manager. These things help you to feel a difference between working time and being at home, even though both are occurring at the same place.
3. Have a designated workspace
As we all know, there are plenty of distractions that can interfere with your productivity at home. Further, while it is tempting to work from your bed, it can confuse the body when you are working and sleeping in the same place. That’s why it’s important to have a place that is designated for work. Try to have a proper desk to work at and everything needed to do your work – headphones, a keyboard, a monitor, etc. Create a space at home that is quiet, bright, and as free of distractions as possible so that you can focus your full attention on the tasks at hand.
4. Make time for regular breaks
It can be easy to get wrapped up in what you’re doing and realize you haven’t looked up from your screen in a few hours. When working from home, make sure you are taking regular breaks, whether it be stepping outside for fifteen minutes or having a snack in the kitchen. And when you are taking these breaks, don’t fall into the habit of doing things like reading emails during them. Taking breaks in their entirety improves productivity because it allows you to recharge and rest. In today’s landscape, breaks are also important to reduce strain on your eyes from devices. After taking a break, you will feel more motivated to get back into whatever you were working on.
5. Communicate with those around you
Whether you are living with your family, friends, roommates, or even alone, it’s important to set have some ground rules when it comes to those around you. If you are living with others, make sure you communicate openly with them about what you need – for example, things like making sure others are quiet when you have a meeting or if you need a certain space to work at. If you are living alone and don’t want to be disturbed, be sure to communicate to friends or family what times you prefer to concentrate solely on work and what times you are free for things like a phone call. Having honest communication will improve your productivity and prevent work from negatively interfering with your personal relationships.
6. Make use of productivity tools
Staying organized is critical to productivity and there are many ways to help you do so. Whether it is a physical planner, having to-do lists, online resources such as Trello and Asana, or using time-management apps, using productivity tools will allow you to remote work more effectively and reduce your stress. You can lay out exactly what tasks you need to get done, deadlines, and meetings so you know you are staying on top of your work.
7. Plan ahead when possible
Along the same lines of staying organized, planning ahead is necessary to productivity when you’re working from home. Unexpected things will always come up – it’s inevitable. But when you know the things that are coming up, you can plan around them and reduce your future stress. For example, if you know you have a big presentation coming up, you can make sure you have a workspace to yourself when the time comes. The same is true for working around personal events – if you know you have an important appointment, tell those you’re working with in advance and block out your calendar so that you’re not rushing when the time comes.
8. Set boundaries between work and life
Lastly, the most important thing to do when working from home is to have clear boundaries between work and life. When you are working and living in the same space, it becomes increasingly easy to allow your work to trickle into the times when you should be offline. While this may feel like you are getting more done in your day, it actually leads to more exhaustion and burnout in the future. When it’s after work hours, try to fully unplug from work and focus on your personal life. This will help you reduce stress and ensure you have the capacity to be more productive when you are at work.