Five Ways to be More Productive When You Work from Home
Raise your hand if you are a home-based entrepreneur or influencer! Woo hoo! Isn’t a great feeling to wake up and know that your morning commute to work consists of walking down the stairs and into your office? No matter how much you love (or don’t love) working in the office, there’s nothing like the feeling of working from home. Without nosey coworkers interrupting you, a boss breathing down your neck, and all the other distractions that can come with a shared office space, it may seem like you should automatically be more productive. However, this isn’t always the case. Though you may not have the distraction that people sharing your space brings, you have something even worse: distractions that you bring on yourself. Though we all like to think we’re a productivity machine, regardless of where you go, there’s always going to be something to deter you from getting all your work done. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of what I think are the five best ways that you can be more productive when you work from home. So, let’s get started!
1. Give yourself a designated work space
One of the things people love the most about working from home is the ability to complete tasks wherever they please. Want to take a conference call from the couch? You can do it. Want to type an email to your client in bed? No one will ever know. Though it may feel like you’re increasing your productivity by doing work wherever you can, there’s a good chance you’re actually accomplishing less, and at a lower quality, when you aren’t doing your work in a dedicated spot.
Think about it like this; We associate various spots in our life with various things. For example, our kitchen is associated with food or our bedroom with sleep. Because of these associations, we may actually be performing tasks better in these spaces. One of the best demonstrations of this is how your familiarity with your bedroom allows you to sleep better there than when you’re in a hotel. You can almost think about working like that too. If you have a dedicated work space that you begin to associate with accomplishing work-related tasks, whenever you come back there, it’ll become easier to put yourself into the mindset of completing things that need to be done. So regardless of whether it’s the kitchen table, a corner desk, or your own office, try to make sure that the vast majority of your work is being done in one central location.
2. Make a complete schedule before you start the day
It’s super easy when you’re working from home to just roll out of bed and get going on the thousand things you need to do. However, if you don’t want to risk burning out too early, giving your day a clear structure can help keep you going at a necessary pace, while keeping up productivity. You can even go as far as setting a timer to make sure that you’re not spending too much time on one task when you have a lot of things going on. If you don’t want to assign everything time values, try listing projects in the order of importance, and just begin to work down the list. The important part is making sure that you’re laying out exactly what needs to get done and prioritizing appropriately. Regardless of it’s a pre-bed ritual or the first thing you do with a cup of coffee in hand during the morning, making a comprehensive game plan for how you’re going to spend the next day of work is a necessary step in getting things done.
3. Let people know when it’s your work time
Some of your biggest distractions may not even come from yourself. When people work from home, family and friends may think that means they have more flexibility than their office-working counterparts to go out and run errands or complete other tasks during the day. In their minds, you have the time to “quickly run to the store” or make dinner for the family every night. It’s incredibly important for you to put up boundaries with the people you love in order to make sure you can get as much work done as you need. Even just a simple reminder of, “Hey, I have to work from ___ to ___, so I won’t be able to do anything during this time. Thanks!” can be a great way to remind everyone that your job matters just as much as everyone else it just happens to take place from the comfort of your home.
4. Treat it just like any other day at the office
Even though you’re working from home for a reason, there’s something to be said about the structure that working in an office provides. Waking up, showering, putting on some decent clothing (yes, yes, yoga pants and a t-shirt count as an OOTD) and eating a well-balanced breakfast is a great way to set yourself up for a successful day. Another perk about being in the office is that you have coworkers reminding you to take breaks, eat lunch, and go home at the end up the day, just by doing it themselves. So, since you don’t have coworkers there, but breaks are necessary to maximize productivity, try setting alarms for various points in the day to remind you to take a step away from all the hustle and bustle of work. Regardless of your feelings on office work, it’s important to integrate the best parts of being in the office with the best parts of working from home.
5. Take advantage of the liberties that come with working from home
You work from home for a reason. There’re so many additional perks that come along with not having to work in the office, so feel free to take advantage of them. Don’t be afraid to take work with you to the local coffee shop and set up camp there. The change of pace can be a good way to boost productivity and give you a fresh outlook on things. Also, within reason, be willing to change up your work schedule to match when you’re most productive. If you work best in the evening, try starting your work day later, and give yourself the opportunity to work whenever fits your personal needs. Since you have the option to work from home, there’s nothing wrong with letting yourself enjoy every single perk that comes with it.