Maximizing Productivity When Working From Home
Whether you work from home once a week, once a month, or once in a blue moon (which we can safely say is at this very moment as a response to COVID-19), getting used to it is often a challenge.
With so many distractions readily available, even the most productive among us sometimes catch ourselves procrastinating more than is healthy (come to think of it, is procrastination ever healthy?).
In order to help boost your productive work-at-home hours, try implementing some of these practices:
Establish A Routine and Stick To It
The first pitfall most of us who work from home face is being distracted by the dishes, the TV, the postman, the fact that we don’t have to be in the office at 9 AM sharp and can stay in bed as long as we’d like, and so on.
To avoid this quintessential trap, work on establishing a routine for yourself. It may sound tedious, but it is actually a brilliant way to boost your productivity. After all, you can organize your day (for the most part) to suit you perfectly. If you prefer sleeping in, set your alarm for later. If you are a night owl, schedule in creative work for the evening.
Every night, before going to bed, write down your schedule for the next day – and don’t shift things around just because you can. This way, you will be able to get much more done and feel more accomplished about your day.
Get Ready As You Would for the Office
Working from home also means you don’t ever need to get out of your PJs (or at least not the bottom part). And while this level of comfort is certainly one of the benefits of working from home, it doesn’t do much for your productivity levels.
Even if no one will see you, even if you have no calls to attend, even if it’s just you in the house – make an effort to look good. Just for yourself.
There is an entire science behind dressing for work and dressing a part, and if you were to take some time in the morning to shower, do your hair and makeup (or get your beard in order), and put on an office-appropriate outfit, you’d notice how your day instantly feels different.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with sticking to loungewear once in a while (you can even make it a casual Friday type of event). However, aim to be as put together as you can be, and notice how your productivity levels increase.
Office Hours Should Be Office Hours
The one thing most of us who work from home often face is the inability of our nearest and dearest to completely understand that we are at work, even though we are at home.
You might get asked to meet someone for a coffee during what is work-time in your office. You might be asked to run some errands for someone who can’t get out of their own office on time. Or, people might call you up just to chat in the middle of their day off, with the excuse that you can easily make the time to accommodate them.
Even though it will definitely be hard, try to explain to your friends and family that you are in fact working from such and such a time, and that you won’t be available until so and so.
They might put up a bit of a fight at first, and demand that you change your schedule (because you can), but be persistent in reminding them that your job is just like theirs – important to you and demanding of your presence and focus.
Take Care of Yourself After Hours
One of the best ways to increase productivity, in general, is to be kind to yourself.
Working from home means you can work 24/7 if you want to – and while that may even be tempting, you still need to schedule in break time. And when we say schedule, we mean just that: write it down and stick to it.
Breaks are one of the keys to productivity, as they help your brain recover and reboot, and provide the energy you need to carry on. Skipping them may lull you into a sense of over-achievement, but it will be short-lived, and it can easily backfire.
The quality of your sleep also plays an important role in the power of your breaks: you should find one of the best mattresses to sleep on and ensure that when you do sleep, you get all the benefits you need.
Make sure that your breaks are not just time off work – they should involve activities you enjoy doing, which can take your mind off the job and fill you up with positive energy.
Working from home can sometimes be challenging – but it certainly has its benefits. If you adhere to the above tips (even though they sound very basic), you should sail through it with a bit more ease.
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece as much as we did!