If you’re someone who likes to get up and get going, or if you prefer a more sociable environment, working from home can be quite the challenge. You may find yourself procrastinating, or simply not getting anything done. With a few adjustments to your routine, you’ll be able to stay productive while working from home and beat that feeling of wanting to pull the covers back over your head.
Here are some tips on how to stay focused and productive while working from home:
When you get up in the morning and don’t have to leave the house for work, it’s tempting to spend all day in your pajamas or comfy sweats. But there’s a reason why most people wear professional clothes to work: they help you look (and feel) like you mean business!
I know it sounds silly, but it really works. Taking a bath and changing clothes is the first step to making sure that you’re ready for your day.
Get dressed as you would for the office and look as clean and presentable. This will not only help you feel professional and confident but also boost your energy levels by oxygenating your system. Even if no one is around to see you. The point is that when you get dressed, you’re telling your brain that it’s time to go to work. If you’re still in pajamas at noon, you’ll probably find yourself putting off tasks and feeling lazy all day.
Clear the clutter
A cluttered workspace means a cluttered mind. It can be hard to concentrate on your work when you’re surrounded by piles of mess. If you want to be productive while working from home, one of the best things you can do is to clear the clutter.
Even the most organized and tidy people can find themselves with things they don’t need. These are items they no longer use or furniture they’d like to get out of the way but don’t want to part with entirely. Renting a self-storage unit is the ultimate solution.
You can keep all your important documents, office needs, and other high-value items at arm’s reach in your home office while keeping furniture, holiday decorations, and other miscellaneous items safely stored away at a facility like Keep Safe Storage (check out https://keepsafestorage.com.au/).
Set up a designated workspace
The easiest way to maintain the “at-work vibe” when you’re working from home is to set aside a specific space in your apartment as your office. It’s important that you not use this area for anything besides work so that you can use it as a cue to get into work mode when you sit down there. When working from home, try setting boundaries between your personal life and business life by creating separate spaces where each happens. It can be hard to focus on work when there are too many distractions around us.
You may also want to make sure your workspace has an ergonomic chair and setup so that your body stays comfortable and healthy throughout the workday.
Establish a routine
When working from home, it’s important to set up a routine so that your mind knows it’s time to start working.
Set your alarm at the same time every morning and get up and out of bed at a reasonable hour (the more you linger, the more likely you are to hit snooze). Hold yourself accountable to a schedule that includes your usual workday tasks like checking email, attending meetings (over video), taking breaks, and completing assignments. It helps to physically write down your plans for the day and cross them off as you accomplish them. And remember to include non-work tasks like exercising, eating meals, and relaxing whenever possible.
Get up earlier than your schedule demands
When you work from home, you have the luxury of making your own schedule. You can sleep in as late as you want, start working at 10 a.m., take a long lunch break and even finish up early if you’re done with everything on your to-do list. If this sounds like a dream come true, think again.
While it’s nice to have the flexibility, there are also potential pitfalls that can leave you feeling less productive than ever before. Sticking to your normal routine is one way to help stay productive and on track throughout the day. Get up around the same time that you would if you were going into an office setting and begin your day with a healthy breakfast and some exercise. This will keep your mind sharp and set the stage for a productive day ahead.
Do what works for you
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to working from home. Different people will have different preferences when it comes to their work environment. So if you prefer complete silence, or if you like listening to the sound of waves lapping the shore while you work, then do that. There’s no right or wrong way to work from home.
However, you will want to make sure that whatever environment you’re working in during the day isn’t also your sleep environment at night. That can be confusing for your brain and make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. You’ll want to create a space that is solely associated with working—and make sure your bed isn’t in it!
If you’re working out of a spare room, consider how long you plan on being there before doing any major redecorating. If this is just going to be your temporary home office, then don’t make any permanent changes (like painting) that may affect the resale value of your home.
At the end of the day, productivity boils down to self-discipline. If you can force yourself to get work done every single workday, then you will be productive. These tips can help, but in the end, it’s still an issue of willpower and self-discipline. You need to believe that you can succeed, and only then can you overcome the distractions and temptations that crop up throughout the day.