5 Ways To Increase Productivity When You’re Working From Home
More and more of us are having to work from home right now. Some of us have been doing that for years, but for some of you this might be a new thing.
So, I thought I’d talk a little about working from home.
When you’re working from home you always want to be looking for ways to increase your productivity.
More work done in less time means more time to kick back, relax and have fun. Or more time with the kids.
Here are a few suggestions that I think you will find helpful:
1. Keep a daily routine
Some people who are new to working from home will scoff at the idea of anything resembling a daily schedule.
The truth, though, is that it can really boost productivity and prevent work from spilling over into your spare time.
By starting and stopping work at approximately the same times every day, you ensure you’ll have plenty of time to recharge afterwards, which is ultimately great for productivity.
2. Always plan ahead
Something as simple as a daily to-do list can do wonders for your productivity.
Sure, deciding on the spot what to do next has a certain charm, but it leaves you spending too much time on deciding, and too little on actually working.
Keep a daily to-do list and decide on your tasks for the next day before your work day is over – you’ll notice the difference almost immediately!
I use an app for this called Microsoft To Do. It’s on my computer and my phone so I can access it everywhere.
And I can just check it off as I complete each task. It really helps me stay on track.
3. Stay healthy
It’s impossible to stay productive in the long run if you treat your body and mind poorly.
You don’t have to become a health nut to get some real work done, but you should at the very least try to schedule some exercise a couple of times per week, even if it’s just going for a walk around the block.
If possible, it’s also a good idea to invest in an ergonomic workplace, including a good chair to sit on, as that helps reduce fatigue and keep you energized throughout the day.
I realize that might be a little difficult given everything’s shut down right now. But try to setup a space to work that’s as comfortable as possible.
4. Eliminate distractions
Yes, some people are able to watch TV while they’re working.
They’re probably a minority, however, as most of us find it quite difficult to focus on two things simultaneously.
That’s not me and it’s a waste of time, because the TV just ends up being noise for me. If I’m working, I have no idea what’s happening on the TV.
But it would be even worse if you were watching TV and really had no idea of what you’re working on.
Music, though, is another thing.
If you’ve been working in an office, music is probably the soundtrack to your career (cheesy, but admit it, it’s true). The best playlists are diverse playlists — you can listen to music that matches the energy of the project you’re working on.
When you’re working… if turn off the TV, set your phone to silent, close your Facebook tab and shut the door – your productivity will skyrocket!
Seriously! And then you’ll have more time to relax, hang with the kids, or do whatever you want to do.
5. Get out of the house
Even if you’re the type of person who enjoys working alone, the fact is it can get lonely after a while.
If you spend all your week cooped up in your office, rarely seeing the outside world, chances are you’ll feel a bit isolated and your work will suffer as a result.
Obviously, I know we can’t really go out right now, except for essential things. But you could still walk around the block or go out to you back yard if you have one.
The fresh air will feel good.
Thoughts about working from home with children
I don’t have kids at home these days, so I’m not the expert here, but I found something online that might be helpful for you.
This is from Pamela Vaughn, Marketing Manager from HubSpot:
When I work from home, my 20-month-old daughter is home with me, too. It seems counterintuitive, but because I have to manage taking care of her and keeping her happy and entertained while still getting my work done, the pressure helps to keep me focused.
When she’s napping or entertaining herself, I go into super-productive work mode.
It’s the same idea for why some people work better when they have very busy schedules — you learn how to manage your time VERY efficiently.
The ‘distraction’ of my daughter (I mean that in the most loving way possible) means I can’t possibly succumb to some of the other common distractions of home — putting in a load of laundry, turning on the TV, doing other household chores — or else I’d never get any actual work done.
These were just a few examples of things to you can do to improve your productivity.
Most people should benefit from implementing these, but feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Good luck!
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By Lynn Huber
p.s. If you have something you want to accomplish, “Do or do not.” If you decide to choose “do”, then get started moving forward and leave “trying” behind in the dust where it belongs. You’ve got this!
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