Since 2005, there has been a significant rise in professionals working from home. When work from home first came into the picture, people romanticized workers in their pajamas or cooking while typing out projects for their bosses. Nothing can be more counterproductive than these pictures, however. Below are real ways to do more when you work from home.
Tip #1: Start early
If you’re a mom and you have kids (and a husband) to take care of, then you know that your most productive hours will be when everyone’s still asleep, or when they are off to work and school. Use these productive hours well. Do not try to do housework. Instead, use these hours to concentrate on work. The looming “deadline” when everyone wakes up will also push you to concentrate on work. Keep social media tabs out of your sight to encourage discipline.
Tip #2: Set a clear workspace
As in an office, you need your own work space at home. Working from your bed might be effective for some individuals but WFH (work from home) professionals swear by assigning a specific table and chair for work. It can be any spot in your house, even the dining room, that helps you concentrate. If you have to push a table against a wall or a window to gain energy (and inspiration), do so. Announce your work space to your kids and husband too. This way, they will learn to respect the space and the work you would have to accomplish when you’re there.
Tip #3: Work with a clear time structure
Productivity at work is highly psychological. When you are working along gray areas, you are not likely to get anything done. There’s no pressure. Your brain is not trained to do work. You need to set parameters even if you are working from your home. Work from home means you assign specific hours that should be spent only on working. There will always be an emergency: a child crying because of a broken toy, your husband losing a sock, your mother-in-law suddenly dropping by for a visit. You could face them for a little while but make them understand that you are working and certain things will have to wait. Go back to your work and accomplish what you set out to accomplish.
Tip #4: Communicate your need to work to companions at home
While a work from home setup allows you to spend more time with your family, your family should learn to respect the hours you spend working. Sure, these hours are flexible, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be less committed to it. To be more productive at home, you need your family’s cooperation. Make sure you explain this to them before venturing into any Work from home deal. If you have little children, arrange fixed naptimes so that you have a few hours to yourself to focus on just work.
Tip #5: Set clear breaks
You need to regain your sanity. Even in the office space, you cannot work efficiently without setting clear breaks. Take 15 minutes to breathe, recharge, and have coffee. Don’t forget to take your meals. Drink water and have bathroom breaks regularly. You’ll find that thinking about work during more relaxed, scheduled breaks can actually give birth to some of the brightest ideas.
Tip #6: Get out of your home if necessary
If you have been working from home for a long time, you will realize that your space can get rather sleepy. If this happens, you are least likely to get any real work done. Look into co-working spaces, or go to a coffeeshop with free WIFI. This way, you can be simulating the same white noise in the office. This can actually make you more productive when you work from home.
Tip #7: Avoid housework distractions unless you are using them as a timer
By every means possible, you should avoid the urge to clean your home, cook, or do the laundry while you are working from home because this can keep you off track. That is unless you are using the household chore as a way to time your mini-goals. If you are doing the laundry, for example, you can commit to finishing an entire article while the clothes are in the washer. This will push you to focus on your work because you know you only have a few minutes to achieve the goal.
Tip #8: Set goals and try to do more
As with any office worker, Work from home professionals are more productive when they list what they want to achieve within the day. Use the notes app in your computer and gleefully cross out tasks once you’re done with them. This will motivate you to focus on work because there is a sense of achievement each time you finish a task.
Tip #9: Look at distractions as challenges
We’re not telling you to ignore your 10-month-old baby when he cries. Pick your child up but don’t give up your job just yet. Your child will go back to napping eventually. Go back to your task as soon as you can, then focus. Set your eyes on the goal given your limited time before the next distraction. Calm down. Remember, even in an office setup, pressure can propel you to greater results.
Tip #10: Make meals ahead of the work day
Would you have the time to cook if you were working in an office? The kitchen can be a big distraction for Work from home professionals. To limit your lunch break to an hour, resist the urge to cook during your work hours. Prepare your meals ahead of time, and wash your dishes only if it’s not yet your schedule to go back to work.
Additional tip: Use some tools to optimize productivity! There are hundreds of tools out there but choose the ones that are really useful for your job. What you decide to invest in will depend on your needs, but this article will give you a diversified review of the best tools on the market.
Any other work from home productivity tips can you share? 🙂
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