Whether you have been working from home your whole career or are just starting temporarily, everyone could use a few tips on how to stay productive during this time at home. For most people staying productive is one of the key challenges of working from home. No worries, Follow these few lifestyle tips to make your home your new office!
Stick to a Routine
One of the best ways to be successful when working from home is sticking to a daily routine. Deciding you’ll sit down at your desk and start work at a certain time is one thing. Creating a routine that guides you into the chair is another. What in your morning routine indicates you’re about to start work? It might be making a cup of coffee. It might be returning home after a jog. It might be getting dressed (wearing pajama pants to work is a perk for some, but a bad strategy for others). A routine can be more powerful than a clock at helping you get started each day.
Make a To-do List
It can be easy to get distracted when working from home. To stay on top of your tasks and keep productivity up, it’s a great idea to make to-do lists. Whether you use post-it notes, a planner, or an online app like Google Keep, being able to cross off your tasks at hand will help you stay on task. Start your day by reviewing priorities for the day. When you make your task list, stick to it. It’s tempting to just leap into your email, but with a little extra focus, you can move the needle while working from home. Set goals and time limits for each task. After you complete each task, cross it off the list. This simple technique is both effective and fulfilling.
When working from home, it is important to take breaks just as you would in the office. Know your company’s policy on break times and take them. If you’re self-employed, give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen and phone. A lunch hour will greatly benefit your productivity when you get back to your screen. Take this break to walk your dog, do some chores around the house, stretch and grab a quick bite to eat!
Have a Designated Work Space
One of the most important parts in successfully working from home is to designate an area of your home, specifically for getting work done. This could be an empty or spare bedroom that you convert to a home office. If you are pressed for space, you can set up a desk for your computer and office supplies. Regardless of space or location, establish an area of your home where you will work, and commit to working in this space every day. Be sure your workspace is quiet so you can focus on the task at hand. Try not to have your office in the same space as you sleep or lounge. If you cannot get away from this make sure to make your bed every morning and start your day with a clean, fresh space you will enjoy working in.
Just because you are not in the office doesn’t mean you can’t chat face to face with your employees. Websites like Google Hangouts and Zoom are great ways to hold daily meetings just like you would in the office. Video chatting will also give you some time interacting with other people and help you feel a little less isolated! Google Chat is another great way to quickly communicate with your colleagues instead of sending a lengthy email. Technology today makes working from home almost as easy as if you were in the office!
Just as you should start your day with a routine, create a habit that signals the close of the workday. It might be a sign off on your Google Chat, an evening dog walk, or a 6 p.m. yoga class. Something as simple as shutting down your computer and turning on a favorite podcast will do. Whatever you choose, do it consistently to mark the end of working hours.
Working from home can for sure have its challenges, but with the right steps and routine, you can be just as productive as you would in the office. During this time, feel free to tag us in pictures of your home office on social media and show us how you are spending your breaks!