How to be More Productive When Working From Home
The pandemic has put a lot of us in a situation where we have to be constantly working from home and that does have its benefits, but it also has a lot of downsides. The biggest one - the struggle to stay focused and motivated.
What can you do to make the most out of working from home and still make sure you actually get stuff done?
Next to having a good work-life balance, being productive is one of the keys to success in any job. Working at home is one of the most challenging parts of being a freelancer or remote employee. It is easy to get distracted by all the things we used to have during our day-to-day routine, but without these distractions, we’ll end up missing out on a lot of the good things about our jobs. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your time working from home.
1. Focus on one thing at a time
If you have a regular day-to-day routine and get distracted by the things you used to do, it will be very difficult for you to work efficiently and get anything done. It is important to be clear about what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you are just going through the motions, chances are that you will not be able to focus and that you’ll end up wasting your time. The first step towards productivity is clarity. Make sure you set out a plan for each day of the week and know exactly what you’re going to do. Don’t think that being productive means being a slave to the clock. You need to work smart, not hard.
2. Learn to say ‘no’
You have to learn to say no. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to say no to yourself. When you don’t, you end up taking on more than you can handle and eventually burn out. You have to have a good balance between the things you need to do, and what you really want to do. And this includes housework too! Don’t feel like you have to be the Goddess of Productivity and vacuum the whole apartment, do the dishes, order groceries for the whole week - all in the 10-minute break you have between Zoom calls. It’s ok not to have everything done in a single day!
3. Eliminate distractions
Whether it’s the TV in the next room, your kids playing in the living room, or that person who always knocks on your door asking to borrow something, it is easy to get distracted when working from home. To avoid this distraction, turn off all electronics, keep your workspace as clean as possible and stay focused on what you are doing. Also, make sure that you have a comfortable environment in which to work. It can make a world of difference to your mental clarity and headspace.
4. Use a desk
Working from home means that you don’t have to go to a specific place and sit down. However, the home office may not be the best option because you might be too distracted and it may be hard to concentrate. A desk is a good option because it creates a clear space where you can put your work. It also helps to create a barrier between you and other things in the house, making you more focused on your work.
5. Schedule the day
Just because you have to work from home does not mean that you should skip your normal schedule. In order to be more productive, you need to set aside time for working and for fun and break up your day into work and non-work times. Time-block your calendar and make sure you put chunks of time dedicated to your work-related things, but also make time for going to the gym, going out to lunch with a friend, and going to the hairdresser (why not?).
6. Keep a healthy work-life balance
Working from home doesn’t have to mean working 24/7. It is important to make sure that you have a healthy work-life balance. Make sure that you take breaks to exercise, go for a walk, or go for a quick run. If you are feeling stressed, try to go for a little alone time, watch a movie or read a book. If you have a pet, it is recommended that you keep them outside of your office space, while you are working. They are cute but will help keep you distracted. (I know from experience!)
The past couple of years have put all of us to the test and have taken a toll on our productivity and sanity. So while you may struggle with making sure you get everything on your to-do list done, remember it’s also OK if some things get left out. It’s important to look after yourself, even if it means not ticking all the boxes off.
But if you still love yourself a little checklist and planning gives you life, we’ve got just the thing for you. Drop your email below and we’ll send you our free daily planner!