Working from home sounds like paradise to some people, however, if you are not focused and work conscious you will face productivity problems. Whether you have agreed with your boss to work from home for a certain number of days per month, or you are self-employed or a freelancer, the five tips below will help you be more motivated, concentrate more on work and stay productive.
Separate work from play and minimize distractions
Work from a well-maintained workspace that is separate from family or friends that live with you and free from distractions. Keep it clean and tidy and ensure it is well stocked with all the equipment (printer/scanner/stationary, etc.) that you could possibly need. Keep it neat and tidy and don’t use it as a dumping ground for other non-work related tasks.
Get up early
Although you do not have to commute to work, you should wake up at the same time you usually would when travelling into an office. This isn’t to say you have to jump out of bed and dive straight into work, but you should get out of bed and start moving around and getting active to increase productivity. Have some time to yourself reading the paper or getting in some morning exercise to feel energized both physically and mentally before you start work. Whatever it is just make sure that you don’t press the snooze button and stay in bed, rolling out at 9am to sit sleepily at your computer in your pajamas – it doesn’t make for the most creative or productive work!
Make a schedule
A schedule for the day keeps you productive by ensuring that you have tasks to accomplish and deadlines to keep. You will have a sense of achievement in the evening, knowing that you have completed what you needed to do during the day. Try to maintain the same behavioral patterns you have at the office. If you would normally have a 45-minute break for lunch, then do the same when working at home.
Imagine your boss or client is watching you work
If you have a good imagination, it can pay to think of your boss or client checking up on you at home – making sure that you are working and being productive, and not wasting your time on social media or watching TV.
Clear the To Do list
Do you have some tasks that you keep postponing that have been sat there for days or even weeks? If any of these tasks on your to do list are important, you should complete them as soon as possible. You will have fewer tasks on your daily to do list and they will be clear from the back of your mind. You will be less stressed and your daily schedule has a bit more space for new tasks.
Make a timetable
If you have a flexible work schedule and don’t need to stick to a strict 9-5 working day, you can set your own time frame. If you struggle to concentrate for the first hour or so after lunch, give yourself a two-hour lunch break with more time to relax before getting back to work and being productive – you just have to work an extra hour at the end of the day. You are the boss at home, but set some rules and stick to them. Commit to work the same amount of hours you would if you were working at the office. If you normally work eight hours a day, then make sure you set your schedule so you work for the same amount of time at home.
By being organised, you can ensure you remain motivated and productive – and will be probably end up achieving much more this way than if you were in an office being distracted!