For many, working from home is the dream.
Maybe you have more time with your family thanks to eliminating a long commute. Or perhaps you're able to take your dog (or yourself) for a walk while the sun is still out. The downside to working from home is that it often comes with more distractions and less accountability compared to the structured office environments that we're used to.
There's no doubt that working from home offers much more control over how we live our lives, but if you're avoiding your to-do list instead of the distractions, it won't be sustainable.
If you work remotely, it's necessary to find ways to stay productive. Whether you work from home every day or every once in a while, these 5 practical tips will help you get the most out of your remote work time, even when the comforts of home become a distraction.
Set a Work Schedule
Creating a work-from-home schedule will not only help your productivity, but it will also help you set and maintain boundaries with everyone in your household. It can be easy to lose track of time when working from home but incorporating some time management techniques can help you improve your focus. The Timeboxing Technique, for example, encourages proactively deciding how much time to spend on a task instead of working on a task until it's done.
Develop a Daily Routine
Routines provide your brain with a pattern to follow, making it easier to stay focused throughout the day. Morning routines are particularly essential, helping you start the day off on the right foot. The allure of extra Zs' can make rolling out of bed and right into your desk chair tempting, but morning routines are essential to transitioning your brain into work mode. Routines can include a morning walk, updating your to-do list, and clearing off your desk at the end of the day.
Taking regular breaks boosts energy, increases motivation, and improves focus. According to The Energy Project Study, employees who take a break every 90 minutes report a higher level of focus than those who take no breaks or just one during the day. Another Study found that workers who took two short breaks stayed consistently productive when given a particular task, but when it came to the group who took no breaks, “performance declined significantly over the course of the task”.
Make sure you get up from your desk and get some fresh air, grab a snack, and talk with another human if possible.
Communicate with Colleagues
Keeping communication channels open and proactively engaging with work relationships is vital to productivity. Work hard to stay involved with your team–not just when it comes to projects but also with casual social interactions. Utilizing video chat technologies where you can see one another and communicate verbally can help your team plan and collaborate more effectively.
Create a Workspace
Creating a workspace helps you separate your personal and work lives. While the comfy sofa may be alluring, not having a dedicated workspace can take a huge toll on productivity. Having a consistent workspace will signal to the brain that it is time for work, not relaxation.
If a room with a door is not an option, set up a spot where you can comfortably work without noise and distractions. Room dividers are a great option to create physical separation of your work and home spaces, improving your ability to focus.
In addition to creating a workspace, it is crucial to keep that space clean and organized to maintain efficiency and productivity.
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