Keeping your productivity going as you work from a home environment can be a little challenging. Productivity does not come easily in a home setting as it mostly does in a structured office environment.
For you to be productive as you work from home, you have to be very intentional about it. There are so many simple things you can do to keep you productive as you work from home. Additionally, there are also many things that can make you unproductive.
If you are employed, you definitely have to get work done at the end of the day. But if you are struggling to be productive, the work you do or submit at the end of the day will not be efficient.
On the other hand, if you are self-employed, you might not feel the pressure to get work done at the end of the day. You will keep procrastinating your tasks and sometimes not get them done at all.
When working from home, there are so many distractions and some are avoidable while others are not. There is less accountability when working from home as your boss or colleague is not there to keep you on toes. There is also less communication as face to face interaction is limited or none. Therefore, catching up on work with your colleagues or bosses through-out the day like in an office is difficult.
To be efficient and effective in your work, whether employed or self-employed, you have to learn how to be productive. Whether you are working every day for specific hours or 4 days a week, these no brainer tips will help you improve your productivity in no time.
Have regular working hours.
One thing that people love about working from home is the flexibility that comes with it. However, if you want to be productive and consistent, the flexibility thing might not work for you.
Having and keeping regular work hours will help you stay consistent in your work tasks and this will increase your productivity big time.
Your brain is even set to a pattern and knows you work for 3-5 hours a day from 8-1 P.M and it will be tuned.
Having regular work hours will also help you be more accountable to yourself and your boss too.
Know when you are more productive and set your work hours based on that and get work done during that time.
If you are employed, consider the time your boss needs you and the communication time between you and your colleagues or your clients. Apart from when you have impromptu meetings, conference calls and other important calls you are not in control of, have your work hours set.
Separate your work tasks from home tasks – avoid multitasking.
If you don’t separate your work tasks and home tasks, you will easily get mixed in trying to get both done. This type of multitasking will highly affect your productivity.
When it comes to work, you need to be able to fully concentrate on it to be efficient. Let your mind be set to working on one thing at a time and see how productive your days will be.
Know what your work tasks are and set them to be done within the regular work hours you set.
Know the house chores you need to do in a day and have a separate time set for them. Don’t be trying to cook while trying to get some work done on your computer because you delayed to get work done and have a deadline to meet and children to feed.
Having this type of separation will also help you balance work time and home time, reducing unnecessary stress and increasing your productivity.
Have a regular sleeping schedule.
When working from home, it’s so easy to fall into ‘unhealthy’ sleeping habits. Either sleeping too much or not having enough sleep and these can reduce your productivity levels.
Sleep is very important to the human body and the human brain. It helps the body and the brain to rest and reenergize. When you have enough rest, you are able to focus and concentrate on your work and this enables efficiency and productivity.
Know how many hours of sleep your body needs and have a sleeping schedule and make sure you stick. Make sure you avoid things and activities that interfere with your sleeping schedule. For example, avoid starting a TV show an hour or 2 to your set bed time. The possibility of you binge watching the show for the next 6 hours is very high.
Prepare your task lists according to priority.
Another great way to increase your productivity is knowing what needs to be done and doing them according to priority.
Prepare a weekly and daily task lists to help you keep tabs of all the work tasks that need to be done. Know your priorities for the week and for the day and how long it might take to get each task done.
This will help you plan your workflow and ensure you meet all the set deadlines effectively.
Prepare your daily task list for the following day before you go to bed as this helps you sleep better and reduce stress the following day. Remember to update your weekly task list everyday as much as you can to avoid forgetting tasks.
Let you highest priority start and get the hardest tasks done when your energy is at peak.
Take breaks – don’t sit at your desk all day.
Breaking up your day improves your productivity big time. Don’t be stuck to your desk all day without taking a break.
Plan for your breaks during your work hours and have at least a 15 Minutes or 20 Minutes break after every 1 Hour 30 Minutes of work.
Take a break away from your desk and get a cup of tea, coffee or a healthy snack. You can go for a walk, breath some fresh air or talk to someone.
These 15-20 minutes will give your mind a break and ready for the next chunk of work to be done.
Your productivity declines as you sit on your desk for long periods without taking a break. Breaks help you stay consistently productive during work tasks
Have a specific area in your house set for work.
When it comes to working from home, separating your work space from the rest of the house increases your productivity.
Don’t just be working from any part of the house anytime you feel like. In the morning you are working from the bed, afternoon the couch and tomorrow the kitchen. Get a consistent workstation in the house.
Have a corner in your bedroom or your living area or an extra room in your house set for work. Get a comfortable chair and set up your desk with whatever you need for work. When you get to that space, your brain will know its work time and it will be easier to concentrate and be productive.
Your brain will be able to associate the couch with relaxation, the bed with sleep and the desk with work. This association helps your brain shift your energy levels accordingly.
With a specific space set for work, you are likely going to feel more organized and alert to get work done.
Tidy up your work and home space regularly.
Make it your duty to keep your work and home space tidy and clean. ‘A cluttered space is a cluttered mind.’
When your work and home space is tidy and clean, this helps keep you focused. It also helps you stay put and organized increasing your productivity.
This helps you avoid circumstances where you are tempted to clean your house during work hours.
With a tidy space, you know where everything is and you won’t keep leaving your desk to look for something you need.
Have an hour or good few minutes set to regularly clean up your home and your work space.
Incorporate what gets you moving – music, nature sounds, podcasts, and audio books.
A few things can keep you moving especially if you are doing repetitive tasks.
Play soothing music such as Lofi or Mozart, instrumental music, or soothing soundtracks with nature sounds. If loud jams get you moving, play them. There are no colleagues to get disturbed or distracted by your music.
Open the windows wide open to let fresh air flow in and to let sounds from outside such as birds singing come in.
Listen to an audio book or a podcast as you get work done. Find out what option works for you and incorporate it to your work time.
These things will get you moving through your work days with ease.
If you have been working from home for a while now, you know that keeping your productivity going is important but challenging.
You are probably feeling stuck and your productivity is declining day by day. These few simple changes and tips in your routine and space will help increase your productivity making you efficient.