5 WAYS TO BE PRODUCTIVE WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
Gone are the days of the classic nine to five and with it the clear divide between home space and work space. While there are innumerable benefits from working at home, it is important to not look back on your week and realize you ‘worked’ ninety hours and only accomplished twenty hours of work. Below are five ways to increase productivity while working at home. Whether you work from home full time, part time or only on rare occasions, let us know which of these tips work for you and what other changes have made you more efficient!
Set your start time. Not everyone who works from home has the luxury of deciding their own start time but if you do, make it achievable. If you know you are most productive before noon, make sure you get up early enough to get your most difficult tasks done prior to noon. If you are not a morning person and take a few hours to wake up, don’t plan meetings for seven in the morning. You want to feel fresh and ready for the day, so set realistic start times based on when you are at your optimal work mode.
Limit social media. This is an obvious time drain that we all indulge in, especially because social media can be so closely tied to business. Limit personal social media to ‘lunch breaks’ and after work. A five minute mental break can quickly turn into thirty minutes and any work momentum will be diminished. If you do need to go on social media for work, set a timer. It is very easy to lose track of time and a timer will help keep you on track!
Create a productive work space. Having a designated work space gets you into the right mind frame to hustle. One of the benefits from working from home is you can make the space distinctly yours. If you work best at a desk, set one up with everything you need to work. Take advantage of natural light and functional items that you enjoy. Set yourself up for success and use this area solely for work. Having to remove laundry and other clutter before starting your day is not a good use of your time.
Plan your meals. Not everyone eats breakfast and that’s ok but if you are someone that does eat breakfast, do so before you start working and know what your plan for lunch is. Don’t waste time looking in the fridge, deciding if you should order in and then ultimately just snacking until dinner. This process not only takes time but as your energy drains so does your focus. Know what your plan is and stick to it. If you are going to order in, then order before you are ravenous. If you are going to eat at home, know you have all the ingredients you need. If you are particularly ambitious, meal prep your lunches for the week and see how much time you save not wondering what your next meal will be!
Clock out! Any task will expand to fill the time allowed. If you do not set an end time for your day you may find that you spent the whole day procrastinating until you decide to go to sleep. Not only is that inefficient but it is important to have time away from work so when you ‘clock out’, mean it. Don’t take work calls, don’t check your email and don’t start new projects. No one is expected to work 24/7 and those calls, emails and tasks will all be there the next day. Be ready to tackle them with a focused mind and renewed energy!