How Working from Home Can Increase Productivity (Yes, Really!)
If you’re an entrepreneur or work at a startup, you might not have the immediate funding for a physical office space, making it necessary to work from home. Most people love working from home, but to some it’s a recipe for procrastination, with distractions of television, pets, children, chores and more. However, you can increase productivity while working from home (really!). Every Friday I have the opportunity to work from home and I implement the below actionable tips to get more done—add these tips to your routine and you’ll see your productivity soar!
Plan your week.
If you work from home a few hours a day, a few days of the week or the entire week, planning your week is a must to stay on track. If you have days when you meet in an office or co-working space, prioritize group work and meetings on those days and plan out the work that you can do solo, or with minimal help, on the days you work at home.
Try scheduling your time in blocks and swallow the frog (do the most daunting, large or important task right away) in the morning. With your week planned out, you can focus on each project, and waste less time thinking about what tasks you have to do next.
Create a workspace at home.
There are a plethora of distractions that can pull you in multiple directions when you work at home. However, having a set space where you can focus on work will pull your attention away from those distractions and center it on what you need to get done.
This workspace could be a full home office, an area with a desk or simply a clean and empty table. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does have to be seen as a location where work gets done, by both you and the people you live with. Communicate with your significant other, children, roommates or anyone else you live with that when you are in this space, you are at work. Some people even put up signs at their workspace that say “At Work” or “On a call” to let people around them know they shouldn’t be disturbed.
Start your day early.
If you’re an early bird like me, sometimes you just want to dive right into starting your workday from home as soon as you get out of bed (there are many benefits to doing so)—and you can! If you’re not an early riser, you may be losing out on productive hours.
Starting your day early is great because it gives you the ability to answer emails or catch up on projects before clients and customers start their workday. It also allows you to work on important projects with minimal distractions, ultimately maximizing your productivity.
Here’s a tip: Keep the same schedule on the weekends as you do on weekdays so that you wake up at the same time each day. This will help you keep a steady routine, and will make it easier for you to start your days early during the week.
Take the breaks you need.
No, I’m not talking about a long lunch or a three hour trip to run errands. What I am talking about is taking the time to recharge your batteries. Working from home allows you to more readily walk away from your screen when you need a few minutes to reboot (everyone needs to recharge!). When I work from home I like to refocus by:
- Taking a ten-minute walk
- Emptying the dishwasher for 5 minutes
- Making a home-cooked lunch, which takes about 30 minutes.
- Doodling, writing or doing something creative for a few minutes
When you come back to your desk, you’ll find that you’re more energized and focused. This is a major productivity booster, as your renewed energy will allow you to finalize projects faster, and to a higher degree of quality.
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