Working from home efficiently can be a challenge. There are so many distractions, less responsibility, and less communication than when you’re working from the office. But that doesn’t make it impossible. There are tons of ways to keep working productively from your home.
1. Follow regular work hours
Set consistent hours for yourself to keep you accountable to yourself and to your boss. It makes it more likely to get all your work done, and it makes it easier for your boss to stay in touch with you.
You don’t necessarily have to work 9-5 every day. It’s far better to work at the times of day when you’re at your most productive. You should know when your boss really needs you to be at work. For example, it’s best to check your emails each morning or be available by phone or chat in the afternoons. Other than that, know the times of day when you’re likely to get the most work done. Communicate those hours of availability to your office, and you’ll be able to have productive consistent workdays.
2. Separate work and personal time
While working, it’s also important to give yourself time off. Don’t stretch the workday too far beyond what you planned, and risk burning yourself out.
Compartmentalize your work time and personal time. This will keep you productive while you’re at work, and reduce stress when you aren’t. Just as you scheduled your work hours, schedule, communicate and plan when you won’t be available to work. Spend your evenings with your family and make sure you communicate that you aren’t available for work during that time. And then keep that commitment!
3. Plan your workflow
The best way to keep productivity up is by getting smart about planning your workday. Before starting work, set the priorities for the day in advance, how long will it take you to get everything done, and what you will be working on if there’s any extra time.
It might be helpful to take a few minutes before going to bed to plan for the next day. You may even sleep better without having the stress of planning in the back of your mind.
4. Take breaks
Plan breaks for yourself throughout the day. Make sure that you get up from your desk during these breaks– grab a healthful snack, and talk with someone else if at all possible. These activities are very useful in helping you reset, getting your blood flowing, and making sure you can easily tackle the next chunk of tasks.
Plan how you’ll spend your breaks ahead of time, so there’s something to look forward to. Also, decide how long you will spend on a break, so you don’t become too distracted. Ten to 30 minutes is enough for shorter breaks, and an hour or two makes a perfect lunch break.
5. Have an at-home office
It might seem better to work from your couch, easy-chair, or even from the bed, but this might take a huge toll on your productivity. Create and work from a consistent room, desk, or chair, to tell your brain that it’s time to work, not relax.
You will likely feel more alert, more confident, and more organized. Set up a desk where you always work. Have a comfy, supportive chair, a spacious desk, and consistent workplace tools. Have fun in personalizing your space. You will be spending a lot of time there!