How do you stay productive while working from home?
Is working from home really productive? From sticking to a detailed schedule to avoiding digital distractions, here are 15 answers on how to stay productive while working from home:
- Write Out and Stick to a Detailed Schedule
- Complete Your Most Difficult Task First
- Set a Movie Score as Your Focus Playlist
- Pause and Get Some Fresh Air
- Get a Walking Desk
- Follow a To-Do List
- Don’t Let Your Work Take Over Your Life
- Take a 20-Minute Walk Just Before You Start Work
- Limit Distractions and Take Your Lunch Breaks
- Create Your Home Office
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to Stay Productive
- Keep a Consistent Routine
- Make Your Environment Unique
- Take Time to Set Up Your Office Space
- Avoid Digital Distractions
Write Out and Stick to a Detailed Schedule
You have to write a detailed schedule, and stick to it. One of the drawbacks of working from home can be too much freedom, and too many distractions. Without structure, it is easy to go down a rabbit hole of investigating something on the internet, for example.
Without properly established guardrails, there is nothing to keep you from following such a diverting path for hours.
Your detailed schedule provides those guardrails, giving you a set time for each task you need to accomplish. Hopefully, you are able to build in a bit of free time so that you can still fit in a few diversions.
Chris Vaughn, Emjay
Complete Your Most Difficult Task First
To stay productive, placing an order to your daily tasks is crucial – especially if you don’t want to waste that morning energy. That’s why it’s a great idea to complete your most difficult task of the day first. Not only will this lead to a massive sense of accomplishment, but it can ensure that you’re using your brainpower when it’s at its freshest.
Shaun Price, MitoQ
Set a Movie Score as Your Focus Playlist
My productivity superpower is actually my playlist. For example, I tend to listen to certain movie scores when I need to enter deep focus mode. I’ve found that the lack of words and the natural progression of the music really helps to keep me on track. Of course, it’s also great for drowning out any distracting background noise.
Michael Fischer, Elite HRT
Pause and Get Some Fresh Air
It’s not just the plants that benefit from time spent in the sun and open air; humans can get similar health benefits. Walking, or any kind of regular exercise, is a great way to improve your health. Get some exercise and fresh air every few hours by taking your dog for walks. Taking short breaks every few hours has been shown to improve focus and productivity. Even if you can’t get outside too often, just sitting at a window and eating your lunch or daydreaming will help you feel better.
Edward Mellett, Wikijob
Get a Walking Desk
Get a walking desk and it will change your life. There, I said it. A walking desk is truly the best way to stay productive and focused while you’re working from home because your body is staying active, your mind is invigorated and you literally have a pep in your step all day. For instance, I could be sitting at my desk for 5 hours, staring at my screen, having to take breaks to stretch and try to wake myself up. OR, I could be at my walking desk, slowly covering 4 to 6 miles, keeping my blood flowing, my body active and engaged and my mind tuned in – and if I need a break, I’ll sit down for 20 minutes here and there. Honestly, I laughed at myself when I first got this, but it has changed my whole work experience and not only increased my productivity but also my mood and my health.
Karim Hachem, Sunshine79
Follow a To-Do List
First off, studies have shown that people, on average, are more productive when they work from home. A major study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months resulted in an increase in productivity by 13%. Even better, those workers reported improved work satisfaction. So, you can be productive while working from home. But, how?
In our company, we operate on a hybrid work model, with some of our employees working 100% remotely if they live in another city or country from our office base. The best tip to stay productive while WFH is to make a to-do list!
With emails, Slack messages, Trello notifications, and whatnot always coming in, it can be tempting to always check those while you’re at home. Increase your productivity by focusing on your tasks for that day and checking any messages and notifications between tasks. Every time you check a message in the middle of a task you’re distracting yourself and increasing the time it will take you to complete that task.
Simon Bacher, Simya Solutions
Don’t Let Your Work Take Over Your Life
One tip for staying productive while working from home is not letting your work take over your life. You have to focus on your work while keeping the rest of your life in check. Remember, you will not do well if you burn yourself out in your work and then come home and have to deal with a house full of kids and an unfinished project. If you let your work take over your life, that means that the quality of your work suffers or you are working too many hours. Take a break from work and do something that you enjoy every day. Whether it is related to your work or something completely unrelated, make sure you spend time with something that makes you happy.
Leo Coleman, Gambling ‘N Go
Take a 20-Minute Walk Just Before You Start Work
My best tip for staying productive while working from home is to still allow a morning routine that prepares you for a day of productivity and achievement.
For me, I think it is important to keep the ‘commute’ to work as part of your daily routine – avoiding rolling out of bed with only enough time to shower and get in front of your computer. Instead, actively choose to get up and take a 20-minute walk just before you start work, circling back home. Do it come rain or shine, because although this process may sound simple and a bit useless, but actually, a commute is an opportune time to log your mind that you are ready for work and to start mentally preparing for the day with checklists, goals, and even a quick podcast.
This is all about taking the opportunity to activate your body and mind before you work and will see you being far more productive throughout the day, instead of sleepy and still waking up for the first few hours of work.
Hardy Selo, Property Guru
Limit Distractions and Take Lunch Breaks
As the dad of a special needs child, I am fortunate enough to have the flexibility to work a hybrid schedule. Working remotely every day in the afternoons, I find that the two most important skills that are needed are the ability to work autonomously as well as the desire to remain proactive while communicating with your team. If you are not able to remain productive while working remotely, then you will need to figure out how to change that. The two best ways to do this are to create a workspace that limits distractions and to also make sure you take your lunch breaks. If you work non-stop without taking a break, you will never give yourself the chance to recharge. I also think it’s important when working remotely to give yourself a chance to go out and do an activity outside the home. Something as simple as going out for a run after work hours can help you feel refreshed and unstuck from your remote work area.
Chris Biscuiti, Minuteman Press International
Create Your Home Office
Create your home office. Yes, this may sound minor, but your surroundings influence your productivity exponentially. My best advice is to establish your home office where you can be focused, productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
We all know that our home can be chaotic (we know this too well) so putting up physical boundaries around your designated workspace will let you shift your mindset and focus to your job, and (more importantly) let others know not to interrupt you.
This means that when you physically leave your workspace, you can mentally shift out of your work mode and re-enter your home life. The best and most simple way to stay productive while working from home is to set up your home office, and create a workspace that supports focus and a healthy work-life balance.
Susan Shaffer, Pneuma Nitric Oxide
Use the Pomodoro Technique to Stay Productive
During my work-at-home days, I researched a lot about the Pomodoro technique, which has been my go-to technique for better management of time and thereby increasing my productivity. As working from home can invite a lot of distractions, it is important to track your working mode with constant effort and time.
In the Pomodoro technique, the timer is set for 25 minutes, where you are required to concentrate only on your tasks. After this period, you can take a short break and continue to work for another 25 minutes. The more you take ‘Pomodoro’, the more you can extend your break time. This way of making work time break into periods can keep you on track, along with having a considerable amount of break time.
John Willis, Convertfree
Keep a Consistent Routine
I keep a consistent routine. It’s so easy to get bogged down by things that would otherwise be left for after-work hours, such as running errands and or cleaning up the house. Still, it’s essential to designate a workspace to focus intently and to capitalize on the no longer necessary commute needed to boost productivity, save time and produce quality over lower grade quantity. Yes, quality of life can improve when you work at your own pace, in your surrounding, and without the need for hustling to and from an office; however, make sure to set a schedule, keep a routine and incorporate the necessary communication and project management tools to streamline the process so that working from home is as accommodating as stepping into a conventional work environment.
Haley Wood, The Look
Make Your Environment Unique
While we may not always be able to control how we go to work, I believe we can always control the atmosphere in which we work. It can be enjoyable and a useful mental exercise to help you relax and personalize your workspace in ways that you might not be able to do in your corporate office. Whether it’s a fragrant candle, a plant, or a certain photo, personalize your workspace with elements that will make you feel relaxed, focused, and inspired all day long. Scents and plants in particular can have a really good impact on your emotional well-being.
Shad Elia, New England Home Buyers
Take Time to Set Up Your Office Space
Any public area, whether a calm park or a welcoming coffee shop, may serve as your work when working remotely; you just need to understand how to do it. Noise is your top adversary when working in public areas. The annoying hum of traffic may be successfully silenced with a decent set of active noise-canceling headphones, especially if you also choose music that complements the task at hand.
Consider buying an infinite mobile data plan and setting up your Wi-Fi hotspot rather than depending on public Wi-Fi networks, which are already quite risky in terms of security. Don’t forget to bring your charging or USB cable, or power bank as your smartphone’s Wi-Fi hotspot battery life is most likely limited to a few hours. There are certain rules for working remotely and being productive in any public area. Be considerate and spend money when operating remotely from a coffee shop. There is no set schedule that remote employees must adhere to, but most do purchase a beverage every two hours.
Steve Rose, Money Transfers
Avoid Digital Distractions
You generally don’t check social media too much at work, but it is frequently acceptable at home. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to become lost in the rabbit hole. One glance at a post’s comments and you’ve already wasted an hour of work time. To avoid these digital distractions from taking over your life, do everything you can to eradicate them completely. Remove all social media networks from your bookmarks and log out of all accounts. When you’re attempting to work, turn off all alerts and notifications and keep your phone in the bedroom. After you’ve finished your job for the day, save social media applications for the evening.
Timothy Woods, Carnivore Style
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