More people than ever before are breaking away from the traditional office environment to work from home. In fact, nearly half of working Americans now work from home full-time.
And as beneficial and enjoyable as working from home can be, it takes some adjustment when you’re used to working in an office.
If you’re just getting started working from home, it’s important that you know how to increase productivity. Because getting and staying focused can be one of the hardest parts.
Listed below are some of the best tips for being more productive when working from home. Keep reading to learn more!
- Set a Schedule
The first step when preparing to work from home is to set a schedule. Yes, you have the entire day ahead of you to work, but without a schedule, you’ll find yourself working far more than you should.
The best place to start when making your schedule is your sleep. You should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep per night, put that into your schedule first. Plan to get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
Let’s say you plan to get up at 8 in the morning. Give yourself time to get dressed, have coffee, and complete the rest of your morning routine. This will likely put you sitting at your desk between 9 and 10 am.
Now that you have your start time, pick an end time and stick to it. If your schedule says you stop working at 5 pm, it’s essential that you do so. Allowing your schedule to get out of whack will put a damper on both your productivity and mental health.
- Dress for the Occasion
As mentioned above, you should always get dressed for work. As tempting as it might be to stay in your pajamas all day, it’s important to do everything you can to help your brain shift into work mode.
Now, you don’t have to put on a suit and tie or a business skirt. Just take off your pajamas or sweatpants and put on some jeans. Putting on some “real clothes” for your working hours will do wonders for your mindset.
- Plan Your Workday
On top of creating a general schedule for your working hours, it’s helpful to get more detailed when planning your workday. Before you start working, you should have an idea of where you’re going for the day. Have a realistic list of tasks and goals that you’ll complete by the end of the day and schedule them into time slots.
As you’re doing this, there are a few tips you can use to increase productivity. First, schedule your highest priority and most difficult tasks first. You’re at your sharpest and most productive early in the day – take advantage of the boost!
Second, take your natural energy waves into account. When do you typically feel most energized during the day? When do you want nothing more than to take a nap?
Schedule your most demanding tasks during the peaks of your energy wave. When you’re feeling sluggish, stick to the more mindless parts of your work.
- Choose a Workspace
It’s not enough to simply work from home. One of the most effective tools for being more productive is to create a workspace within your home.
If you don’t have the space or the budget to dedicate an entire room to a home office, don’t worry! Carving out a corner of your kitchen or living room for work is more than enough. As long as your space makes you feel inspired and ready for work, you’re headed in the right direction.
Never work in bed or on your couch. No matter how tempting it might be to do so. Doing so will absolutely tank your productivity and prevent your brain from creating associations between certain places and certain activities.
Save your bed for sleeping, your couch for relaxing, and your desk for working. You’ll feel more at ease and find it easier to work when it’s time to work and relax when the workday is over.
- Keep Distractions to a Minimum
If you’re one of the lucky ones who can work from home without any distractions – congratulations. For most of us, however, working from home comes with an endless list of distractions, which must be kept to a minimum if we want to be our most productive.
Set up a split screen shortcut so that your work materials take up the entire screen, block out the background noise by putting in some headphones, and if you need to, install an extension to block yourself from social media and other distracting sites.
If you get distracted, don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing the best you can. Take a breath and refocus – you’ve got this.
- Take Breaks
It might feel like the best way to stay productive is to power through your entire workday with no breaks. But in reality, the opposite is true. In order to prevent burnout, not to mention protect your eyes and back, taking breaks is crucial.
Every 90 minutes or so, get up from your desk and stretch, you can even wander around your house for a minute or two.
On top of that, you should be taking an extended break once or twice a day. To maximize your break, consider getting some fresh air. Something as simple as a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood can relieve tension and put you in a better mindset for the rest of your day.
Learn How to Increase Productivity to Get the Most Out of Your Day
If you know how to increase productivity and put your knowledge to use, you can make working from home the best decision you’ve ever made. Working from home provides you with a level of freedom that you could never get in a traditional office, the trick is knowing how to use that freedom wisely.
Interested in learning more about getting the most out of working from home? Take a look at our blog!