This time last year, who would have thought that working from home would become the new norm? It’s not such a bad development either, seeing as working from home means no more sitting through lengthy commutes and more family time, among other benefits.
The challenge here, however, is being able to deliver the same level of quality and output as you would when working in a designated work environment.
How do you stay productive in an environment where there is no shortage of distractions? Here are five helpful tips to consider:
1. Set up a specific work area
Having a designated workspace in your home is important for maintaining focus. If you have a spare room in your house that you can convert into a home office, then you’re already off to a good start.
If not, find a suitable area, preferably away from major distractions like the bed or home entertainment system, and set up your work area. Face your desk toward a wall and if possible, use curtains to delineate the workspace area.
Every time you step in, it feels like you’re actually ‘going to work,’ which can help minimize the chances of you being constantly distracted. If all else fails, consider getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones to keep you grounded in whatever task you’re working on at the time.
2. Pick a schedule and stick with it
If you just transitioned from a regular 8-hour shift, then you can just maintain the same schedule while working from home. This way, your body clock doesn’t need to readjust again to a new routine.
Of course, this is one of those ‘easier said than done’ type scenarios, especially if you have young kids who are also forced to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, it’s important to pick your designated work hours and stick with them.
This can put you in the right mindset for work and help you manage your time more efficiently. For instance, you may be tempted to take longer breaks since you’re literally at home. By keeping to your schedule, you know when it’s time to get back in there and get some work done.
3. Stay active
The usual daily commute to and from work can be a hassle, but it keeps your body active at least twice during the day. When working from home, however, your ‘commute’ consists of the few steps from your bed to your work area.
Working from home is no reason to slack off on being physically active. Every day during your work hours, get up from time to time and take a short walk around your house. Feel the sun, inhale the fresh outdoor air, and drink water.
This keeps your mind sharp and raring to go by the time you return to your workspace.
4. Leave your mobile devices outside the work area
Obviously this will not apply to people who need their various smart gadgets to get their work done. For the rest of us, it can immensely help to leave our mobile devices outside the workspace.
If your smartphone is always within reach, it’s likely you’ll pick it up over and over again, which means you’re not being productive. One minute you’re responding to a comment on your Twitter thread, and the next thing, you’re taking an online quiz to find out which greek god founded your ancestry.
Focus can be a fickle thing when working from home so it only makes sense to remove as many potential sources of distraction as you can from your work area.
5. Break down each task for the day and tackle them one by one
There was a time multitasking was a buzzword among professionals whenever there was talk of staying productive. Not anymore!
Some people work best under pressure, that’s true; but when working from home, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have so much stuff going on at the same time. By checking off one task at a time, you have better control of your time and each task receives your full mental focus.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to leverage technology…
When working from home, it is important to maintain social interactions. It’s always a good time to expand your network, maintain professional affiliations, and onboard new clients.
Before being forced to work from home, many of us relied on business cards to get the word out about what we do. Thanks to technology, we can still do that using electronic business cards. Zoom, Skype, and other communications apps are also examples of technology you can leverage to make working from home a tad smoother.
Staying productive while working from home is an incredible challenge, one that can only be attained by being intentional with your decisions and having the discipline to actually do work-related tasks during work hours.
Want to learn more about how digital business cards can help you connect with clients even while working from home? Talk to us today for a FREE consultation. Fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly.