Working from home can feel like a dream. It’s something many people wish for. What’s better than sleeping in a little longer, beating your morning commute and not wearing shoes when you work! Plus, there are tons of other perks that make working from home totally irresistible for many.
- Save money on eating out
- Work in a comfortable environment
- Save money on your commute
- Create your dream workspace
- Get more time!
Once you’ve finally gotten there, working from home, you might find that a problem can emerge.
You might be scratching your head at this one, but hear me out.
Productivity can be a major issue working from home. It can be a challenge when you’re not working from home, too!
When I first transitioned to working from home, I had big plans. I was looking forward to creating a structured routine for myself including a morning workout, 3 breaks and 1 lunch during the day and promptly stopping work at 4pm.
I had quit my day job to run a home business so I had a lot of flexibility, in addition to working from home.
When I finally started, my first day (and days following) looked much different than this plan I had laid out in my head.
I found myself getting distracted and it was very difficult to stay focused.
Everything was a distraction, from TV, pets, my work setting, etc.
Eventually, I was able to find a system that worked to help me get the level of productivity I wanted and this article is going to show you some top tips to help you do the same!
Keep reading to learn how to work productively from home.
Work Productivity Definition
What is work productivity? The short answer is being productive at work. Being productive and being busy are two different things.
Productivity is all about working toward a goal. You want to complete tasks.
Because you could do busy work and not get anything done.
You really need a solid system to stay focused and productive while working at home.
Here’s how you do it!
How to Be Productive at Home
There are 7 strategies you should consider when crafting your work from home productivity plan:
- Create a dedicated work space
- Work in batches
- Get out
- Make a list
- Eliminate distractions
- Don’t procrastinate
- Keep a work mindset in mind
How can I make my work from home better?
You don’t have to feel stuck any more.
There is a better way to work productively from home. It just takes an open mind and change. If you’re open to changing your routine, you can make your work from home better.
Become productive. Finally, get focused. Accomplish more at work.
All this can happen.
Let’s get started!
This is how you get started working productively from home.
Creating a Work Space
First, create your dedicated work space. This means creating a space in your home that you use for work.
Examples include a home office or dining room with table and chairs, spare bedroom, etc. It’s important that you define this area in your home because it will help you create some separation between work and home life which is essential for work/life balance.
When I worked my corporate job years ago, the company started a work from home program that all the employees went through.
I was so excited to work from home.
I never worked from home and I had a picture in my head about how it’d be.
Funny enough, I ended up hating it.
My workspace was in my bedroom!
So, I’d sit at the desk in my room and work. Then, when my shift ended, I’d plop on the bed to relax and watch TV. Every time I’d go into that room, I associated it with work and it wasn’t a great experience for me.
Don’t let this be you.
I knew this wasn’t the feeling I wanted so I eventually transitioned to working on the kitchen table, which ended up working great for my small apartment.
Make sure to separate your work space from the rest of your home, even if it means sitting at your kitchen table (like I did) with a laptop and working.
You can also look at working outside your home. Aside from investing in coworking space, many work from home workers will work from Starbucks, the public library, the park, and other places.
Don’t rule this out.
Next, batch work!
This is about working in batches. You set a timer and work for a long period of time, then take a break.
For example, you can work for 50 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. Rinse and repeat.
This helps you break up your day into manageable chunks and this way of working can help you get a lot more done and achieve the productivity you’re looking for, working from home.
As you continue batching, eventually you should try to make your work blocks larger, like working 3 hours, with a 20 minute break, for example.
Breaks are super important when you work. Don’t get away from taking them even if you work from home.
Get Out of the House
This is critical. You can feel really cooped up working from home. I take a break by going for a short walk to the mailbox to get the mail. I also will just step outside to get some sun at least once a day for 5 minutes or so.
During breaks I’ll dash to Starbucks which is very close to where I live and grab a cup of coffee, or if time permits, run a short errand like picking up dry cleaning or getting my oil changed on my car.
Because, if you work at home and then spend your free time at home, you might go crazy!
You need some time away and it’s great to take that break during your work day. It really fuels you and gives you energy.
Make a List
Making a list of your tasks for the day is an excellent way to keep yourself organized. You should try this in your personal life too, so you don’t forget appointments, events, and you stay on top of tasks you need to get done.
Making a to-do list is super easy.
You can do this with a spiral notebook and pen or use a free notepad app on your smartphone. Just jot down some things you have to do for the day. You can make these items your daily goals and don’t overwhelm yourself by listing too many in a single day.
Check back on your list throughout the day and mark off the tasks that you finish.
List making can be very helpful to keep you organized, holding you accountable so you don’t slack off.
The dreaded distractions! They can feel like they’re everywhere when you’re working from home.
How do you stay productive?
What are some common distractions at home?
- Your spouse or kids
- Entertainment (TV, game console, etc.)
- Social media
- The computer you work on!
How many times have you been working on your computer and been tempted to open a new browser and scroll Facebook?
How can you cope with distractions while working from home?
First, you want to set limits for yourself.
For example, if it’s really tough for you to not stay off Facebook, allow yourself that time but, minimize it to twice a day or only on breaks. This way you get a little bit of what you want, without it totally throwing off your work schedule so you don’t stay off task.
Working in batches should help with the distractions, too.
And, having a dedicated work space.
When I transitioned from working all over the house, to only working in my office, things greatly improved.
I could keep my pets out of that room so I wouldn’t be tempted to play with them. There was also no TV or radio in the office so I wouldn’t get swept away watching Netflix or listening to music more than I was working.
My productivity greatly improved just by making those small changes.
I’d also get distracted by a sink full of dirty dishes. I hated looking at them and it made me feel awful just knowing they were there, even if I was in another room.
So, I made it a habit to clean the house at night and do the dishes. This way I eliminated that distraction and felt better working in a clean house where chores wouldn’t draw me in to do them!
This is just one example of how you can eliminate a distraction while you work from home.
This next one can be difficult regardless if you work from home or in an office. It’s about procrastinating.
People struggle with this in their personal lives too.
How does it happen?
There’s a task that’s looming over your head. You don’t want to do it, you feel anxious, or it’s a big project and you find it difficult to get started.
So, you procrastinate.
Procrastination is a big driver of productivity issues working at home.
Making a list can help with this. After you make your to-do list, promise yourself that you’ll get 90% of the tasks done on that list. You don’t have to be perfect but aiming for getting most of it done will help squash procrastination.
You want to break this cycle and tackle your tasks head on.
Keep a work mindset in mind
Lastly, think about having a work mindset.
What does this mean?
Imagine you’re at your workplace. Then, act like you would there.
First, wear work clothes. No sweatpants or pyjamas. Your clothes are a big part of how you feel and wearing comfortable leisure wear will not make you feel like working.
Instead, dress as you would if you were going in to work.
This extends to ladies wearing makeup (if you normally do) and men shaving. Basically preparing yourself to be seen by the public and your coworkers even though you’ll be working at home.
These little changes will make you feel better and get you ready to do your best work at home.
Productivity Working From Home
Still looking for more advice for accomplishing work from home productivity?
Here are 12 productivity tips to try this week:
- Create a routine
- Multitask (but, not too much)
- Structure your work hours
- Give yourself “extra” breaks to do nothing (like a stretch)
- Decorate your workspace
- Keep an energy-boosting drink nearby (like lemon water)
- Incorporate exercise into your day
- Eat breakfast
- Keep your workspace clean
- Make your to-do list deadline-driven (assigning times throughout the day to each task)
- Be early for meetings
- Don’t be afraid to say “no”
How to Stay Productive
Staying productive can be a crucial part of the success of your work day. Try using these tips shared above in your own schedule and see how you manage.
Productivity in the home
What you’ll enjoy is that these best practices can easily translate to your home life. You can tweak your home routine to improve productivity so you get your household chores done, you remember your appointments, you spend less time doing the things you hate and more time doing the things you love.
At the start of this article, you might have been asking yourself, “How can I be productive working from home?”
Now, we hope you’ve been able to take away some resources to help you become more productive working from home.
Bringing it all together means taking bits (or all) of what we shared above and adapting it to your own personal work from home schedule.
The secret to it all?
Understand that your time at work is limited and important. Achieving greater productivity will make you happy and help you get more work done.
What do you think?
Share your advice on how to work productively from home, down below in comments!