Let’s be honest — working from home is great. Without a commute, you’re saving time and money, and can just roll out of bed right before your start time. But if you don’t create the right environment, you can find yourself unfocused and unproductive all day.
To work from home successfully, you’ll have to do more than just open up your laptop. When you don’t have those visual cues that you would in an office to help you get into “work mode,” you have to create that for yourself. Read the tips below to learn how.
For some of us, when we think of working from home, we picture the BBC reporter who was abruptly interrupted by his children while on live TV.
It was hilarious to watch but it also highlights one of the downsides of working from home: distractions. Whether it’s kids, your pet(s), your partner, or television, there are 1,000 ways to not get any work done at home. That’s why it’s important to be disciplined.
For instance, you wouldn’t have “The Office” on in the background at work, right? So, turn the TV off while working from home. Although you may think it won’t affect your performance, it’s much harder to focus when something else is pulling your attention. I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t be able to focus with Steve Carell on either.
If the distraction is a partner or child, consider isolating yourself while working from home. Any room in your home will do, as long as it’s quiet and distraction-free. If you are the sole caretaker in your home, have your little ones perform their own activities as you work: puzzles, coloring books, educational videos, etc.
Keep Your Routine
Keeping your morning routine is one of the best things you can do to pump up your level of productivity while working from home. Believe it or not, the way you start your day has a massive impact on how productive you are throughout the day.
For instance, your clothing. While you do have the luxury of staying in pajamas all day, it’s important that you resist the urge. Unconsciously, your mind is still in sleep/relaxing mode. So, you may find it harder to concentrate and get work done. The same goes for working in bed, avoid it at all costs.
Get yourself into work mode by following your regular routine. This means waking up at the same time you normally would and completing the same morning tasks. The great thing is you can use any extra time to do something you wouldn’t normally have time for. This can be working out, eating a good breakfast, speaking with loved ones, or a hobby you enjoy.
You may think to yourself, “Why should I take a break? Working from home is enough of a break.” Yes, you are in a more relaxed environment when at home, but you may not be getting the mental breaks you need to maintain your productivity throughout the day.
In an office setting, your designated lunch break — and the many unofficial breaks you take chatting with co-workers over coffee or tea — give your mind the time it needs to rest before you jump back into your work. When you have no downtime, you get burnt out very quickly.
While working remotely, it can be easy to stare at your screen all day without much room for breaks. But as we mentioned in the previous section, keeping a routine is essential. With this in mind, do take a lunch break as you normally would, chat with your coworkers, and take a coffee break. Your mind will thank you.