Working From Home Tips to Stay Productive
It’s been a while…! Over 3 weeks to be exact, and that’s mostly down to the horrible situation we’ve all found ourselves in. To be honest, I haven’t felt motivated to blog recently. My anxiety is heightened, my dad is suffering from the coronavirus, so I’m also worried about him. And I’m just hoping things get back to some kind of normality soon. But until then we have to make the best of a bad situation. For me, that’s working from home.
This isn’t the first time I’ve worked from home, though. Having done some freelance work in the past. blogging in my spare time, and even helping my parents with their jewelry business when I was a teenager. So it’s safe to say I’ve picked up some useful knowledge along the way.
Working from home isn’t easy! It’s different, to say the least.
I’m used to having a noisy office and my colleagues to keep me company. But at home I’m left to my own devices. Which can be difficult with so many distractions around, like the PS4 or my phone! So working from home certainly takes a lot of discipline to stay productive.
Today I’m going to share some easy ways to stay productive when you’re working from home. Something that I’ve certainly had to learn over the past few weeks.
How to Stay Productive Working From Home
Set up your workspace
Having a dedicated area to work from really helps to keep you focused and productive. A desk set-up away from the TV or other distractions is ideal, but not everyone has the space for a home office. Instead, look at areas in the house you can set up your workstation easily such as the kitchen table. You could even consider taking your work outside, to your garden, or a coffee shop.
Wherever you decide to set up your workstation, make sure to keep your desk area clear. And surround yourself with things that inspire you. This could be motivational prints, family photos, or snaps for your recent vacations.
Have a Working from Home Routine
If you’re in the office you likely have a set routine of tasks you need to focus on throughout the day. But when you’re at home and left to your own devices it can be so easy to go off track. Especially with those distractions, I mentioned earlier. So you’ll need to create a new working routine to fit in with your working environment.
For example, if you are used to waking up early to get to the office, keep that momentum up when you’re at home too. Get up, make breakfast, or a cup of coffee, as you would on a normally would. The key is to give yourself time to get ready for the day ahead. You could also consider setting yourself new work-from-home office hours and break times too if your company allows it.
Get dressed (before working from home)
I know from first-hand experience how tempting it can be to spend all day in your pajamas. But please re-think this. When you stay in your pajamas all day, your brain thinks that you are off from work, or that you can chill and relax, making you less efficient or productive. I definitely feel more motivated when I change into my work clothes or even something more comfortable like loungewear.
Learn to adapt
On my first day working from home I was faced with a range of IT issues. From not being able to log into our database, having access to email, and even silly things like not owning a calculator. Which are all vital to my job when I’m in the office. Needless to say, that first morning was spent rectifying the issues and coming up with ways to resolve them. Like using my personal phone as a calculator.
Take breaks (and stay on top of them)
When you’re in the office you probably have set breaks throughout the day. Often a tea break in the morning, a lunch break, and perhaps another tea break in the afternoon. But when you’re working from home it can be very easy to lose track of time. And before you know it’s 5 pm and you haven’t had a break all day! Which is bad both for your physical and mental well being. But if you are struggling to take to breaks when you need them, try setting an alarm. For example 12 pm for a lunch break.
Speak to your colleagues
Chances are, you aren’t the only person from your office that is now working from home. So it’s important to check in with your colleagues and keep up the office banter you may be missing. Whether that’s through platforms such as Skype, virtual team meetings, or even calling them up on the phone. You will also remind you that you’re not alone in this. You’re not the only one having to force yourself to stay productive and you can share this experience together.
Finish work on time
When you’re working from home it can be so easy to keep working and not give yourself a chance to “switch off”. I know there have been times when I’ll have an email alert pop up on my phone then log back into the computer to answer it. But why? When you leave the office you don’t think about work emails again until the next morning, so why would you do this at home? If your workday ends at 5 pm, end it at 5 pm.