Although it sounds glamourous and dreamy, working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Being productive working from home can be challenging. Working from home takes much more determination and self control than working at the office because there are many more distractions to derail your productivity.
Over the past three years I have worked from home about 75% of the time and have had both extremely productive days and awfully distracted days. When I first started working from home and had an unproductive day, I would mentally beat myself up; however, I quickly realized that verbally abusing myself really wasn’t motivating me to be more productive. I was just wasting even more time and ‘brain space’ by revisiting errors in judgement and attaching even more shame and frustration to the day.
Through much personal frustration and trial & error, I have found 5 easy ways to be more productive while working from home that I want to share with you today.
5 Easy ways to be more productive working from home
Create a morning routine
Morning routines are powerful because humans are of habitually and emotionally driven. Starting your day on the right foot sets the tone for the rest of your day. We’ve all had one of those mornings where we just know we woke up on the wrong side of the bed, right? Well rather than allowing your day to dictate your mood, create an empowering morning routine to set up your day for success.
Set up a dedicated work area
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is getting distracted easily. Productivity and focus are closely related so it’s important that you have a work area that allows you to focus with limited opportunity for distraction.
The ideal situation is to dedicate a room in your home to be your office where you can close the door and have privacy to work. However, not everyone is as lucky to have a dedicated home office, so it’s even more important that you get creative and find an area of your home that you can turn into a work-station.
Schedule short 5 minute breaks every hour
Whether you are in the office or at home it’s important to take short breaks frequently to give your body a rest. If you don’t take breaks throughout the day, it’s likely that stiffness in your arms, back, and legs will result from sitting at your computer all day long.
Every 60-90 minutes, get up out of your chair stretch, walk around your house, do push-ups, use the bathroom, or grab some water or a healthy snack.
This seems counter productive taking so many breaks but it will actually increase your ability to focus and boost your productivity and energy level. Give it a try!
Have a list of 3 things that you will complete every day
If you implement this single concept into your life this year, you will be amazed at how much you accomplish. Before you start every single day you should know 3 things that you will do that day to get you closer to your goals. I like determining my 3 tasks at night, before I go to bed so I can wake up the next day and know what I need to get done.
Now, you may be thinking, 3 things per day? that doesn’t seem like a lot… I can do more than that. This concept is not about how much you can do in one day or in one week, it’s based on long-term productivity. If you try to do 5 or 7 things per day, you may be able to maintain that for 30 or 60 days max. However completing just 3 important tasks per day is manageable and sustainable.
If you just complete 3 important tasks per day, over the course of one year (Taking 2 weeks off for vacation, of course), you will have completed over 1,000 important tasks. Just imagine what you can accomplish with 1,000 completed important tasks!
Set your business hours and stick to them
It’s really easy to get sucked into a time-warp when you work from home. There’s been many times where I look at the clock and it’s 10pm and I’ve been working all day, or I’ve found myself replying to client’s e-mails in the wee-hours of the night after putting in a 12 hour day. I’m sure you can relate. It’s important that you set a work schedule and set strict office hours that you stick to!
It’s also okay to give yourself a day off once a week too! 😉
These 5 things were essential components to increasing my productivity while working from home. I truly believe they will work for you too!
If you are looking to implement all 5 of these concepts into your daily routine, my suggestion would be to focus on one at a time. Create a solid habit out of each individual concept over the course of 2-3 weeks and in the matter of several months you will be a work-from-home machine!
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Until next time, be happy, think strategically, and do the uncomfortable everyday.