How to Stay Productive When You’re Working at Home
Maybe you’ve got the option to work from home for your employer. Maybe you’re a freelancer, business owner or a student. Whatever the exact circumstances, you’ve got to get productive work done … while at home.
You might think that being at home will make you more productive. For instance:
- You don’t have colleagues stopping by at your desk and interrupting you
- You can listen to whatever music you want, set up your workstation however you like, light candles, burn incense … whatever helps you focus
- You don’t have to head out to buy lunch – you can just turn to the fridge
- You won’t waste time commuting
… I’m sure you can come up with a few more!
While all of these are definitely benefits, there’s also a darker side to working at home. If you’ve ever ended up watching TV in your pyjamas in the middle of the day, you’ll know that the lack of a boss and colleagues isn’t always great for your productivity.
Here’s how to stay on track:
#1: Have a Designated Work Space
We moved into a bigger place last year, which has given me the luxury of a whole (albeit small!) room for my work. I’ve got enough desk space for two monitors – which definitely helps with my productivity – and when I’m in my room, my husband knows not to disturb me.
You might not be able to find a whole room, but can you at least have a permanent desk set up in a quiet area of your home?
#2: Figure Out Your Peak Hours
One of the lovely things about working from home is that you don’t have to work 9 – 5. You can work at 6am or 11pm – whatever suits you. So pay attention to when you’re most productive: for me, it’s the morning (around 8am – 11am) but you might be totally different.
If you can fit your most energy-demanding work into your peak hours, you’ll find that you get much more done.
#3: Write a To Do List
When you work in a regular office job, you might not need a to-do list. After all, there’s not much to do other than work – and your manager or team probably lets you know what tasks need to be completed urgently.
At home, it’s up to you to come up with your task list. If you find yourself procrastinating or slacking off, make a clear to-do list and get started on it.
#4: Get Out of the House
Some people really struggle to work in the home environment. Perhaps they’ve conditioned themselves to see it purely as a place of leisure, or maybe they have too many distractions going on (noisy kids or housemates).
If you struggle to work at home, then go somewhere else. Take your laptop to a cafe, library, or co-working space. Even if you can only manage this for a few hours a week, it can make a huge difference.
Do you work from home, some or all of the time? What tips would you add to this list?
Post image by Flickr user VeloBusDriver.
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