Working from home isn’t for everyone, but if you have the right techniques and the right plans you can improve the situation. We’re going to talk about 25 of the best things you can do to make sure your time working from home is more productive than you might think.
Creating a normal work schedule means that you set up when you’re going to start working, what you’re going to do throughout your workday and how you’re going to achieve it. You want to have a schedule like you would if you were going into the office. The point is to make sure that you still feel like you would if you were going into work each day like you normally would.
If you normally work during the day you should be setting up your work-from-home schedule so that you start work early. Starting your day first thing in the morning gets you up and taking advantage of the morning hours. Not to mention you’re going to get focused earlier. If you put off starting work you could end up falling behind on tasks or just plain feeling out of it all day.
Working from home may conjure up images of curling up on the couch in your PJs but the best thing you can do is prepare for a day of work. Get up and take a shower. Brush your teeth, eat some breakfast and most importantly, get dressed like you would for going to an office. Getting dressed and prepared is going to improve your focus and it’s going to help you feel more like you’re going through a normal workday.
For some people listening to music can be a great way to get some more focus. The type of music that you listen is entirely up to you, but you want to make sure that you don’t get distracted. Listening to music too loudly can distract you from what you’re doing but listening quietly might allow you to relax and start feeling a little more attentive. All you need to do is find something that you enjoy. We recommend Spotify as a digital music service..
Having the right tools is going to make it a whole lot easier for you to get things done and stay on task. You can check out some of the best tools in our article about productivity tools. In general, you want task managers, video conferencing, designing tools, automation, and similar features. All of these are going to help you stay on top of the things that need to be done for your job.
When you’re working from home it can be difficult to get up and eat meals throughout the day. You might get caught up in your work or you might even find yourself unsure what to make for meals. By planning ahead of time you can get up at lunchtime and eat a meal you’ve already made. There’s no time delay of you trying to figure out what to eat.
Social media or websites that tend to distract you can be a big problem. So, make sure that you don’t get distracted. Instead of leaving those sites available on your website make sure that you lock them out. You can download apps and services on your computer or phone that make sure you can’t get into those pages during the times you’re at work. That way, you can avoid the distraction and get your work done.
There are plenty of different types of technology out there and you need to have the right types for your job. Some people might need a high-quality computer. Others might need scanners or high-speed internet. They might need a printer. These are different types of technology and having the right combination of technology will allow you to get your work done the right way. If you don’t have the right technology you’ll find yourself struggling and that’s going to make you less productive.
If there’s someone else living in your home with you that’s the best person to have as an accountability partner. Your accountability partner is someone who you can tell about your plans and they will hold you to them. In general, an accountability partner needs to be someone that won’t let you off the hook. That way, if you tell them you’re going to finish a specific task that day they need to make sure you do it. This makes you achieve your goals and ensures you improve in your productivity.
Having a dedicated workspace is critical when you’re working from home. Sitting on your couch or even at your kitchen table can be far too distracting. Instead, you want a specific place where your computer and any of your tools can be set up at all times. This will make it easier for you to stay focused on the work that you’re doing and to achieve the goals that you’re setting for yourself.
Being entirely alone is never a good idea and when you’re working from home you may spend all (or a lot) of your time alone. You shouldn’t be staying alone all day, every day. This can lead to a lot of different problems including depression and anxiety. Taking a little bit of time to interact with someone, whether a co-worker or a friend or family member, will help you to feel less alone. It will also help you to feel like part of a team.
Committing yourself is going to be as important as committing to another person. So, tell yourself that you’re going to accomplish specific tasks or a specific series of tasks in a day or a week. Research shows that tasks will expand to fill the time you have available. So, booking in more tasks will make you more productive (to a point of course). Giving yourself far too many tasks won’t help, but you need a good balance of tasks instead.
When you first start working from home it’s important to learn more about when you’re most productive and when you’re least productive. Do you tend to get more work done first thing in the morning or at the end of the day? By mapping out your most and least productive times of the day you can make a schedule of your most important tasks during high productivity times. You’ll be able to achieve more of your important tasks and feel more successful throughout the day.
When you first get up in the morning you should be focusing on important tasks in your work. Making phone calls means that you’re going to be answering other people's questions. You’re going to be putting out fires the rest of the day trying to take care of things that other people want to be done. That’s why it’s a good idea to make your phone calls later in the day rather than trying to make all the phone calls first thing in the morning, which puts you behind for the rest of the day.
Before you start the day you should create a list of things that you want (or need) to accomplish. You may only have a couple of large tasks to achieve or you might have several small tasks to accomplish throughout the day. Creating a list of to-do’s will help you get the things you want to be done because you’re going to have a better focus on what’s most important. This will keep you from getting distracted by other tasks.
A timer can help you focus even harder on specific tasks. Even if you need several timed sessions to complete a task, it’s going to be a great deal easier for you to focus if you feel like you only have to do it for a short time. You could set a regular timer or you could even start your laundry and use the timer on the laundry to let you know when it’s time to take a break. This will help you stay dedicated to what you’re doing, without feeling like you’re overwhelmed.
Along the same lines of setting a timer is the idea of taking breaks. You need to have breaks during your work to help you relax, rest and reset before getting back to it. Working for 30 minutes at a time or for an hour or so will let you focus hard on what needs to be done. From there, you can take a break to do something you enjoy. Keep in mind that you should be stepping away from your computer entirely during this time, not just scrolling social media. One option is to listen relax sounds, for that you can try Calm.
You should have an end time in mind when you first start work for the day. That’s going to help you get the work done and it’s going to make sure you can enjoy the rest of your day. If you don’t have a firm end time for the day you could end up with work creep. That’s when your workday starts to worm into the rest of your day or evening, resulting in less and less time for the other things that you want to do with your life (including spending time with your family).
How do you work the best? Do you work best with a TV or music in the background? Do you work best in total silence? Are you more comfortable working in a room in your house or your backyard? There are several different ways you might work best but this is going to be entirely up to you and your preference.
Self-care means things like meditation or even taking a nice long bath or shower once in a while. It’s about doing things that you enjoy just because you enjoy doing them. Taking care of yourself is always an important thing and it’s going to make you more productive as well. That’s because the better you take care of yourself the better you’re going to do at everything for the rest of your life as well.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time at home, sitting on those chairs or at that desk you’ve bought for your day. Make sure you have the most comfortable furniture you can so you can feel better about sitting there for an extended period. Keep in mind you’re likely working at least 8 hours per day and you don’t want to do that from an uncomfortable chair or at a desk that doesn’t work for you.
Healthy snacks and meals that you can eat are important in keeping you healthy. If you have these prepared already you can easily pick up something when you’re hungry and eat. Plus, you’re going to be less likely to binge on unhealthy snacks if you already have something healthy prepared for you.
Security is crucial when you work from home because you don’t have someone else taking care of this for you. When you work in an office there are likely security features set up. You don’t have to worry about anti-virus software or someone monitoring everything that happens with your computer or internet connection. When you work from home, however, you need to take care of these things for yourself.
Working from home can make you feel like you have all the time in the world to get things done. But you can easily find yourself getting sidetracked from your work by trying to do too many things around the house. Make sure that you don’t get distracted with the household to-do list when you’re supposed to be focused on working. It can be far too easy to want to do other things because you have the time, but make sure that doesn’t happen to you.
Working from home is a great opportunity. So make sure you’re giving yourself some time to enjoy this fact. You don’t need to go to an office. You have time to get things done around your home. It’s going to be positive for you, so make sure you’re taking advantage of that.
When it comes to planning for your work-from-home experience you want to know that you’re doing it in the best way possible. That may mean putting these tips and tricks or some combination of them into action for your situation. So, take a look at each of these things, and see just how you can turn your experience into the best situation possible.