Working from home can seem like a dream option. No busy commute, a day in your pjs, getting some jobs done in between projects. The reality, if you’re not careful, can be more like a nightmare. You float from task to task with no real sense of purpose and get easily distracted by the TV, putting the washing on and going to have a nap. With no co-workers to chat to you can also find yourself going the other way, and spending hour upon hour looking at your screen without taking a break, leaving you with low energy and probably a headache too. We’ve put together 6 tips to keep yourself at your most productive when working from home.
- Morning Routine is Key
It can be tempting to stay in your warm comfy bed and just drag your laptop in there with you. Not only will your posture be awful, you will be much more productive if you start your day as you normally would. Set your alarm, get a shower and get dressed. Some people find they actually work best in work clothes, whereas others just wear something smart-ish and comfy so they get the best of both worlds. Have a healthy breakfast and treat yourself to your favourite morning brew.
2. Make the Most of No Commute
How many of us vow that we’d love a morning run if only we had the time? Use the time you would be travelling to work to get a bit of exercise in. It will raise your endorphins and set you up nicely for a day of productivity. Or if you find that come lunchtime you’re dying to get out in the fresh air or be active, use your extra hour in the day then to do some yoga or go for a brisk walk.
3. Love Your Workspace
If you can, find an area that will just be your workspace while you’re at home. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, you’re already winning. If not, try and find a place in your house where you won’t be bothered if other people are at home and that you can separate yourself from once you’re done. Make it a space you love, with a nice plant and your favourite coaster, and always make it a tidy space. ‘Tidy space, tidy mind’ is a saying for good reason. Wherever you’re working from, make sure you grab a water bottle and a travel mug. Having to refill these will remind you to step away from your desk and give your eyes a much needed rest.
4. Make a Plan
To avoid flitting from one thing to another and never getting either finished, set yourself a plan for the day in order of importance. If we don’t put tasks in order of priority we tend to be drawn to the easiest ones first and put off the trickier ones that we probably won’t then have the energy for come the end of the day. Plus there is nothing more satisfying than ticking off all the jobs on your list!
5. Get Rid of Distractions
This is a lot easier if you have an out of home working space, as within the home there can be a million things that could take your mind off the task in hand. Unless you need your phone for work, leave it in another room. It can be so tempting to read a quick message or have a scroll through your socials and then BOOM! Your mind is totally off the project you were working on. If you feel like there are jobs around the house that NEED doing that day, make a list of them in the morning and do them while you get up for a quick break ie. put the rubbish out, prep dinner for later.
6. Clock Off
Once your work day has finished, STOP! Turn off your laptop and work phone and don’t look at them again till the next morning. Just as it can be counter-productive to take work home, it can also be bad for us to let our work bleed into our personal time. If you still have tasks outstanding, write your plan for the next day. Putting them down on paper means you can clear them from your mind and get on with hanging out with your family or relaxing.
We hope you’ve found this useful. Working from home should be a blessing, not a curse; you just need to find the right way to do it.