Have you been struggling to stay productive while working from home? From kids running around, laundry piling up, your tummy constantly screaming for food and yes, that Netflix series again.
Working from home is a great way to bring balance into your life and give extra time to the people you love most, save you money from transportation and lunch out costs, however, it can be difficult to stay productive with all the distractions that’s available to you. Agree?
I’ve been working from home (on and off) for over 8 years now and I’ve learned some useful tips along the way that you might find helpful.
If you have tips that’s not included in this list, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂
Here’s 7 Proven Tips To Stay Productive While You Work From Home
A work from home routine can help set you up for success. As humans, we’re creatures of habit and if you can stick to a routine for atleast 2 weeks, you’ll find that it gets easier over time. Add the following tips and you’ll be good to go! 😉
1. Dress like you mean business
If you’re thinking that working in your jammies on your bed is the perfect outfit to get your work done, you know the answer is a no-no.
If you want to stay productive while you work from home, you need to simulate “being in the office” which means wearing the clothes you normally would on a daily basis and take a bath!
Feeling good and fresh not only sets you up for a good mood, it’s also a sign of respect to the people you work with that you put an effort to look presentable.
I remember interviewing a candidate for a writer’s position who just woke up with all the hair tangled up, wearing wrinkled polo shirt and after the video conference, he forgot to turn off this video and I can see him wearing his boxer shorts (and not pants!!!) This is a funny story, but you get the point.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to wear your shoes (if you want, why not?) :p
2. Issue the work notice
This one is for people who have pets, small children, living with siblings, partners or anyone at home. When people aren’t used to seeing you work at home, it’s challenging to “convince” them to not disturb you.
You don’t want to come off as rude, but you also want to get your work done so what’s your best option really? I suggest issue the “I need to work” notice. Some people even go as far as putting their work schedule so everyone at home is aware that during those time, you’re not available.
3. Learn how to prioritize
If you want to stay productive while working from home, you need to learn what task needs to get done first – and this is purely work related! Avoid overwhelming your list too because you won’t end up doing anything at all.
Here’s what you can do: Think of the top 3 things you must accomplish two hours before you log off, this will give you enough space if there’s any revision that needs to be made.
Meetings can take up so much of your time, be sure to know the agenda firsthand before accepting the invite. When colleagues wants to start a conversation, ask them if that is important or can be delayed for later, they will not feel bad if you’re honest and want to focus on your work 😉
4. “No” is a sentence
So you want to be seen as someone who’s flexible, can work as a team player and can take up additional tasks even if your to do list is already overflowing.
But get this, your performance is what matters at the end of the day. If you take up so much tasks that you can’t delivery (hence you under perform) not only people look at you as unreliable you’ll start doubting your abilities as well.
So, stick with what’s in your plate and politely decline if your team lead/supervisor or any team members push you to “do more”.
Setting boundaries for yourself is essential because it sets the tone of how people will treat you and how you use your time.
5. Multi-tasking never works
And only causes you to lose focus and get confused, some people even feel extremely anxious when they multi task. Here’s the thing, because you’re doing so many things at the same time doesn’t mean it’s effective.
If you want to stay productive while working from home, I recommend you try one of these things:
- close the hundred other browser tabs (hence if you need to research,
- close the tab that doesn’t give answer to your questions and move on to the next one)
- set your company chat status to “busy” so people know that you need to finish something important, thus avoiding you to switch back and forth.
- have a playlist ready so you don’t need to keep looking for your favorite songs
- always have a cup of coffee or any beverage in your desk, a healthy snack like a trail mix of nuts can also help you stay alert.
6. Take regular breaks
Make sure you don’t skip your meals for the sake of work. Also, try not to eat on your desk so you can focus on consuming your food and not mindlessly putting stuff in your mouth. Stretch your upper and lower body to release some tension.
You can schedule your breaks too so you don’t forget it. I would set 90-minute for focused work and 10 minutes to drink water, walk around the house or stretch. It helps to relax your body and stay productive while working from home.
Some people also attest to taking a power nap of 20-minutes, try that too!
7. Plan for the next day
The best thing you can do is plan ahead for the next work day. List down items you weren’t able to get into, create and send meeting invites or events to people, submit the documents that needs approval and so on.
Having a list is very effective as it reminds you of what needs to be done and make the beginning of your work day smooth and less stressful.