By Georgina El Morshdy
Have you made the shift to home-working? Are you looking for tried and tested tips to maximize your productivity? If so, you’re in the right place! The pandemic means more people are working from home than ever before. Sure, this style of working has some big advantages. For example, there’s no commute and you can even get household chores done in your free time - leaving more space for your personal life when work is over.
But there are challenges too - such as getting yourself motivated or ensuring your work doesn’t bleed into your home life and create friction.
Fortunately, this collection of sure-fire tips will enable you to boost your efficiency and turn your home workstation into a powerhouse of productivity.
Here’s to beating the procrastination pixies and getting a ton of stuff done - while creating a healthy work-life balance.
1. Claim your space
If you share your home with other people (or pets!) claiming a space that you dedicate for work is essential. Having a workstation that’s just for your job can help you mentally separate work from home. Ideally, you’ll want to choose somewhere that’s as far away from busy areas as possible. This means avoiding your kitchen and living areas, as other people are likely to act as regular distractions. If you don’t have a dedicated home office or a spare room, then choose a space that’s quiet and free from disruptions. As millions of people are currently proving, even a rarely used cupboard or walk-in pantry can be easily converted into the perfect workspace!
With your space chosen, be sure to create boundaries with anyone else that you live with. Make an agreement about when you can and can’t be interrupted. This powerful ground rule will help you be more productive by giving your work a protected space.
2. Maintain a schedule
Depending on your work commitments, you may have a strict schedule you need to adhere to. Even if you don’t, enforcing a routine can be a helpful way to maximize your productivity. When you first start working remotely, it’s a little too easy to start enjoying the flexibility it offers. However, learning how to work from home means setting yourself boundaries. Once you create a schedule you can stick to, you’ll find it much easier to complete important tasks and find yourself working with enhanced efficiency.
A tool such as the Self Journal or BestSelf Planner can help you organize your day and manage your time. Both of these tools have a timeline feature that allows you to timetable in appointments and tasks as well as keep track of your tasks and to-dos.
When you leverage an external brain like this, you reduce decision fatigue, free up bandwidth, and minimize the risk of overwhelm and overload.
3. Have essential equipment to hand
Nothing decreases your productivity like having to search for essential items every few minutes. Taking the time to set up a dedicated workspace means you’ll have everything to hand, as and when you need it. Instead of having to scrabble through drawers looking for a pen or getting lost under desks trying to find a laptop charger, make sure you’ve got everything you need before you start your working day. Having to search for missing tools or equipment throughout the day not only wastes time, but it also increases stress and frustration. By having a well-stocked working area, you can enjoy working from home and cultivate a stress-free environment.
You’ll be surprised how much time you’ll waste if you need to continuously look for things. And it’s not just the lost time. Each time your train of thought is disrupted, it can take up to 20 minutes to get back into the flow.
4. Take a break
Although many employers understand that working remotely can be difficult, others are less empathetic. If your employer is putting increased pressure on you, you might find that you’re actually working longer hours from home than you would if you were actually going in to work every day. Although it might seem counterproductive, taking a break is actually one of the best ways to increase your productivity. As well as giving you the opportunity to reset your mind, regular breaks encourage you to refuel and get a little extra exercise, which will set you up for more productivity and greater levels of success.
5. Stay motivated
Some people thrive when they can set their own schedule and manage their own workload. Some people love the quiet of home working because there are fewer impromptu meetings and office noise. Others find it difficult to work when they are outside their usual workplace set-up.
The key to navigating this is to find ways to motivate yourself.
From listening to upbeat music to rewarding yourself when milestones are hit, find the ways that work best for you.
Making Remote Working Work for You
Although many people enjoy working from home, it isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect working environment. Whether you’re working remotely through choice or due to the current lockdown restrictions, these handy tips will help you to improve your productivity while minimizing stress and give you the opportunity to enjoy working in different surroundings.