Working from home and being productive are not mutually exclusive. In fact, there are several ways to boost productivity from home. Here are 8 tips to get you started.
1. Set up a designated workspace
Creating your own personal workspace is of utmost importance. Avoid high traffic areas in your house and find a space that is designated for work. Enhance the space with personal items (e.g., small plants, photos of love ones, mini white-board) to make it more pleasant for spending time there. Keep all work essentials, including notepads, pens, sticky notes, and laptop, close by.
2. Get an early start
Though you are not physically going to work, it’s always a good idea to begin your day early at a consistent start time. This will help in prioritizing your work.
3. Set up a daily routine
A daily routine can provide structure to your day. Having an established routine will also provide flow by guiding you on what needs to be done next. Decide when you should wake up and what your regular work hours should be. It is equally important to structure your work hours as well as your off-hours.
4. Set up a calendar
Planning your daily tasks is another important consideration. Having a calendar set up can be a helpful reminder of what deadlines are coming up and to establish a timeline. It is also a good way to keep track of how you are spending your time. There are numerous websites and apps that can serve this purpose (e.g., iCloud calendar, Google Calendar, Edo Agenda, Digical).
5. Write out your goals for the day
At the start of each workday, establish which tasks you expect to complete that day. Estimate how much time each task will take and be generous in your estimations. This will help you be more realistic in your goals.
6. Take breaks
Schedule time for frequent, short breaks. Breaks can also help you separate your workday into different blocks and provide structure. Make sure your work breaks doesn’t involve other work (e.g., doing laundry) and try to step away from your workspace. It is equally important to give your eyes a break from the computer screen. It is recommended to take one break from the screen every 20 minutes. If possible, try to get some fresh air during breaks or to move around. Having structured breaks can also motivate you to work harder, while having something to look forward to.
7. Avoid distractions
Avoiding distractions is often easier said than done, but there are ways to preemptively minimize distractions. If possible, switch your phone to ‘do not disturb’ mode or keep it away from your workspace. There are several applications that can block social media during specific hours or set daily limits of usage, helping you stay focused (e.g., Moment, Flipd, AppBlock).
8. Be forgiving
This is a time of transition and uncertainty. It is ok to not meet all of your goals right away. Although it is important to keep yourself accountable, it is equally important to be forgiving when you do not meet certain goals.