Many businesses have allowed or forced employees to work from home. While this is a welcome development for many people, it’s not always easy to be productive from home.
It can be easy to sleep late, watch a little TV, spend too much time on social media, or just waste time in general. Having children at home makes everything even more challenging.
There are many distractions that can make working from home especially difficult. It’s also easy to be unproductive without a boss or coworkers around.
Try these strategies to get more work done when you’re working from home:
1. Set a schedule and stick to it. One of the benefits of going into the office is that you have a set period of time to work each day. You can’t arbitrarily sleep in, read the paper on the couch, check your Facebook page, and then decide to get to work.
● Create a schedule and follow it. Avoid starting your day too late and ensure that you get to bed at a reasonable time.
● Schedule your work-related tasks. You can’t watch TV during the middle of the day at work, so avoid doing it while you’re working at home, too.
● Create a to-do list and follow it.
2. Stick to a grooming routine. It’s still important to take a shower and follow your normal grooming routine. It will put you in a more productive frame of mind.
● When does your grooming normally slip? On the weekend? You’re not used to doing work on the weekend. Following weekend routines can confuse your brain and body into feeling like it’s the weekend.
3. Dress for success. You might be one of those people that can take over the world while wearing your flannel pajamas. Or you might be one of those people that needs to dress like you’re going to the office in order to get your work done. You can try it both ways but then dress in a manner that works best for you.
4. Become an expert on your distractions. Study yourself and learn how and when you distract yourself. When are you most likely to get off-track and waste a lot of time doing something other than work? What types of activities do you use as distractions?
● Imagine you were given the challenge of keeping someone just like you productive from morning to evening. How would you do it?
5. Take breaks responsibly. A quick walk isn’t likely to lead to any problems at work. Checking your social media accounts just might. Watching TV for a few minutes can easily lead to an hour or more of wasted time.
● Set a timer and avoid any activities that will be challenging for you to stop when your time is up.
6. Manage your phone and computer. The phone and the computer are often the biggest distractions. Put your phone on silent and leave it in the other room if you can. Limit your computer use to work activities until your workday is completed.
7. Perform chores after work. It’s tempting to vacuum the floor, do a load of laundry, run errands, or make your bed during the workday when you’re working from home. You managed to do those activities outside of work in the past. Get your work done and then worry about your household chores.
Working from home might seem like the ideal situation, but it can be challenging to be productive for several reasons: the lack of a schedule, distractions, and the lack of supervision and peers in your environment.
Working from home can be highly productive but might require a few changes in your approach.