5 Productivity Hacks for Working From Home
Whether you work from home full-time, enjoy the glorious luxury of a remote day once in a while, or allocate essential time to your side hustle, there are certainly some behaviors we have discovered that will ensure you’ll be productive while working from home.
I have found I can be much more productive working from home without the distraction of co-workers stopping by with requests or friendly chatter, visual distractions in an open office, or the rigorous schedule of nonstop meetings. (Plus, how awesome is wearing yoga pants and no makeup!?) However, this does require some thought and diligence to stay motivated and have a successful day.
1. Designate Your Space
Designate a specific space in your home that is for work. If a clean workspace keeps you sane, create and maintain a clean and simple space. Are you a creative who’s inspired by colors, shapes, and mood boards? Fill your workspace with some favorite things that will make you happy and keep the creativity flowing. Protect this space — make it your own sacred, personal place where you can look forward to work. Not feeling inspired by your couch and your cat? Change up the scenery and head to a local coffee shop, library, or co-working space for a few hours.
2. Create a Routine
I am personally not great at this one, and tend to enjoy the freedom of moving through my day based on how I feel. But when we stick to a routine, our bodies, brains, and business will thank us. Make an effort to wake up at the same time, make coffee (in your favorite motivational mug of course), eat breakfast, get dressed, exercise, send kiddos to school...whatever routine helps start your day off in a positive direction.
3. Stick to a Schedule
Your days may likely vary with projects and responsibilities. Keep yourself and your day organized by sticking to a schedule. Utilize online calendars, events, and reminder notifications. Use project management apps to stay on top of everything. And there is nothing wrong with paper calendars and lists if that’s your style.
Reduce or eliminate time spent on social media. Some people log out of social media apps to make it harder to jump in them. You can also take advantage of different settings that will monitor and limit your allowed time in that app, or alert you to your screen time. I like to put my phone in a completely different room or set it to airplane mode when possible.
4. Move Your Body
Sitting is the new smoking. Ok, that may be extreme. But there is a long list of health risks associated with sitting for long periods of time. It’s important to take a break from working roughly every hour. Stand up, stretch and move your body. Go for a walk while you take a phone call. Some work-at-home pros use the laundry timer, a baby’s nap schedule, or a specific Spotify playlist of songs to alert you to stand up and take a break. Staying hydrated will also help you perform at your best (plus frequent bathroom breaks will make you get up).
5. Create Relationships
Communication is essential. Whether you work for a larger organization or for yourself, cultivating relationships is a crucial business function and is also necessary for our own emotional well-being. It’s easy to get our focus on and sit in isolation all day, but be proactive about scheduling calls or video chats with the people you work with. Develop a relationship with your supervisors, colleagues, and other business associates by scheduling some face time. Let technology work for you — if an actual face-to-face isn’t possible, use instant messaging apps and video conferencing to stay connected.
Bonus Tip: Communicate with others who might be at home about your needs for privacy and quiet. If you live in a condo or apartment building, communicate regularly with your HOA or building management about any upcoming scheduled construction or outages that may interfere with your work. There’s nothing like waking up to get ready for a video call to find your electricity is off!
Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. Use these simple tricks to get the most out of your work hours so you clock out and go have some fun!