As we transition back into the “normal” world many people are opting to continue to work from home. Some businesses are even ditching physical office spaces completely. While working from home definitely has its perks, it’s not without its challenges. With kids, pets, partners, and a million other things going on in your home, it can be hard to sit for long periods of time and get your work done. We feel your pain, so we compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you work efficiently and effectively from the comfort of your own home.
This is HUGE! It is important to establish a routine for yourself. Wake up, work out, eat breakfast, get dressed. Pretend that you are preparing to commute to a physical office. You wouldn’t show up to the board meeting in a button down and sweatpants, so don’t do that when you work from home either. Getting dressed signals your brain that your day is starting and that it is time to get sh*t done.
Designate a set office space
I know the couch is tempting, but do not fall into that trap! You want to mimic a workplace environment. Designating a space to be your office (that you only use when you are being productive) triggers your brain that it is time to work. Ideally, this space will have a door so you can separate yourself from outside distractions.
Put your personal phone on silent and out of reach
Have you ever taken a 5 minute brain break that turned into hours of mindless scrolling? We know that we have. It is super easy to get sucked into social media, games, or other apps each time you get a notification. A few ways to combat this are to silence your phone and turn it face down or to turn it off completely. You can even leave it in another room until your work day is over.
Know your biggest distractors
Know what triggers you to become distracted and take care of them before the work day begins. For example, I know that I will not be productive if the area around me is not tidy or if my kitchen is a disaster, so I make sure to clean up all my spaces before I sit down to do my work.
Create a to-do list or calendar
Many people find it very helpful to create a brain dump list of everything they need to accomplish that day. It is super gratifying and motivating to cross items off your list throughout the day. If this brain dump technique isn’t your style then making a more structured calendar might be helpful. The perks of a calendar is that you can allocate different amounts of time to various tasks. You can even schedule breaks for yourself.
Leave the house
Working from home makes it super easy to stay cooped up and inside for long periods of time. Try to mix up your routine. Grab lunch out, work at a coffee shop, or take a walk on your break. This change of scenery will do wonders for your productivity and mental health.
Breaks are so, so, so important. While some people can sit down and work for hours at a time, this is not reality for most people. Using timers can be a great way to hold yourself accountable during work times and break times. One method is to set a timer for 25 minutes while you work then reward yourself with a 5 minute break. After you have completed this cycle four times, you take a longer break.
There is no secret to productivity and it looks different for everybody, but there are tips that might trick you into working harder than you think. Remember that distractions are a part of life, no matter how hard we try to eliminate them, we can only manage them.
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