1. Set a goal or make a checklist of tasks for the day
When it comes to working from home it can be easy to feel aimless and unsure of what you should be doing. To help combat this make schedules for each day with a firm list of tasks to accomplish each day. This will help you stay focused on certain projects so you can get more done with your time.
2. Have a set work day/hours
Being at home all day it’s easy to start feeling lazy and unmotivated. But setting up scheduled work times is a good way to keep yourself trained that you need to complete a task before you can relax. Starting as soon as you wake up is a good way of getting a jumpstart to your day and can be very productive for most people. It’s important to set a schedule you can stick to so you can ensure you are being as productive as you can be.
3. Take breaks
No one can work for a straight eight hours without occasional breaks. Taking a 15 minute break every hour can really help your productivity and health. Stand up from your desk and go get a snack or drink of water. Just that small action is enough to get your circulation going and will help your brain receive better blood flow. It will also help you avoid back pain from prolonged sitting.
4. Have a dedicated work space
Don’t work in bed. Sure it’s really comfortable and you can work there, but your bedroom is mainly used for relaxing. So even if you are trying your best to stay concentrated on your work its easy for your brain to wander towards leisurely tasks like checking social media. Having a dedicated work area helps you get into the right headspace, “I’m sitting at my desk and that means it’s time to work.” Instead of “I’m in bed but I have to get work done.”
5. Log out of social media on your work device
It’s easy to get sidetracked by social media when you are working from home. You pause to check a notification then suddenly it’s an hour later and you’ve been mindlessly scrolling instead of working. An easy way to prevent this is to log out of social media while you are working to discourage you from checking it until you have your lunch break or finish up for the day.
6. Use technology to stay connected with co workers and clients
One way to stay motivated is to talk to your team members. Discuss what your goals are for the weeks, share tips on how to stay focused and interact with them. Working from home can be really isolating and lonely, staying in touch with the people you work with can help alleviate some of those feelings.
7. Meal prep the day before
Cooking takes time, and sometimes taking a long break in between work can end up disrupting the flow of work. Plan out your lunches the day before so that you can focus on eating lunch instead of making lunch. This will help you maximize the value of your break and keep you in that productive mindset after your lunch break.
8. Take a short walk
Being stuck inside all day can make us feel groggy and lethargic. Getting up for breaks is important to help us combat that through the work day, but a short walk can really improve overall wellness. Walks can help us clear our heads and promotes good overall health. Just a short walk everyday can keep you from feeling cooped up and trapped to your desk.
9. Use ambient noise
A lot of people who work from home have noticed a change in creativity when they occasionally work from a coffee shop. Part of it is a change in scenery, but another part is the ambient noise. Playing ambient music at a low volume or having a nature documentary playing at low volume helps a lot of people stay on track while working. This may seem strange since the goal is to stay focused on work but it’s a helpful trick a lot of people use.
10. Keep your space tidy
Having a messy work space is kind of like having a messy brain. You’ll be focused for awhile, then you brain will begin to wander to the clutter around you. You will start to think about all of the chores you need to get done, did you feed the cat/dog? Slowly spiraling into a long stream of distracted thoughts that might make you leave your workspace for an unknown amount of time. So make sure you set yourself up for success and keep your area clean and free of distractions.
11. Get ready for the day
Change out of pajamas, eat breakfast, and get your day started. Routines are important for keeping us on track and our brains focused. It also helps us district that it’s not time for us to be lazily sitting on the couch half working on our projects but instead that we are “at work” and need to get things done for the day.
12. Exercise before or after work
Being at your desk all day can be exhausting, which is why I suggest a 15 minute break every hour just to get you moving and out of your seat. But besides that having regular exercise once a day can really help improve brain function and focus. Even if it’s a 30 minute follow along of a yoga youtube video, staying active will help you stay alert and ready to be productive while you are stuck at home.
13. Set boundaries
When you are working keep the door to your space closed to discourage interruptions. Let your family and partner know that you are dedicating this time to work and ask them to limit interruptions unless they are necessary. You can do chores or spend time together during breaks and after you are finished, But it is important that your work space not be disturbed so you can remain productive in that space.
14. Don’t go back to work after you are finished
After you’ve finished your work for the day leave it. Don’t check emails, don’t review, give yourself a break and start back up tomorrow. Having a set start and stop time is as important as having small breaks throughout the day to keep you productive.