Techniques to Use to Increase Productivity While Working From Home
Working from home is not everyone’s cup of tea. For extroverts who need to socialize with others throughout the day, it can be a tough change to make. Maintaining productivity in an office is much different than maintaining productivity at home. For those with children, it can get a bit chaotic when they don’t understand that you need time and space to work before “coming home from the office” to spend time with them. Luckily, you can still be productive when working from home by setting some rules to abide by. Both you and your co-workers need to work together to find a system that allows work to continue as if you were still in the office.
If you are new to working at home, use these productivity techniques to stay on task, and get your work done on time.
Find a space to use as a home office
Use a space, any space except for your bedroom! Bedrooms are off-limits when working from home as you will have a harder time winding down from the day. Couches are another space that should be off-limits as it is somewhere to relax. If you have the space, set up a home office in a bedroom where you can shut the door when need be. If that isn’t available to you, make the kitchen table work or another area of your home. Wherever you decide to set up camp, make it a distraction-free zone. Keep the television off, music on low, and establish boundaries with any household members. Respect their space, and they’ll respect yours.
Establish a solid communication channel
Making phone calls and sending emails or text messages is second nature to humanity. So why does that have to change how productive you are when you work from home? Working without having in-person interactions changes the way you complete projects. If you can’t get a hold of a co-worker or feel it is easier to make assumptions regarding a task, you could soon find that you’ve created more work for yourself. Rather than losing time because of communication mishaps, get creative with the way you can contact individuals at your company. Popular and effective ways to keep a team in-touch with one another are by using communication tools like teleconferencing, messaging apps like Slack, and video conferencing software. Video conferences are the most popular because you still get to see your co-workers smiling faces from the comfort of your home.
Working alone without any co-workers to alert you of when it is time to go grab a bite to eat can throw you through a loop. You’ll find that you get started on a project only to realize that hours have gone by, and it is time to move onto the next task. To eliminate this issue, set an alarm on your phone. Remember, you are working towards a work-life balance. Experts suggest working 30 minutes on a project before taking a five- to ten-minute break before moving to the next task.
Use project management tools
Contract work, e-commerce, and digital marketing jobs are some of the most popular work from home jobs these days. Many enjoy the concept of not commuting to an office and working on a schedule that works around personal obligations. As more companies hire people to work remotely, more apps are available to keep everyone organized and on top of things. If you are still new to working from home, consider the following apps to keep you connected with your office.
These are a few of many to choose from. If your communication is doing great, but you need a more organized way to share files, Dropbox and Google Drive are what you need. You’ll eliminate the hassle of sending multiple emails with attachments that can get lost in anyone’s inbox. By being this organized, you are sure to maintain a productive day.
Create a to-do list
You probably already know what tasks are on your plate for the week. Stay on top of your projects better than before with a to-do list. Do so via paper and pen, or with a simple computer app like Asana. There is something rewarding about checking off a task and calling it done that makes you feel productive. Include personal duties that you need to take care of in addition to work tasks. Accomplishing things like picking up the kids, doing laundry, and going to the grocery store are all other ways to feel like a productive individual.
Maintain a work-life balance
One of the most common issues professionals have with working from home is maintaining a work-life balance. It is easier to separate work from your personal life when going into an office. Once you leave the office for the day, you leave conversations and documents at the door. Now, you have the commute home to clear your mind. Create an alternative “commute” home by going for a walk outside after work, putting everything away (out of sight, out of mind), and turn off the computer to avoid the temptation to check on work. Keep any weekly or monthly lunch dates and make time for family as you usually would. Just because they are visible to you a bit more, doesn’t mean you all can’t enjoy a weekend together doing something fun.
Are you still struggling to be productive working from home? Take our Personal Productivity Course for more ways to create time in your day and complete everything on your to-do list. Click the link for more information and signup today!