Looking for ways to boost your productivity while working at home? In this post, you can find expert tips to help you just do that.
The trend of working remotely is increasing day by day, and it may become so much more vital over time that many companies will adapt positions to this model in the future. Modern professionals are already adjusting to these trends rather than binding themselves to a traditional job in an office space setting with fixed work hours. Besides, there are times, like we’re currently experiencing, where working form home is the best way to keep earning money. And while working remotely is just awesome and certainly has its advantages, many people think, “Oh, great. Now, I can work in my pajamas all day long.” But working from home is easier said than done for most people. You might have to struggle with activities at home such as chores, distractions from loved ones (your kids, pets), among other issues that might just present itself (computer glitches, slow internet, loud neighbors, etc.), or even your own inertia.
As someone who has been working remotely for over 7 years, I am going to share some personal experiences and pro tips that will help you to boost your productivity while working from home. Follow these amazing tips to immediately increase your productivity!
How to increase productivity while working from home
1. Learn how to manage your time properly
Planning your time properly can help you to overcome procrastination. One of the main causes of procrastination is usually being overwhelmed by tasks due to poor time management.
If tasks are not done in a timely manner, in the best sequence, you might be unable to meet deadlines. In fact, when faced with deadlines, you might not be able to get anything done because of the sheer pressure. Try to get a good planner, like this one.
How to best manage time:
- Always have a schedule including timings.
- Work with prioritized to-do lists.
- Know when to use deadlines and set realistic ones. When deadlines are not necessary, don’t set any; otherwise, they become unnecessarily distracting.
- Sometimes you need to focus on one task at a time. Don’t multitask all of the time. This way, tasks can be finished on time and you can move forward.
- Divide Tasks into segments so that you also get a sense of accomplishment as you go.
2. Separate and Organize Tasks
During brainstorming on what’s needed for any assignment, it’s best to dump your thoughts completely out on paper (don’t edit yourself initially). Then, as you review your tasks, spend some time to figure out the order of priority of your daily tasks. Make sure to separate and arrange them in order, according to complexity and/or importance. For tasks that are harder and/or require more attention, allocate appropriate time for that in your schedule.
It is very important that you arrange tasks according to the situation. Try to adapt your schedule depending the situation and what is required from you.
You can even add happy stickers to your planner. I love to use these ones.
3. Organize your workspace
You will need to have an environment that encourages performance. Find a quiet corner in your home to work from. Remember that it’s important to have an area, free from distractions, that you can seriously focus on your work.
It is always better for boosting productivity to designate an area to be your work space or office, rather than lying on your bed or couch all day.
Pro Tip: Organize your new work space and avoid clutter. Clutter can affect your ability to concentrate and produce the best results.
Hand-picked items to make you feel comfortable and inspired
4. Deal with distractions at home
Working from home can be distracting and leave you unmotivated. One source of distraction may be your loved ones.
The way to avoid distractions from loved ones or others is to set clear boundaries. Let them know when you wouldn’t like to be disturbed. Make sure any colleagues, siblings, parents, partners respect your space during work hours. Because you are working from home does not mean that you are freely available when home.
You might have to create more time on your schedule for your family and friends but, if you don’t actually get down to work, you may not be able to earn any money online to pay bills or, if you have a fixed job, you might lose it for low productivity. For this reason, you have to learn to say “No” to distractions from family/friends when you are working.
You might be tempted to do chores at home or to spend time watching TV (I am talking about you, Netflix) when you should be working but you will have to take action to improve your productivity. As much as possible, keep away from locations with TVs, lock your gaming systems away and stay away from anything (like Netflix) while you’re trying to get work done.
Basically, stay focused.
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5. Get started early if possible
Whether you are working in an office or home, your morning computes your overall profit and energy to work the whole day. The transition from home to the desk is quite easy rather than the transitioning from pillow to the computer. It is quite a difficult process for anyone in the beginning.
You can improve your own productivity with this useful tip. Believe me, it is 100% worth it. When you wake up in the morning, make a list of the tasks that you want to accomplish on this day. Start the project or task and continuously monitor your progress. Actually, wait. Before starting the project, have a delicious and healthy breakfast (or any special morning routine) which can help you to begin this beautiful morning with motivation and inspiration.
6. Tell your Subconscious mind that you are in the office
Anything can be possible if you are mentally prepared. The mental association is even more essential in the telecommuting. While working at home, prepare a planner and have with you all that you’ll need.
Access to hydration, setting alarms for breaks, and dressing up for work can all improve your motivation. If you do not have a planner then use the google chrome feature in the toolbars, and make a separate toolbar for all of your tasks.
While you are working from home, you are your own manager and/or CEO. Now, it is your responsibility to schedule the breaks and working hours. Some can easily lose focus, but it is really up to you.
To stay on a schedule, create personal events, online calendars, and/or reminders that track the start and end time of any meetings or tasks that you may have throughout the day.
7. Invest in learning relevant courses or take advantage of the many free online courses and resources in your field
This is a very important part of running any successful online business or to advance in any career. Learning is key to the success of any business model so you might want to consider investing in your future by being proactive and taking courses, certifications and/or by simply researching good learning opportunities that can help you to make money online or further your career.
Determine what skills you need to learn or improve upon, like what courses are most likely to teach add value to your professional knowledge in the most useful way. Make sure to coordinate the start and end dates of your courses with your work duties. Before enrolling you can also ensure that you have clarified your learning goals with the course facilitator and check past reviews. An informed choice will increase any selection’s usefulness.
You might also like: Budgeting 101: Best tips for beginners!
8. Keep up with exercise
Don’t slow down and skip exercising. It’s important to develop a routine, especially while working from home. Working out regularly will keep you energized so that you can ultimately complete your tasks.
Make out time to jog, run, set up a work out area at home, do any free workout of your choice from YouTube or, if you love yoga as much as I do, you can either watch any of the many free yoga videos online or sign up for a membership, such as MyYogaWorks where they offer yoga and meditation for all levels. This way you can continue your exercise routine whether you continue running your internet business or working at your 9-5 from home short term.
9. Do one thing at a time whenever possible
I am emphasizing this because of its importance to your productivity. It’s also important you realize what your capabilities are and stay within your boundaries.
We may often have more than one job but we should never try to do it all at the same time, especially if it results in your being sloppy or losing your attention to detail. You must focus on each task, in a timely order, to improve your productivity. This is easier said than done. One idea here may be to rank tasks based on their importance and urgency.
10. Be more creative
It’s important to try to improve your creativity. Ideas on improving your creativity include listening to music, spending time alone meditating or watching a movie. Experiment with new ideas, travel when possible, take virtual tours (armchair travel) or even learn a new language online.
These types of activities can get your creative juices flowing. You never know where the next great idea might come from. Thinking outside the box can help you to solve business problems or issues with your online business or job. Building creative thinking is the same as exercising any muscle. Best to be intentional about it.
BTW, Here is a good article listing plenty of productive things you can do while at home.
11. Take breaks
You need to take some time to relax. Give yourself lunch breaks, take a walk, find time to share time with your family and friends. Don’t forget to reward yourself for the efforts you’ve put into your work. Such activities will help you to return to work refreshed and focused.
Note: Taking breaks while working remotely requires discipline. Ensure your breaks are properly timed in order to avoid wasting time. One technique I personally love is to use the Pomodoro Technique (next on the list).
12. Try Using the Pomodoro Technique to increase your productivity
If you’ve never heard of The Pomodoro Technique before, it is about time. This amazing time management method can totally help you to boost your productivity levels. It was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
This technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. It truly works wonders and definitely worth a try!
13. Play music that hastens your work and makes you more focused
Music is a therapy that relaxes your mind and hastens your hand. You can also set a playlist for your listening throughout your workday. Consider listening to music that matches your energy level and also boosts it up.
Have you ever heard about how the use of laundry as a work timer and/or listening to just two or three songs in the shower can help you save water? This is not a myth and it’s true. For example, listening to your favorite songs from start to end non-stop will divert your mind to the music and your shower time can be reduced to almost half with faster hand and body movement.
Why this strategy? Because this is a general law when you are working at home. Either it is a task on the computer or other home tasks. Doing the laundry without a built-in timer can be done using the playlist. Make a race with the work and the end of the soundtrack. Commit the one assignment for one soundtrack and continue the cycle. This strategy will not only keep you from getting bored, it will help you to complete any tasks as soon as possible.
Pro Tip: I personally love to use BrainFM. This amazing website/app has the right music to keep you focused, concentrated and active on work. They also offer music for relaxation, stress reduction and more. You can start with a trial period and get 20% off of your membership here.
14. Work when you’re at your most productive
No one can work the whole day long non-stop and remain productive. Work when you are fresh and motivated naturally. When you are working in the office you may have no choice regarding your hours but when you are working from home then it is necessary to know your ebbs and flows, so that you can schedule your working hours accordingly. It will help you to get motivated and to maintain the momentum.
If you are one of those people who are fresh in the morning and a little bit tired in the afternoon, then use the morning to do the harder tasks and then leave simple tasks for the afternoon. If you come up with an efficient work plan for yourself as a remote worker, freelancer, or business owner, this will help you accomplish more overall.
15. Stay focused
There is a quote “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” The reason behind it is that the busy person knows how to focus and get work done. The busier you are, the more productive you are. It is also stated in Newton’s Law of Inertia: “If you’re in motion, you’ll stay in motion. If you’re at rest, you’ll stay at rest.” And busy people are in a fast-enough motion that they have the momentum to complete anything that comes across their desk.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is quite difficult to find the methods to achieve a higher level of business activity at home. The most important factor that supports achieving this level is motivation and finding what works for you. It might be meditating in the middle of the day or a walk. As Pam Vaughan, a HubSpot’s principal marketing manager eloquently said, “Focus on something that maintains your rhythm.”
16. Use technology to stay connected
While working from the home is quite safe and easy, it also disconnects you from huge operations happening in the office or even from connecting with people for creativity sessions, brainstorming or any other motivation you might need as a solo-entrepreneur or even working with a team.
Many tech applications are helping in this regard such as Instant Messaging and videoconferencing tools that connect you to the community and other coworkers. Stay For example: Using Zoom, Skype or even Google Hangouts for video calls, or using any messenger system for communicating with your team, can make all the difference in keeping everyone on task and/or resolving issue in a timely way. I personally love using Slack for communication and tools like Asana to assign tasks and maintain communication with co-workers or staff.
17. Use social media strategically and avoid wasting time in it
Social media can be an addiction for many people around the world. While social media has its advantages, if you want to use it proactively for your business, or to advance your career, you should develop a strategy and not just randomly scroll through the feeds all day long.
You can certainly grow your business or online presence with the help of social media, but do not let it ruin your productivity. The excess use of social media can truly distract you from your original task. If you have an addiction to using social media every few seconds, then you should temporarily block the sites or logout from all accounts from the browser to keep focused on your priorities.
One useful tip regarding this is that you can use Chrome, an “Incognito” browser window rather than log out from all the accounts. Make sure that you are not taking too many social breaks during the day.
If your business depends on social media, you can always create content in advance and use automation tools to schedule it, and set certain hours of the day to respond to comments or to check on how things are doing. There are also many other productive things you can do while on your phone.
18. Schedule specific times to check and answer your emails
Emails can be quite distracting from specific tasks such as writing, coding or other tasks that require tons of concentration and focus. Schedule certain times during the day to read and reply to emails, maybe once in the morning and once in the afternoon, or find whatever works for you in your business or regular workflow set by your employer. Just schedule it often enough so that you don’t fall behind in your work and stay informed.
19. Collaborate, Brainstorm, and Outsource work whenever possible
Working from home can be an isolated and lonely experience. If you want to boost your productivity, you shouldn’t forget to try to interact with others, co-workers, staff, or team, this helps to keep your ideas flowing and to keep sane. Also, remember that if you are running your own business, your abilities or time might be limited. You need to learn how to arbitrage and/or outsource.
Welcome to the world of arbitrage and outsourcing! For the sake of discussion, let me introduce you to the following topics:
In this business model, contracts or business tasks are totally outsourced to another freelancer. The difference between what you are paid and what you eventually pay the freelancer serves as profit.
This is a very similar concept. The main difference is that with outsourcing, not all tasks related to a given contract are delegated to another freelancer.
Using these properly will definitely boost productivity.
20. Invest in the right tools or set up for home that makes you more productive
Whatever this means for you, it might be the right chair, desk, notebooks, cordless mouse and/or keyboard, or anything that you might physically need to feel comfortable. I personally love using this comfortable seat cushion for my home office chair, it has been a big game changer!
It might also be a special tool you need to manage your social media, your team, or to even identify grammar mistakes; I am talking about tools such as Grammarly or Pro Writing Aid.
You know best what you might need to create that perfect work environment. Make a plan and prioritize based on importance for your productivity.
21. Remember to sleep and eat well
In order to boost your own productivity, you require a healthy dose of sleep. This is easier said than done especially when you are dealing with international clients in different time zones.
Remember to take care of your health by eating and sleeping properly, else this could weaken your ability to concentrate as you work from home.
One more thing I want to clear up at this time is that working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. You can visit coffee shops, libraries, public lounges, and similar Wi-Fi-enabled spaces that can help you to increase your productivity at a low cost.
Note: Self-care is important. If you are a woman reading this, you might want to check out these beauty tips that can make you more productive.
We hope that these tips for boosting your productivity while working from home will help you to strike that perfect balance for concentration, keeping focused, and staying healthy all while working at your optimal levels.
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