Congratulations on landing your dream job that allows you to work from home. You can now shy away from office politics, time-consuming commutes, and inflexible working time.
Virtual work is attractive for most, however there are still some downsides. Staying productive when you are at home isn’t always easy! There are tons of distractions such as the bountiful chores, screaming babies, and the new episode of Game of Thrones. This is why it is important to devise some strategies to amp up your efficiency.
Start with these:
Specify Your Working Time
“Without supervision, even the most conscientious of us can slack off,” says Edward (Ned) Hallowell.
Edward Hallowell, author of “Driven to Distraction at Work”, highlights that setting a specific working time provides the individual structure as well as motivation throughout the day. Choose a schedule that is in tuned with your most productive hours. After all, flexibility in hours is one of the perks of working at home.
Set Daily Priorities
To stay on top of my daily tasks, I write them down on a sticky note and place it on the side of my laptop. Also, I created my own “Memo Board” that includes urgent and pending tasks. I highly suggest that you do your own version of this. It may seem like you are doing something trivial but, categorizing your thoughts and prioritizing some tasks makes a huge difference.
Aside from these physical tools, you can list your goals on online tools such as Evernote.
Fend Off Distractions
In a world filled with adorable cat videos and hilarious memes, you must fend off distractions at all cost. Do so by closing unnecessary tabs, keeping your mobile phone on silent, and by not logging onto social media. Keeping your mobile phone away means that you can only use it for emergency purposes.
Harness Productive Habits
The first step to inducing productive habits to your body is to identify what these are. Since we all have different definitions for “productivity”, we will have different ideas about productive habits. For instance, my own mixture of productive habits include good email etiquette and creating a daily system.
Put these key habits in action after you are done identifying them. If you want to harness self-discipline, practice it everyday in order to be stronger with it.
Create a Comfortable Space
Working from home allows you to curate the most comfortable working environment. Create a comfortable space, but not too cozy to the point that you are working in your bed.
No one knows your preference better than YOU! So it is important to experiment with some elements to find the best formula that is able to create efficient working conditions.
There are two ways to reward yourself namely: to take breaks and to celebrate your accomplishments.
Much like a processor, your brain needs refreshing and resetting of data in order to organize its memory and information. Once your memory and thoughts are organized, you will be able to digest new information and solve pending problems. Take at least five to twenty minutes break in between tasks.
Lastly, celebrate your accomplishments by acknowledging what you accomplished during the day. This simple activity can help you stay motivated despite working autonomously at home.
How about you? What do you do to stay ultra-productive at your home office?