One survey of more than 3,100 businesspeople revealed that over 51% of them considered working from home to be a dream scenario. The freedom and flexibility it provides can make you a much happier, stress-free worker. But working from home also comes with a unique set of distractions that can make it harder for you to maintain consistent productivity. The temptation to do house chores, snack on junk food, or watch TV are challenges you wouldn’t normally face in a traditional office setting. However, there are several simple ways you can stay focused and motivated – here are 5 tips that can help you maximize your productivity when working at home:
Create a Separate Workspace
Keep your workspaces and personal enjoyment spaces separate. Blending the two makes it much easier to get distracted and lose focus from work. Find a space in your home that you can designate solely for work. If you don’t have a spare room in your home for an office, consider using a room divider to create a distinct boundary between the professional and the personal. Invest in some quality ergonomic furniture to create a comfortable and professional working environment – and clear the space of any clutter and personal distractions.
Dress for the Office
You may be very tempted to sit around in your sweats or pajamas all day when working from home. While this is certainly a comfortable way of working, it’s not necessarily productive. The clothes you wear can affect your mindset and the way you feel about yourself. Making an effort to wake up early and dress professionally will help put you in the right mindset for the workday. If you dress like you would if you were going to the office, you will feel as if you are actually at work. Once you’re finished work for the day, change back into your comfy clothes and relax. This will help you separate your work life and home life, which is important for your mental health.
Stick to a Schedule
One of the greatest benefits of working from home is having the freedom to work when and how you want – 91% of surveyed Americans who worked from home said that they worked better remotely than in the office. However, even though you may be tempted to sleep in some days and work odd hours, too much flexibility is not always good for productivity. It may be more beneficial to create a proper work schedule and stick to it, as you would if you were working in an office. If you work under a manager, discuss your duties and goals with them and create a work plan based on their expectations. By following a strict schedule, tracking your hours every day, and reporting to your management, you will hold yourself accountable and be more motivated to complete your tasks.
Manage Your Emails Strategically
The distraction caused by emails can negatively affect how much you can concentrate on more important tasks. A time management survey of just over 5,200 businesspeople showed that 78% of them checked their emails in small batches throughout the day, which negatively affected their productivity. The key is to be strategic in how often you check your emails. You may concentrate on your tasks easier when you turn off notifications and only check emails in batches at 2-3 daily set times. Without the constant distraction of checking for messages, you will be less stressed and get much more work done. Sort your emails in order of importance and eliminate or unsubscribe any unnecessary spam.
Make Time for Exercise
Regular exercise is an amazing way to boost your productivity – helping you to learn faster and concentrate on creative work for longer by growing the cells in your brain that regulate memory. Exercise has been shown to help reduce stress, boost mood and improve overall energy levels. When creating your work schedule, make sure to pencil in some time for some physical activity at home. This will give you a much-needed mental break and improve your ability to focus and perform tasks. But exercise doesn’t have to be hard work. Try something fun, like bouncing on a trampoline. Doing as little as 10 minutes of trampolining each day will make you physically and mentally stronger, which will do wonders for your productivity.
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from New Zealand who loves to write about travel, lifestyle and health. When she’s not writing, you can find her devouring business articles on her phone and enjoying large cups of coffee. To read more of her work, go here.