Have you ever heard this saying: “Don’t bring your work home.” But what if you work from home? Working from home is amazing, but it’s not as glamorous as people think. It’s not easy to focus when you’re on the couch and your cat throws up on your laptop or there’s noisy machinery work at your neighbor’s home. Are you wondering how to stay productive when you work from home and surrounded by distractions?
Here are 10 ways to make working from home more productive:
1. Start Working in the Early Morning
When you’re working from home, start working immediately as soon as you wake up. It might sound old school, but it’s effective, trust me! In the morning, you wake up with a fresh mind (and positive energy) and you can get a lot done in the early hours. Don’t believe me?
See what Josh Davis, author of Two Awesome Hours, says: “People who get up early in the morning are hitting it out of the park, doing things we struggle with at other times of the day. Morning offers several benefits that can’t be found at other times of the day.”
2. Select a Dedicated Workspace
Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t have a dedicated workspace or office. Create a calming and inspiring home office ambiance. A dedicated workspace can help you get into the right mindset and prevent you from distractions.
If you feel more creative in the morning, spend this time on the tough part of your work such as brainstorming ideas while working from your dedicated workspace. In the afternoon, you can sit on your couch and take calls or check your emails.
3. Don’t Just Stay at Home (Get out of the house)
Got bored looking at walls? Change the scenery. Grab your laptop and head over to the corner coffee shop or library (Wifi enabled spaces). Sit with actual human beings. Sometimes chatter and white noises help you work better than utter silence. It will lead you to the flow of new ideas and more productivity. So, get out of the house now!
4. Schedule a Distraction Break for You
You schedule your tasks, meetings, and calls in the calendar, right? There’s one more thing that you MUST schedule: Distraction Breaks. Schedule clear breaks in advance. Set the time when you’ll use the phone or social media. Set the time for lunch. Set the time for a nap. Go for a short walk. These breaks will recharge you.
“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” – Michelle Obama
5. Interact With Family Members or Other Humans
The biggest advantage of working from home is you get more time to spend with your family members and kids. Take a break from your work and play with your kids or talk to your family. Or if you know someone who works from home, invite him/her over coffee, go outside, and interact. Talking to a real human keeps you sane.
6. Keep Your Favorite Music On In the Background
I spent almost one full year working from home as a freelance writer. One of my secrets I’d love to uncover for being more productive at home is to keep your favorite music running in the background at a low volume, and I swear, you’ll get tasks done quickly.
According to Daniel Levitin (neuroscientist and the author), “music can make repetitive tasks more pleasurable and increase your concentration on the task.”
7. Track Your Every Hour
If you’re new to working from home, you must track how you’re spending every hour of your day. Self-tracking will help you to decide when you’re most productive (and when least). And where you’re wasting your precious time.
8. Do Stretches and Meditation 10 Minutes a Day
Drinking enough water and stretches can get the blood flowing in your body and improve your mood. Don’t do long sittings in a chair. Take a break after every hour. Dedicate 10 minutes to meditate. It will improve your focus and reduce the chances of being distracted.
9. Set Specific Work Hours
If your home is your permanent office, then set specific work hours. The beauty of working from home is you can choose flexible working hours for yourself. Let’s say if you feel more productive in the morning and not in the late evening, then you can set your work hours from 7am to 3pm. Don’t forget to share your work schedule with your colleagues or boss.
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” – Charles Buxton
10. Set Your Schedule for Next Day Before Sleeping
Make a nighttime routine. Spend 15 minutes and create a list of tasks that you’re going to do the next day. Pick an important task that you’ll do first the next morning. This habit will set a tone for the next day.