Overcome the Challenges of Working From Home
Working from home has its perks, however, overcoming the challenges that come along with working from home may not be so easy. While the commute to your desk takes less than 30 seconds, and your favorite pajamas have become your business attire, procrastination and distractions can derail your productivity. Here are 5 tips on how you can stay productive despite the many obstacles that can get in the way!
1. Don’t Sleep In
If you have to be at your desk by 9 a.m., hitting your snooze button until 8:55 isn’t the best way to start the day. Try getting out of bed at least 2 hours before you have to start working. Make your morning routine enjoyable and do what works for you. I like to put on a pot of coffee and take a shower while it brews. When I get out, my coffee is ready! Before I get to my desk, my bed is made and the dirty dishes in the sink are washed. Not having home chores looming over your head while you are working can help you stay focused.
2. Don’t Start Any Tasks Until You’ve Planned Your Day
Diving right into a project and checking emails is not the most organized way to start the workday. I use time blocking as a method to keep me structured and focused. I set up my day by putting my tasks in priority order and I estimate how long each task will take for me to complete so I know what I can realistically accomplish.
For example, I know that it takes me about 1 hour to write a 400-word blog from start to finish, including editing and research. So, I plan out how many blogs I can get done each day. I also make sure I leave some room in my schedule for emails, calls, and other odds and ends that can come up.
PRO TIP! For those of you who report to a supervisor, keeping a work diary can give you the opportunity to document in detail any work problems you encounter. If you are having technical issues, or you had to put out a client fire that took you away from your work, you’ll be able to accurately report these setbacks to your boss. When working from home, you want your boss to know that you are trusted to work independently and are able to get your projects completed effectively.
3. Take Breaks
I used to think that eating lunch at my desk while I work would help me get more things accomplished. Well, it turns out, it caused me to experience more writer’s block as well as anxiety, and I was falling into a counterproductive abyss. Forgoing lunch breaks and mini-breaks throughout my workday actually made me less focused, frustrated, stressed, and tired.
Now, I make it a point to make myself a proper lunch. I also have my yoga mat out on my living room floor along with some light weights. When I’m feeling anxious or unfocused, I take10 to 15 minutes to do some yoga stretches and then a vigorous run in place with weights. Sitting quietly and shutting down my thoughts with a short meditation break works for me too!
4. Stay Hydrated
I love my coffee in the morning and I can easily drink it all day but, when I drink too much, I get the jitters, and that can take away my focus. I keep a bottle of water at my desk to stay hydrated.
Don’t like plain water? Add a slice of lemon or a piece of your favorite fruit to give it some flavor! Dehydration can make you tired and when we are tired we are less productive.
5. Turn Off Notifications
Hearing rings, dings, and bells while working from home can be extremely distracting. To combat these disruptions, put your phone on do not disturb, and turn off email notifications. If you use a chat system at work such as Slack, log off.
When I start a task, I shut down my email and slack window completely. When I’ve finished my task, I check and answer all my messages as well as return any important calls. I repeat this process after every task.
Tell Me Your Work From Home Tips!
I hope you found my tips helpful! Now I’d like to hear how you keep focused and productive when working from home.
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