Productivity Hacks for Working From Home
If you’ve found yourself suddenly working from home, you may be struggling to create a productive work environment. There are some great benefits of working at home: no commute time, extra flexibility, and the opportunity to control your surroundings. However, it can also be easy to get sidetracked, distracted by family, or even stay motivated. If you employ the right hacks for working from home, you can enjoy both the flexibility and avoid the distractions of working offsite.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Many remote workers find it helpful to stick to a regular schedule on workdays. Not only does this help the employee stay on task, but it also helps create expectations about availability. If you maintain a strict schedule, family members will understand not to disturb you during designated work hours. A standard schedule also helps map out the day so you can set reasonable goals for what you will accomplish.
2. Create a Designated Workspace
It can be difficult to stay focused in a common area or a room where you do other household tasks. Create a space for yourself that is just for your professional work. When the door is closed, everyone will know that you are occupied. Some telecommuters even like changing clothes when they go to the workspace, giving them a stronger sense of stepping into the job.
3. Employ the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique was developed by an Italian graduate student struggling with focus. It gets its name from the tomato-shaped timer that he used to time his work segments. In this productivity method, you choose a task and work at it for 25 minutes. This is followed by a five-minute break. After four Pomodoro segments, you take a longer 20 to 30-minute break. Employing this method will give you several two-hour blocks of focused attention during your day.
4. Pay Attention to Your Energy Level
Different tasks require different amounts of energy and focus. Morning people are often the most productive at the beginning of the day. Other people get a burst of energy after lunch. Whatever your high-energy time is, use it for the tasks that require the most attention to detail. This is the time to handle projects that have many moving parts. Some workers find it helpful to deal with phone calls during the lower energy parts of the day.
5. Get Up and Move
It is common knowledge that sitting for extended periods is not healthy. By the same token, staring at a computer screen without interruption can be hard on your eyes. It is important to take periodic breaks in your day. When you are at a low point, go outside and walk around the block. When you return, you’ll feel re-energized and ready for another work period.
6. Disable Unnecessary Notifications
Electronic devices are critical for at-home workers to stay connected to their business associates and clients. However, the same devices that can keep you productive can also be a huge distraction. If your phone is constantly pushing notifications from social apps or games, learn how to disable them while you are at work. When you are in your workspace, you only need to hear from your employer or your clients. Unless it is a family emergency, most other contacts will just be a distraction.
7. Find the Right Soundtrack
One of the advantages of working at home is that you can create an atmosphere that is the most productive for you. Some people get energized by loud music with a heavy beat. Others prefer quiet music in the background. Still, others thrive only when they have absolute silence. Find the soundscape that focuses your attention. Whatever it is, you’ll need the ability to turn it off quickly if an important call comes in. There is no guarantee your client shares your musical tastes.
Remote work is a new frontier for the business world. It is a trend that will continue so long as remote workers can do their jobs effectively. By using these hacks for working from home, you will increase your focus and productivity.