Ah, the perks of working from home. You can work when you want and even wear your PJs if it pleases you. However, for some who took the plunge and quit their day job, staying focused and finding the time to work seems nearly impossible to accomplish.
Don't despair; there are plenty of ways that you can increase your productivity while working from the comfort of your home.
How to Enhance Productivity When You Work From Home
Working from home can be both a blessing and a challenge. With the freedom and flexibility to work in your own space comes the potential for distractions and interruptions that can affect your productivity. However, there are many simple ways to improve your work-from-home experience and maximise your productivity. Whether you're a freelancer, a stay-at-home parent juggling work and family life, a home-based small business or a corporate employee working remotely, these tips can help you get the most out of your time.
Probably the biggest interference in your ability to produce more work is the distractions around you. If you have a spouse, children and pets they won't initially view you as "away at work," and that can prevent you from getting your tasks completed in a timely fashion.
In order to earn enough to enjoy the benefits of working from home, you'll have to lay down some ground rules for you and your family. This is when it's time to implement hard limits such as working hours and when you're not to be disturbed. When you sit at your computer you are working, and everyone needs to pitch in and take care of things.
Simply being at home can also cause you to lose focus especially if there are things you need to do such as the dishes or laundry, which everyone knows multiplies before your very eyes. Come up with a schedule for chores and divide up the responsibilities so that everyone helps out.
Set daily goals
One effective strategy for enhancing your productivity when working from home is to set daily goals. As a home-based worker, it's easy to lose track of time and get distracted by the many distractions around you. By setting daily goals, you can create a sense of purpose and structure for your workday, and stay focused on what needs to be accomplished.
To set daily goals, start by writing them down in a planner or to-do list app. This can help you prioritise your tasks and keep track of what needs to be done. When setting your goals, make sure to break them down into achievable sections so that you don't feel overwhelmed. By focusing on the most important tasks, you can ensure that you're making progress towards your overall goals.
In addition to keeping you organised and on track, setting daily goals can also boost your motivation and sense of accomplishment. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of ticking off items on your checklist and achieving everything you set out to do.
Separate creative and non-creative tasks
Another effective strategy for improving productivity when working from home is to separate your creative and non-creative tasks. By dividing your workdays into specific zones, you can focus on particular areas of your business and work at an optimum level of productivity.
For example, you may want to schedule all of your calls and meetings for one day of the week, and focus on content creation and other creative tasks on another day of the week. This can help you minimise distractions and maintain a flow state, as your brain is focusing on only one side of your business at a time.
Separating creative and non-creative tasks can also help you maintain a better work-life balance, as it allows you to switch between different modes of thinking and work at a pace that suits you. Plus, it can be an effective way to prevent burnout and keep your creative juices flowing.
When separating your tasks, make sure to prioritise your most important tasks and schedule them during your peak productivity times. This can help you make the most of your workday and ensure that you're making progress towards your business goals.
Get adequate sleep
One of the pitfalls of working from home is that the work never ends. Since you always have access to your computer, you can see when you receive new work, whether it's added to an open queue or you receive an email from a client with a new order. This is both good and bad.
On the one hand, you can check on your work often and create a schedule that works for you and your family, instead of a typical 9 to 5 job. On the other hand, seeing work that's available or new assignments that pop in, can keep you working far longer than you want.
This can result in an inadequate amount of sleep and then cause you to lose focus the next day on pending assignments. If you encounter an occasional sleepless night, you can boost your level of energy with natural supplements or extracts like Nano Hemp, so you're not dead to the world the next day.
Take regular breaks
When you work from home, it can be tempting to work long hours without taking a break. However, overworking can lead to burnout and ultimately compromise your productivity. That's why taking regular breaks is crucial for home-based workers.
By taking breaks, you can rest and recharge, allowing you to come back to your work with renewed energy and focus. It can also help you avoid eye strain, fatigue, and other physical issues that can arise from staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time.
When taking breaks, make sure to step away from your work area and do something that helps you relax and unwind. This can be as simple as taking a walk outside, doing a quick yoga session, or even just listening to music. By taking time for yourself, you can reduce stress levels and increase your overall well-being.
Remember, taking breaks doesn't mean you're slacking off or being unproductive. In fact, taking regular breaks can actually boost your productivity and help you accomplish more in less time. So, don't be afraid to take a step back and take care of yourself. Your business and your mental health will thank you for it.
A clutter-free environment
If your computer sits in the living room on your lap, then you might not be seated in the most appropriate position to get into work mode and be productive. Preferably, your workspace should set up in a separate room with a door that you can close and block out the world.
However, not everyone has an extra vacant room in their home. You can still set up this quiet space by using a divider to partition off a part of your bedroom or living room.
Invest in proper equipment
It's also important to choose office furniture for productivity and health. You should also have a real desk with enough space on top to hold a computer and plenty of room left over to keep notebooks, reference materials and space for writing. Along with your desk, an ergonomic chair with adjustable arms and multiple heights, and an ergonomic mouse and keyboard will help you remain comfortable, essentially allowing you to work comfortably for longer, which not increases your productivity, but also increases the amount you can potentially earn.
Maintain your equipment
Just because you’re running a smaller business from home doesn't mean you won't have maintenance and repairs to consider. You won't need to deal with things like lift services, car parking barriers or personnel ID issues, but you will still need to maintain what you have. Computers, printers, telephones, and any other specialist equipment that you use that’s vital for the running of your business need to always be up and running.
Have you got any backups in place, or the number to repair companies in case the worst were to happen?
The last thing you want is to be at a standstill and lose money because you can no longer work your job when things break down.
Improve your computer and internet speed
You know how frustrating it is to have a slow internet connection, especially when you're in the middle of an important video call.
Upgrading your internet speed can help you work more efficiently by allowing you to quickly upload and download large files, participate in online meetings, and communicate with clients and customers. Running an internet speed test can even help to save you money.
If your computer is slow or outdated, it can slow down your work and hinder your productivity. That's why upgrading your computer hardware is also an important upgrade. Adding more RAM or a solid-state drive can help your computer run faster and more efficiently.
Outsource IT management
As a home-based worker, it can be challenging to manage all aspects of your business on your own, especially when it comes to information technology. If you're not an expert in IT, you may be spending valuable time trying to troubleshoot issues or maintain your technology, which can take away from your core business activities.
That's why outsourcing your IT management to the experts can be a smart move. With managed IT support, you can delegate the responsibility of maintaining your technology infrastructure to a team of professionals, freeing up your time and resources to focus on your core business activities.
Not only can outsourcing IT management help you save time, but it can also boost your productivity by ensuring that your technology is always up-to-date and running smoothly. This means that you can work more efficiently, without having to worry about technical issues or downtime.
When choosing a managed IT support provider, make sure to do your research and select a reputable company that has experience working with businesses similar to yours. This can help you ensure that you're getting the support you need to keep your business running smoothly, without any unnecessary headaches or downtime.
6 additional ways to improve productivity when working from home
- Prioritise self-care: Take care of your physical and mental well-being. This includes getting regular exercise, eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and practising mindfulness or relaxation techniques. When you prioritise self-care, you're better equipped to maintain high productivity levels.
- Establish a routine: Create a consistent daily routine that includes set work hours, breaks, and time for other activities. Having a routine can provide structure and discipline, making it easier to stay focused and accomplish your tasks.
- Minimise distractions from digital devices: Turn off notifications or use apps that help minimise distractions from social media, emails, or other non-work-related platforms. Consider using website blockers to restrict access to distracting websites during work hours.
- Continuous learning and skill development: Dedicate time for professional development and learning new skills relevant to your work. This can be done through online courses, webinars, or reading industry-related books and articles. Continuous learning keeps you motivated and enhances your expertise.
- Experiment with productivity techniques: Explore different productivity techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique (working in focused bursts with short breaks), time blocking (allocating specific time slots for different tasks), or the Eisenhower Matrix (prioritising tasks based on urgency and importance). Find the techniques that work best for you and incorporate them into your routine.
- Set boundaries with family and friends: Clearly communicate your work schedule and boundaries to family members and friends. Let them know when you need uninterrupted focus time and request their support in respecting your work hours.
Final word on how to increase productivity when working from home
There are many benefits to working from home, starting with the fact that you're your own boss and create your own hours. However, in order to make a living from it, you must remain focused. Thankfully, improving productivity is easier than you may imagine with just a few changes to your home and lifestyle.
To recap, here are the ways you can increase your productivity when working from home:
- Remove distractions
- Lay down ground rules for family members
- Schedule chores and divide responsibilities
- Set daily goals
- Write goals down in a planner or to-do list app
- Break goals into achievable sections
- Separate creative and non-creative tasks
- Schedule calls and meetings for one day, focus on creative tasks on another
- Maintain work-life balance and prevent burnout
- Get adequate sleep
- Avoid overworking and sleep deprivation
- Consider natural supplements or extracts for energy
- Take regular breaks
- Rest and recharge
- Avoid eye strain and fatigue
- Engage in relaxing activities during breaks
- Maintain a clutter-free environment
- Set up a separate workspace with a door
- Use dividers to create a quiet space if necessary
- Invest in proper equipment
- Choose office furniture for productivity and health
- Have a real desk with ample space
- Use ergonomic chair, mouse, and keyboard
- Maintain your equipment
- Computers, printers, telephones, and other equipment need regular maintenance
- Have backups in place and contact information for repair companies
- Improve your computer and internet speed
- Upgrade your internet speed for efficient work, file transfer, and online communication
- Upgrade computer hardware (RAM, solid-state drive) for faster performance
- Outsource IT management
- Delegate IT management to professionals
- Free up time and resources for core business activities
- Ensure technology is up-to-date and running smoothly
And don't forget to:
- Prioritise self-care
- Establish a routine
- Minimise distractions from digital devices
- Continuously learn and develop skills
- Experiment with productivity techniques
- Set boundaries with family and friends
Remember, not all strategies will work for everyone, so experiment and find what works best for your individual work style and preferences.