It’s no secret that working from home presents a unique set of challenges – and distractions. One day the cake in the fridge seems to be calling your name. The next, your focus turns to dishes, laundry, or an urgent need to clean the skirting boards.
Procrastination is a remote worker’s worst enemy, but you can fight back.
Apply these tried and tested tips to boost productivity when you’re working from home.
1. Write lists
It’s so simple, but it works. Writing yourself a to-do list gives you a clear roadmap for the day ahead. Before you switch off for the night, write a list of tasks for the following day, allowing room for the unexpected. Be sure to tick off each task as you finish it – the sense of accomplishment is a great motivator.
2. Break it up
In a traditional work setting, you usually have several breaks each shift. Temporarily ‘switching off’ can make you more productive by resetting your mindset and recharging those batteries. Aim to take breaks between tasks – so if you’ve just ticked something off the to-do list, it might be time to take the dog for a walk around the block.
3. Keep it clean
When you’re rushing to meet deadlines and focused on making the most of your work day, the rubbish piles up. A desk littered with dirty plates, coffee cups and scrap paper isn’t ideal if you want a productive work environment. Spend a few minutes each day tidying up – clear desk, clear mind!
Without someone there to allocate your scheduled meal breaks, it’s easy to spend a whole day (and night) in front of the computer without eating. Aim to break for a proper meal each ‘shift’, away from the computer. You can even prepare it the night before so you don’t waste time in the kitchen. And keep plenty of water and some healthy snacks on hand to keep your tummy satisfied and your mind alert. (Just don’t graze all day!)
5. Have fun
Remember the reason you’re doing this! You have chosen to work from home to regain control of your career and enjoy a better work-life balance. So make sure you do. Schedule time with friends and loved ones, as well as time for physical activity, a hobby and simply getting out to smell the roses.