How To Be Productive When Working From Home
Whether working from home is an uncommon random occurrence for you, or a personal permanent choice, there are certain secret tips to know to ensure that you achieve maximum productivity.
Although working from home eliminates distractions from the outside world, such as colleagues popping past your desk to show you their latest instagram post of what they had for breakfast, the home office also has its temptations. I have been working from home for almost two years now, and I speak from experience on how one can easily slide into sloppiness if you are not well organised.
Whether you are working for yourself or reporting to the top dogs in the corner office on the 27th floor, working from home requires you to be your own boss every minute of evryday. You need to be disciplined, organised and efficient, and here are 10 tips to show you how.
1. The early bird catches the worm
We all know the saying and its true so don’t fight it. Just as you would have to be in the “office office” by a certain time, the same applies when working from home. Start your day early to ensure you have sufficient time to get through your set agenda. Why not take it a step further… You are saving travel time to work, so use this time to kick off your day with a run or home workout.
2. Dress to impress
Don’t take advantage of the fact that you can walk into your office wearing slippers and no pants. Subconsciously, our outlook affects our input. I’m not saying wear a suit or high heels, but dress to impress, yourself. When you look good you feel good, and in control of the day ahead.
3. Plan to be productive
Without target boards and reminders from colleagues in the canteen at the office, you need to keep your deadlines in check. Keep a diary, use a desk calendar and set reminders on your phone and computer. Plan your day the night before with a brief checklist to keep yourself on track.
4. Routine, routine, routine!
This is probably the most important point. Without structuring your day correctly, you could easily succumb to the distractions of catching up on series or cuddling with the neighbour’s cat for half the day. So outline this in detail. Start with phone calls and action lists in the morning, and set meetings or assignments which are unpredictable in time length for the afternoon.
5. Create a work-space
Your home office needs be a zone which is consistent, where you are able to concentrate, clear your mind and be creative. Allocate a room as your office, or a specific desk that is purely for work.
6. Your interaction intervention
Interacting with the outside world through social media may feel like the only escape from the madness of your isolated home office cell. Don’t give in. Instead, use your apps as incentives for completing tasks during a quick break.
7. Use your technology tools
Skype, voice notes, drop box…. I could go on! Use this to your advantage for communicating with your clients and colleagues. It will save you time and ensure efficiency.
8. Break it up
Prepare your meals the night before so that you are not popping out during the day to get milk for you fifth cup of coffee and a dodgy looking burrito for late lunch. Allocate time slots for breaks and meal times, and stick to them.
9. White noise
Silence can often be deafening. Try leaving the radio on low in the background to keep you sane.
10. Close up shop
At the end of your work day, close your office door, screen off your office desk or place a sheet over your workstation. It’s important that you leave your work behind as you would in a corporate environment.