Working from home can be both a dream come true and a daunting commitment. Working remotely means that you are your own boss, but sometimes that can be more of a responsibility than anything else. If you struggle to be productive when working from home, these productivity tips for work will definitely help you!
You have just as much work as you used to, but you have to deal with a lot of distractions. This is why you need to look for ways to increase productivity when working from home.
Time management becomes even more important because no coworkers are around to remind you of due dates or meeting times.
Having said this, though, working from home does provide several unique benefits:
1. You can work flexibly and balance your life better beyond just making a living.
Working from home with a flexible schedule means you might be able to work in the early morning or evening hours when other people are asleep, reducing your stress levels.
2. Save Money.
Since you won’t have to commute to work every day, you may be able to get by with just one car or even not have a car at all. You could save upwards of $10,000 per year by not owning a car!
3. You might have no commute at all, which means you can work if you’re not feeling well.
One of the most common reasons for missing work is feeling ill, but you probably won’t be able to justify calling in sick if you work from home! Working from home can help you get things done even when sick. Staying home can definitely help you get through the day.
If you struggle to make the most out of each workday, these 15 Time management hacks will help you increase productivity when working from home.
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Why You Should Try To Increase Productivity When Working From Home
Working from home is a great opportunity to finally achieve work-life balance. It will allow you to save time, as you won’t need to commute anymore. You will also be able to organize your days differently to increase productivity.
However, for this experience to be truly beneficial, you must maintain a good level of productivity.
Indeed, distractions will be numerous, and it will be difficult for you to concentrate and stay motivated. Increasing your productivity will help you finish work early and leave you plenty of time to work on your personal projects.
Have a dedicated space to work
Working from home can be great, but it also comes with many distractions. One way to increase productivity when working from home is to have a separate place where you work and do nothing else.
Make this place as far away as possible from things that will distract you, like the TV. This space should be dedicated to working only.
You will spend 8-10 hours a day in this room. Decorate it nicely to ensure it becomes a room you like to be in.
If you are thinking about redecorating your office, Amazon will definitely become your best friend.
These amazing Amazon home office finds will help you stay focused and super productive when working from home:
Plan your day the night before
Having a plan for the day can increase your productivity by up to 300%! Make sure your goals are realistic and aligned with what you want to achieve at work and in your personal life.
Your plans shouldn’t be too big either. If you have a lot of work to do, break your goals down into smaller subtasks and list things you need to do before the end of the day.
Starting each day with a plan will set you up for a productive day. You will considerably increase your chances of achieving your goals and fight procrastination effectively.
Start working early
If you are working from home, the chances are that you can work flexible hours. A great way to improve your productivity is to start the day early.
Starting to work before everyone else will help you focus and avoid distractions. If people are not working yet, they will not disturb you with emails and calls.
Another great advantage of starting the day early is that you will be able to finish earlier too. By leaving early, you can improve your work-life balance and finish the day with activities you enjoy.
Starting to work early is definitely one of the best tips to increase productivity when working from home.
Take a few minutes to review your daily schedule
When you open your laptop, instead of rushing to read all your emails, take a few minutes to review the tasks you need to complete and the meetings scheduled.
Think about your tasks for the day and how they fit into your long-term goals.
If you don’t set aside some time for planning, you might find yourself moving from one task to another without understanding why you’re actually doing it.
Only check email at certain times
Email is such a great invention. It has completely transformed the way we communicate with others. Can you imagine a typical workday before the invention of the email?
Although emails can drastically improve our productivity, they can also be distracting as well. Try checking your emails only twice a day, for 30 minutes each time.
Remember, you want to avoid multitasking. Hence, checking your emails as soon as you receive a notification is a productivity suicide.
You might think you have to answer every single email right away. You couldn’t be more wrong. If you receive an urgent email and do not reply right away, the sender will probably call you after a few minutes.
Answer the call and the email, and then refocus on your important tasks. Answering emails is probably only a fraction of your job. Do not give it all your attention and focus on the tasks that really matter.
Timebox your tasks
The concept of Timeboxing is simple: give yourself a specific amount of time to work on a task and start working on something else once the time is up.
Timeboxing is a great way of keeping yourself on track and making sure you meet deadlines. Timeboxing means dividing the workday into hourly units dedicated to specific tasks instead of spending an entire day working on one big task.
This habit makes you more productive because you can move on to the next unit of time if you get distracted by something.
The goal is not necessarily to finish your task before the time is up. You just need to focus on the task and move to the next one once the hour is finished.
Track your Time to increase productivity when working from home
Whether using a pencil and paper or an app like Boosted is up to you, but recording how long it takes to complete a task will help you become more productive.
Time recording allows you to create better schedules to manage your time. It is also a great way to understand where you are wasting time and the improvements you can make to avoid these bad habits.
Tracking your time is super important when your schedule is busy, and you still have to deal with unproductive tasks. Home chores are a perfect example.
You need to clean your home, do the laundry, and iron your clothes, but you want to ensure you do not overdo it because these simple tasks can harm your productivity.
You can always do more, so to avoid wasting countless hours cleaning around, you should set a timer. Decide for how long you want to clean and go back to work once the time is up.
Use technology to your advantage
Technology makes working from home much easier than in the past. Many apps can be very helpful when looking for ways to increase productivity when working from home.
Tools like these can decrease your work-related stress and help you work more effectively too! Time Doctor is particularly good at motivating you by showing how long it takes to complete tasks in real-time.
Turn off notifications on your computer
Having numerous pop-up windows and emails coming in every few minutes can be very distracting, especially if it’s work-related! Try turning off these notifications to focus on the task at hand.
If you work remotely but are not self-employed, a simple way to ensure people do not bother you while focusing on important tasks is to define your status as “busy” in your calendar.
If you are used to communicating with your coworkers via Skype or Teams, chances are you are also using an outlook calendar.
Adding an event to your calendar and defining your status as “busy” will automatically show your coworkers you are not available. This simple tip can reduce distractions.
Define Your Priorities
Pushing tasks down the to-do list doesn’t make them go away forever! It’s important that you prioritize what needs to be done and what can wait until later.
Ask yourself if it’s really urgent and important every time you get a new task, and try to minimize “firefighting” by focusing on the things you need to complete immediately.
Completing these tasks first thing in the morning will set you up for a productive day. You can use a priority matrix to define tasks with which you should start the day.
This simple action will help you bring clarity to your schedule.
A priority Matrix is included in my free goals-setting eBook. Download your copy by subscribing to my newsletter using the form below.
Prioritize tasks by time to completion
Some people think you should eat the frog and start immediately with the hardest tasks to complete.
This is a good approach unless you have a lot of small urgent tasks to complete. The tasks we keep pushing down to the to-do list are usually tedious tasks that take a lot of time.
If you do have a lot of small things to do asap, you should definitely start with these!
To do so, there is a simple rule: if one task takes less than 5 minutes to be completed, do not add it to your to-do list and do it right away.
Completing a lot of small tasks fast is a great way to stay motivated to attack your biggest tasks.
Take breaks between tasks
If you struggle with a task or are feeling overwhelmed, take a short 5-10 minute break. You can get up and stretch, drink a glass of water and get some fresh air during this time.
If the job is really hard and requires a lot of mental strain, try taking a longer 20-30 minute break by going for a quick walk outside, taking fresh air, and practicing breathing exercises.
Breaks often allow you to come back to work refreshed and rejuvenated. It is also a simple way to avoid mistakes caused by stress at work. So remember, if you are willing to increase productivity when working from home, take more breaks!
Looking for other ways to boost productivity? Then this post about 15 time management tips to get things done fast will help you.
Do things before you’re “in the mood”
When work becomes overwhelming, it’s easy to put off tasks for later or simply avoid them.
Postponing tasks until you feel like doing them is definitely not a good strategy. The more you will postpone them and the more they will hunt you.
Instead of spending hours or days worrying about something you will have to do anyway, do it as soon as possible. You will feel relieved and ready to achieve all of your goals.
Don’t work overtime
Working overtime isn’t productive at all! Working an extra hour or two will actually make you less effective for the rest of the day.
That’s because you will need some time to unwind and re-adjust before getting back into the swing of things. While working long hours in one sitting might feel good, try breaking up your workday into smaller chunks.
It is no secret that having a break will increase your productivity. Working many hours in one sitting is not a successful strategy.
Get some fresh air
It’s essential to take a moment and reflect before moving on to the next task. It might seem productive at first, but jumping from one task to another without even thinking about it is time wasted.
Stop every once in a while during your workday and think about what you’ve done so far. Did you complete your most important tasks? If not, what are the biggest problems you’re facing?
Taking a few minutes to stop and think will give you a better overview of what’s to be done. It is also a simple way to avoid doing things in a rush and making mistakes.
Good time management is essential for improving productivity at work, especially when you work from home.
The time management hacks will help you get things done and improve your work-life balance. Working from home can be an incredible opportunity if done right.
Make breaks, use technology as much as possible, and have a dedicated work area free from distractions. If you are not used to working from home, it will be the perfect occasion to rethink your habits and strategy.
By improving your productivity throughout the day, you will be able to get more things done and finish work earlier. This will leave you more time to work on your personal development and practice activities you enjoy.