Working from home sounds amazing to most. And while it does have its advantages, there are pitfalls as well.
One major pitfall of working from home is that it feels more relaxed, making it super easy to slip into a lazier, inefficient routine. Working from home also has its distractions, like pets, young kids or simply the dirty dishes in the sink still waiting to be washed.
As more companies and businesses are closing their offices and encouraging remote work, it helps to know how to stay more productive.
So with that said, how do you stay on task? Here are nine ways to stay productive while working from home.
8 ways to stay productive when working from home
1. Create a Dedicated Workspace
Many who work from home tend to rely on their good old trusty sofa. But over time, this can cause havoc and, well, bad posture to say the least.
Instead, create a dedicated workspace where you can retreat. Not only does it train your mind to focus, but it helps define the work-life balance. It will teach you when to unwind and when to hustle.
Find somewhere to sit, whether it’s the dining table or a desk. You don’t have to have an entire spare room to create a home office. Instead, you can simply purchase a compact desk or workstation, placing it in the corner of the living room or bedroom.
2. Add Some Ambiance
A little ambiance in a home office goes a long way and it can be fun to decorate your desk. But more importantly, it can create a calming and inspiring environment for you to work. Task lighting can also be easy on the eyes, especially if you need to close the shades to limit monitor reflections. You can also add candles with mood-boosting and energizing scents, such as lemon or orange.
3. Clear the Clutter
De-clutter your workspace. If you sit at the kitchen table, make sure the mail or grocery lists are removed and placed aside, away from being a distraction. If you have a home office, take the time to clean it and remove clutter from the desk and even around the room.
This goes for digital clutter, too! Clean up desktop folders so that everything has its place. Empty your inbox and archive emails. Then tidy up your calendar if necessary. De-cluttering your computer’s storage and file system will save your sanity. Not to mention, the next time your boss or client needs something fast, you know just where to find it.
4. Create a Morning Ritual
From the environment to the clothes you wear, working from home can be more comfortable than working in an office. And yes, it can be tempting to lounge in pajamas all day. However, it can make you feel better and stay productive to begin your day with the normal routine and dress for success.
Essentially, you increase your productivity levels when you feel more confident in yourself and set an intention for the day. Whether you begin by clearing the clutter off the desk or by drinking a hot cup of coffee as you jot down a to-do list, a morning ritual will get your head in a productive mindset.
5. Take Breaks and Go Outside
Take a much-needed break from time to time. While you shouldn’t do it frequently, it helps to take a stretch and get an afternoon snack. You could even go on a short walk (around your backyard of course) to lift the fog, so to speak, if you have a creative block.
6. Getting Adequate Exercise
Just because gyms have shut down doesn’t mean that you can’t stay active. When you work from home, you can create your own schedule. So, take advantage of this flexibility! Set aside time for an exercise routine. You can even take your exercise routine outside. Better yet, you could invest in some home fitness equipment.
Block out some time each day for a workout. You can do it first thing in the morning to give you a boost of energy, during a lunch break or even after hours.
7. Set a Schedule
Working from home requires you to be diligent and self-productive. Setting a schedule can ensure you pace yourself and meet those deadlines.
Plan out a daily routine and block out parts of your day for certain tasks. Decide when to begin your workday and when to log off. If your significant other or kids come home at a certain time, this may be when you should stop spending time with them. But if not, it’s important to make boundaries.
Co-workers, family and friends should also respect your personal office hours. If someone tries to call during the day, let them know you’ll call them back later.
8. Set Boundaries
Lastly, when given the opportunity to work remotely from the comfort of home, set some boundaries–both for yourself and others.
Know that you have created your own schedule and “office hours.” Stick to them! It’s convenient to be connected through apps and devices at all times, but it can create a Pavlovian response with every ping or chime.
Who is the author?
Lauren Silver is a Marketing Coordinator for Abt Electronics, the largest independent retailer of consumer electronics and major appliances. Lauren oversees all content creation from their Glenview, Illinois Headquarters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and cooking for her family.