Eight Tips to Be Productive While Working From Home
While working remotely is not for everyone, it can be a highly appealing option for those who are able to and like to do it. Just a few among the many benefits of work-from-home jobs are increased flexibility, better work-life balance, greater job satisfaction, and more time to spend on your hobbies (because you no longer have that long commute!). Let’s see how we can stay productive while working remotely, since it’s a trend that’s likely to grow in popularity in the coming years.
#1: Create a Designated Workspace
It might be tempting at the beginning to sit in bed with our laptops all day, but it’s important to separate the work area from where we relax or engage in leisure activities. Turning off work-mode and really unwinding after a long day can be difficult if we blur the lines between our jobs and personal lives.
By creating a dedicated workspace, we can establish a clear boundary between the two. Set up a desk with all the necessary tools and equipment for work-related tasks. This will help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
#2: Stay Organized (Both Your Desk & Your Mind)
After you set up your workspace, make sure to keep it free of clutter. One or two personal items can quickly multiply on your desk if you’re not careful. A clean space helps to have an efficient mind. To-do lists are great for keeping your mind organized. The numerous tasks you have to perform daily can easily overwhelm you, so make sure to write them down in order to avoid missing deadlines or completely forgetting about projects.
#3: Take Breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in your daily tasks and stay glued to the computer for 8 hours straight. But rest actually makes you more productive, which is why it’s so important.
Taking regular breaks will not only benefit your physical health (eyes, back, neck, etc.), it also helps avoid burnout. Now I use the Pomodoro Method, which involves working for 25 minutes and taking short 5-minute breaks while I move around. I noticed that I’m much more efficient since I started doing this and can finish tasks significantly faster because my mind resets and is more refreshed in between the cycles.
#4: Limit Distractions
Staying at home, where you have a fridge full of snacks that call out to you, where all your sports props are waiting, or where you can just sit on the couch with your newest intriguing novel can be distracting. Try to compartmentalize and discipline yourself to limit interruptions as much as possible. For example, ask family and friends not to call you during working hours, turn off social media notifications, and switch off the TV.
#5: Set Boundaries
It’s important to set boundaries between your work and personal life while working from home. Define clear working hours, establish a daily routine, and pause work notifications after your day is done. Away messages are great for letting people know when you are or are not available. Make use of them and always update your status.
#6: Invest in Ergonomic Equipment & Stay Active
To quote my orthopedist: “Sitting is literally the worst thing you can do to your body." Ouch. This might be slightly dramatic — as my fantasy-action-movie-loving self can imagine worse things — but it’s also very true. Desk jobs are really bad for our backs.
Prioritizing your physical health is crucial while working from home. Invest in an ergonomic chair, maybe even a standing table, as they can help reduce discomfort. And try to include some sort of physical activity in your daily routine. Take a walk outside, do yoga, pilates, go to the gym, anything to get your body moving and heart pumping.
#7: Avoid Multitasking
Many companies offer a lot of autonomy over how you manage your time while working from home. When it’s up to you to set up a schedule, it can be overwhelming, especially if more and more new tasks come along during the day. While it may seem like a good idea to do multiple things at once, multitasking can actually decrease productivity. Better focus on one thing at a time and prioritize tasks.
#8: Stay Connected
Even if you’re all online, try to engage with your work colleagues. Scheduling regular meetings with your team can make the experience feel less isolating. These meetings provide an opportunity to catch up on everyone's progress, share updates, and discuss any issues or concerns. They also give you a chance to build a closer connection to your colleagues and get to know them better.
By finding what works best for you, you can achieve a healthy work-life balance — and feel accomplished. With a little discipline and determination, you can thrive in your remote job. Enjoy the freedom and flexibility!