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Many people have chosen to work from home due to the flexibility and opportunity to balance work and home life better. You may have started your own business from home while working and it has turned into a new career for you. Perhaps you write a blog that has taken off, manage social media accounts or freelance for things like content writing, website development or virtual assistant duties. Your workplace may have opened up to working from home due to the pandemic. However, you have chosen to do it, working from home isn’t always easy and it can be hard to stay productive.
Working from home can be a very grey area at times. You may find it hard to concentrate because the washing machine has buzzed to advise it has finished its cycle. You can feel less productive in yourself because you haven’t yet got dressed or ready for the day because your working day merges into your personal time, and vice versa. Before your day is up you could be tasked to make the evening meal, get the children ready or home from school or run errands.
But, the truth is it can be the real dream working situation if you get things right. I thought I would share with you some of the top tips to help you be more productive when working from home.
Work from home productivity tips
Think about the location you work or what room
Working from home often means you work mobile. That might mean a laptop or phone that you can take anywhere with you, but the location you choose to work in is vital for your productivity and concentration. Pick a room in your home that has the least amount going on.
- A kitchen, for example, may house a washing machine, and pots from the night before, and be full of reminders of the household things you have to do.
- A living room may have a TV that could potentially be a distraction.
If you can, have a dedicated home office, of office space in your home where it would feel like you are heading to work. The difference it can make is mind-blowing when it comes to the psychology of it. Sitting at a desk or in a room with no distractions other than work-related things is a great way to focus your mind on the activity at hand. It could also help to differentiate between your work and home life as you could potentially close the door to work once you are done.
Do you have everything you need to work effectively?
The next thing to consider would be whether you have everything you need so you can successfully work from home. That might be the right computer or laptop with big enough storage to hold the programs you need to work. You may find that you need some sort of printer for paperwork or a scanner for signed contracts, for example.
The issue is that cost could have a lot to do with how and what you buy for your working environment, so it is always worth looking at other options. There can be other hidden costs to mobile working, including the expense of printer ink for the home office. These things can often be found online, which could help you to monitor your home office expenses.
If you can, it may be a good idea to invest in a desk, a decent office chair, and also stationery and items to help you keep up with the work you need to do.
Think about how you decorate your working space
It is important to feel inspired when it comes to working from home and sitting with a laptop on your knee in a room of your home just won’t cut it, especially if you have a creative career. Decorating your home office or working area is a great way to add some inspiration.
You could put some inspirational quotes on the wall, decorate the walls in neutral colours, and add some personality. We don’t get this opportunity when we have to travel to our workplace, so make your home office the place of work dreams for you.
Time management will be the key to productivity
You will never realise how much time management is important to your day until you work from home. Let’s be honest, it is important anyway when it comes to trying to ensure that you handle and complete tasks. Whether you stay at home to look after the kids or you are someone employed in an office, time management could really help when you work from home.
The issue you have is that your two lives are merged into the same surroundings, so often you can feel like you are always working or on call for the next job. Your home still needs to be a place you can relax.
Time blocking your day will help you to remain productive with your work tasks, while still maintaining your home. Writing lists is always a great way to keep on top of the tasks you have to get done.
Use digital tools to help you work smarter
Finally, look into tools that can help you manage your working life more easily. Many home-based roles will require you to be active on things like social media or blogs, and scheduling tools can help to make that work more seamlessly. For example, scheduling updates in one go, so that even when you are off the clock, your work is still being done and your business and services are still being promoted.
Thinking of marketing strategies to help you time manage yourself more efficiently can help. You could also take advantage of Zoom or Teams for meetings, or even invest in digital planners and diaries that can then be shared with work colleagues to make things simple.
Often it is just finding the right work from home tips that will help you be more productive. Not all of them will work for you, but take what you can to make your working and home life better. I hope these tips help you to be more productive when working from home.