The standard of work has drastically changed in the past couple of years. Researchers estimate that by 2025, approximately 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely.
Many people have switched to working from home full time and have to balance work and home life properly for maximum productivity. Unfortunately, this can come with struggles with focusing that affect getting things done.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools and strategies that can help you make the most out of your day and tackle any to-do list. Keep reading to learn how to be more productive while working from home.
Find a Designated Area
Many people who weren't used to working from home initially found it difficult to separate their work and leisure. This is because everywhere basically became an office─ the couch, the kitchen table, and even sometimes the bed. One of the best productivity tips for remote work is to designate a specific area of the house as your workspace.
Try to only do work in this sectioned-off space. This will also help to build routines and habits. When the workday is over, go to a different part of the house to help you compartmentalize what each area is for.
You may also want to consider spending some time out of the house some days. If you can, head down to a local coffee shop or library to get some work completed. A shift in the environment can often help to re-spark motivation and production.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
Have you ever noticed how you tend to get a task done quicker when there's a due time attached? Well, the Pomodoro technique amplifies this using time blocks and a simple timer.
The Pomodoro method was developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. This is one of the easiest and often most efficient productivity tools.
You start by setting a timer for a 25-minute interval and working diligently until the timer goes off. Then you take a short break for 5 minutes─ this completes one full "Pomo". Do this for four "pomos" (or until the task is finished) and then consider taking a long break (15 minutes) if needed.
Create a Schedule
One of the easiest ways to "leak energy" is when you don't distribute it the wrong way like checking endless emails. Trying to get through a day with a full to-do list and no direction increases your chances of being less productive. You can cut out the extra time and energy wasted by making a schedule.
Figure out how you want your day and create structure around this. For instance, maybe you like to work out early in the morning and then start work. You could wake up around 6 am, head to the gym by 7 am, and then start your work by 9 am. Customize your schedule to what fits your needs and lifestyle best.
Of course, being at home automatically comes with many distractions. Sometimes the kids need extra attention or maybe the dog just won't stop barking. Oftentimes we create our own distractions as well such as scrolling on social media for too long or obsessively checking emails.
Use the right productivity tools to help you tune out distracting factors in your day. Figure out what takes up a huge chunk of your time or where most of the interruptions are coming from.
If it's scrolling on the internet then try an app that blocks usage for a certain period of time. If you need to reduce stress around getting through emails then maybe you could use a tool that helps clean out and declutter your inbox. Start with the activities that tend to suck up a lot of your time and optimize them.
A messy environment can often create a scattered brain. If you've been scrambling through sticky notes around your desk or losing files frequently, it may be time to get organized.
When you're unorganized, it takes longer to get in the flow of work. Sometimes you have to take the time to locate essential materials you need to start your workday. This can take up a lot of mental space and cause some frustration and anxiety.
Avoid working in chaos by getting organized. Find the right organizational system that works for you and stick to it.
Recent studies have shown that around 77% of participants have experienced burnout while at their current job. Burnout is a result of various things including lack of support and constantly working long hours. If you've been feeling less enthusiastic, tired all the time, or have been getting ill more frequently then you may be experiencing or on the verge of being burnt out.
Here are some other signs to recognize burnout:
- Feeling trapped or helpless
- Loss of motivation
- Imposter syndrome (not feeling good enough)
- Lack of passion or apathetic
- Being cynical or negative
- Decreased socializing
- Declines in physical health
The best way to avoid and fight burnout is to catch it early or use preventative measures. Invest in your self-care and take breaks as needed.
Have an Ergonomic Setup
Sitting down for extended periods of time can have negative effects on your health. Unfortunately, this is a reality for most people who work from home. But there are ways to make your home office a healthier environment for you.
Invest in ergonomic chairs, desks, and other supportive objects that create a better workstation.
Learn How to Be More Productive While Working From Home
Figuring out how to be more productive while working from home comes down to a few fundamentals. Learn where your distractions and procrastination stems from then address them with preventative and effective measures.
The most important part is to stay consistent with your productivity tools and practices. If you're looking for more ways to increase productivity, check out this article on the blog.