Top Tips on being more motivated and productive when working from home
Those of you who often work from home will know the huge joy it can bring, but you’ll also know the joys of procrastination. It can be hard working from home especially with the minefield of distractions and temptations which are all around you.
Nevertheless, working from home provides a number of luxuries – you can wake up 20 minutes before, no need to worry about getting dressed, doing your hair or putting any make up on and of course you can avoid the rush hour commute. However, it’s easy to become complacent and a little slow, not very productive lets say, but since working from home I have found a way to stay motivated and beat the distractions. So keep on reading if you’re new to working from home and need some help to stay on track for the day.
Ah a lay in, who doesn’t love one of those but trust me the novelty will wear off! Waking up 15 minutes before starting work will make you feel as though you’ve done nothing but work which will only lead to procrastination. Wake up at least an hour before and make time for yourself first. Even if it’s just time to make breakfast or go for a run or like me get up and do the housework. Nothing too exciting but it will make you feel as though you’ve accomplished something for you and will kickstart a productive day.
2. Separate work form home
If you have a home office that’s great but if not it can be a little more tricky. Find a space at home, whether thats at your dining table, a desk in the bedroom, or a bar stool in the kitchen and dedicate that space to your work. Your house is associated with home comforts which automatically make us want to chill out and relax but if you make a space especially for work not only will you be able to get into work mode a lot easier, your brain will know when it’s time to start.
If you decide to stay in your Pj’s the entire day you won’t get much done at all. That doesn’t mean you have to wear your best clothing though, since I’m not leaving the house I opt for my most comfiest clothes such as leggings or tracksuits bottoms and a jumper to keep me warm throughout the Winter. This way I’m dressed and feel ready to start the day but in the comfiest way possible.
4. Get comfortable but not too comfortable
Okay so here’s my confession – I don’t always follow this one but they’re not rules you have to go by, more like helpful suggestions. It’s important to not get too comfortable, that means no sitting on the sofa! But sometimes when I just want to immerse myself in something, like writing for example, I will sit on the sofa just because I can get comfy and do it in one go! But not everyone is like that and they may put the TV on and have a tendency to watch that instead of getting on with what they’re supposed to be doing and before you know it a couple of hours have already passed and nothings been achieved.
5. Plan your day
There’s nothing more I love than writing a to do list to kick-start the day. I don’t know about you but without one I feel extremely disorganised and end up having hundreds of things going round in my head all at once. Even just jotting things down in the note section on my phone when I’m on the move helps me to stay organised as not only do I know what I need to do but ticking one by one off gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Whilst structuring your day, you may as well plan your lunch hour as you don’t want to be spending too much time cooking when you should be working. Plus this will stop you from going into the kitchen to get something to eat every few hours which is never a good thing.
6. Invest in a good quality chair
For me, this is vital because if I’m thinking about my back hurting I can’t think of anything else and thus no work is actually getting done. I know I said to not be too comfy but that’s in terms of relaxation, you need to be comfortable enough to not have to keep switching positions – this is where a good quality chair comes in. Equally, if you do have a home office it’s important to make it feel nice for you – if you love it your much more likely to want to spend time in there.
Starring at a computer screen all day can make you go stir crazy if you’re not careful. Try taking short but regular breaks throughout the day to give both your brain and eyes a rest. Standing up, going out for a quick walk, popping into the garden a couple of times a day or if you have pets a 5 minute cuddle/play with them every now and then will do you the world of good. Doing something a bit more vigorous will keep your mind alert for a lot longer and improve the quality of your work a hundred times over.
8. Switch up your office location
If I know I’m working from home for the week I will plan a couple of days where I will work from my favourite coffee shop close by with actual tables, chairs and people. Not only does this help to mix things up but it also helps to stimulate the work environment and gives me a new lease of life. White noise and meaningless chatter in the background is sometimes better than utter silence. Working from outside the home for a couple of days then gives me a new found appreciation for my home when I come back. A win win.
9. Communicate with your collegues
Collegues can sometimes be a distraction in the office – one moment your powering through your inbox and the next a colleague has come over to ask about your weekend. Nevertheless, that communication is vital to not only keeping on top of things but for staying sane – technology allows us to work from home and stay connected; Meetings via skype, conversations through Whatsap, the list is endless. Not only that, it also allows you to check in with your co-workers several times a day – this is something I like to do so I can let my boss know I’m actually working and not slacking.
10. Force yourself to stop working
For me, one of the biggest problems is over working and knowing when to stop; I could honestly just keep going till 10pm at night. Work is always there in the background, even more so when your working from home as there is no definitive cut off point. Make it easier by setting an alarm to signify the end of the day. Alternatively, organise a gym class or dinner with your friends straight after work so you have a reason to stop working on time and get out of the house.
So there are my top 10 tips to working at home – if you have any tricks up your sleeves for maximising your productivity when at home let me know in the comments below; I could always do with more!
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