Remaining productive while working from home can be a hard task in itself. There are many distractions while working from home, including noisy kids, Netflix, and other household chores. Technological advances like cloud-based software, creating a designated workspace, and setting clear boundaries for your workday and private life will help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Use these tips to help you stay focused while working from home.
1. Set-up a designated workspace
When working from home, it is important to have a designated space to do your work. If available choose a separate room away from common areas in your home, this way you are able to close the door to keep any distractions away from your work area.
Make sure your workspace is big enough so that you can do your work. Try to find ergonomic friendly chairs, desks, keyboards, and mouse pads.
Do you need storage space? If so, be sure to pick a spot in your home with an area to store inventory, equipment, and any necessary files. It is always a good idea to keep these items on hand, so if you can, they should be stored in the same area as your workspace.
2. Make a set schedule and stick to it
It is important to set a schedule and stick to it. This will not only beneficial for you and your ability to focus but it will help keep distractions to a minimum.
Time tracking apps, like T-Sheets, will help you stick to your schedule and will give you a good idea of your working hours. It will also give you a good idea of when your most productive hours are, this way you can reserve your hours of high focus for your most important tasks.
Another important part of maintaining a set schedule is to create a morning routine. Whether you start your day with a run in your neighbourhood or by making a cup of coffee, a morning routine will help you get your day started in the right direction.
Maintaining a set schedule will contribute to a healthy work-life balance.
3. Be sure to take breaks
While you’re making your schedule, be sure to make time for breaks. It is important to take some time away from the computer during your workday. In fact, a study done by Tork, 90% of North American employees claim that taking lunch breaks helps them feel refreshed and more productive.
Try scheduling a run or making a homemade lunch. This break from your work will help you gain focus and energy and can help prevent an unproductive mid-afternoon slump. It will also help your mental health, allowing you to release stress and allow you to get those creative juices flowing.
4. Have the right resources and tools
The right resources and tools to get your tasks done will help you remain productive while working from home. Cloud-based applications make it easy to collaborate across time-zones and remotely. Simply log-in from your home computer and all the date entered will be saved to a remote server. Your collaborators will be able to see your projects and updates in real time.
These tools will help you stay on top of your tasks:
Read more about web-based tools for working from home.
5. Stay organized
A cluttered space means a cluttered mind. Having an organized workspace contributes to a productive workday. Princeton University conducted a study that showed the more things that are visible on your desk during your working hours, the more things are competing for your attention.
Create an organized work area by having a place for everything. Put loose papers in a file folder in a drawer, have a filing cabinet for all your client’s records, and keep anti-bacterial wipes handy to wipe any spills or dust.
6. Make healthy choices
Working from home has its perks, including the ability to make a healthy homemade lunch. Eating nutritious meals and snacks can help increase your productivity by 20%. Many studies have been conducted and they have come to the same conclusion: food and cognitive performance are linked.
A lot of the foods we eat are broken down into glucose, which fuels your everyday actions. The way we eat determines how much glucose will impact our energy levels – too little or too much glucose can leave you unfocused will low energy levels.
Try to eat items that are low in the glycemic index, like oatmeal, leafy vegetables, fruit, eggs, and lean proteins like chicken and fish.
7. Minimize distractions
Working from home can welcome a wealth of distractions. From kids to a noisy environment these distractions can cause you to get behind on your work. Constantly checking your email or notifications on your phone can cause micro-distractions that add up to some serious productivity loss.
Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize these distractions while you work from home.
- Have a conversation with your family about giving you the space and time you need to get your work done.
- Set up a system that tells your family when it is okay to interrupt and when it isn’t.
- If you can, make sure your designated workspace has a door to block out any noise going on in the main part of the house
- Invest in noise cancelling headphones
- Work cell phone and checking your emails into your schedule, so that you can spend the rest of the time focusing on important tasks