Tips to working from home: 15 ways to improve your productivity

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The job market these days has become increasingly home-based, and companies now depend massively on remote workers. From freelancers, tutors, virtual assistants, entrepreneurs, working your job or running your business from home is the way to go for many. If this is your case, you are probably looking for tips to working from home.

In any case, even if you are not in the same boat with work-from-home enthusiasts, you are more than likely to spend an increased amount of time within your home’s confines these days. Therefore, it becomes vital for you, irrespective of what you do, to know how to get the best out of yourself while working from home.

The Truth About Working from Home

While most will favor the idea of working from home over the more professional, structured office environment, it may turn out as a not so luxurious experience.

Compared to the office, the home office contains more distractions, less communication, and a lot less accountability. In a home office, you become your own worst enemy, and your business or job will consequentially suffer if you can’t match the productivity levels you’d have in a professional working environment.

However, the presence of these factors does not mean you can’t still be maximally productive at home. By adhering to specific guidelines and restrictions, you will find that a functional work-from-home setup is considerably better.

Below is a compiled list of 15 tips to working from home to establish a competent, productive, and maintainable home office system.

1. Set a schedule

Just like a regular desk job. Everyone typically adheres to a time routine for working hours, breaks, and when to call it a day. This routine keeps workers consistently productive per time. No one is really paying attention to when you start or end work at home, hence the cause for lack of accountability.

To achieve productive work at home, a proper schedule would have to be the first obstacle to overcome. It determines how much time you dedicate to work and, thus, how productive you may be in a day.

To establish these set hours, first, consider your regular morning routine. Ensure to engage all your usual routines as they will help get your day off to a good start, which is essential. From breakfast, yoga, or taking your dog for a walk, whatever brings you happiness helps prepare your mind and ease it better into work mode. Right after these activities comes your working hours.

Make sure to share with your colleagues, friends, and family when they can expect you to be responsive to whatever questions and requests they may have for you.


2. Know when you’re most productive

This goes hand-in-hand with setting up a schedule. Your most productive time of the day is when you should schedule your most important and demanding work for that day. For some, it’s in the morning when they’re feeling fresh and rested, while for others, it could be at night with the kids asleep. Either way, experiment with yourself, determine that time of the day, and you are well on your way to consistent, productive work at home.

Tips to working from home planner

3. Using a planner

You might as well think of it as a to-do list. Using a planner is an easy way to set up priorities and take note of deadlines, breaks, and all other things that you may now need to be reminded of. With a planner, the task of scheduling is simplistic, and with dedication, your discipline with time is guaranteed.

On your planner, make sure to put up your highest priority tasks first and approximate how long it will take to finish the tasks.

For most, the best time to plan for a day is the night before. Take a few minutes before going to bed to plan out productive work at home for the next day.


4. Break up the day

What this simply means is that you should set up time blocks for each task and rewards/breaks whenever you complete the job in question. Working at a stretch most times ends up with you declining in performance. To maintain a high level of productivity, it is essential to try to complete tasks within specific time blocks/deadlines you set, and once completed, reward yourself with a healthy snack, some fresh air, or a short conversation with someone else, then get right back to work for the next task.


5. Arrange tasks in batches

One very effective way to do productive work at home is to batch tasks. The principle behind this is something you must have noticed in your personal life – doing the same thing or something similar repeatedly makes you faster and more efficient at it. So when scheduling, try to group similar tasks to enhance your workflow.


6. Get dressed

Of course, keeping on your T-shirt and sweatpants is more comfortable than work clothes, but it is a big challenge to be psychologically motivated for work in pajamas. Dressing as though you were going to work is meant to eliminate any sense of sluggishness or laziness wearing your PJ’s would naturally induce.

7. Create an official home workspace

In line with the previous step, there needs to be a sustainable boundary between your personal and work life. Simply rolling out of bed to get to work on your couch or easy chair just won’t do to work at home successfully.

For productive work at home, you’ll need a workspace with adequate ventilation and lighting, a comfortable chair paired with a desk of your choice (preferably spacious), and all the accessories and tools that would help keep you productive. The central idea is to make sure that this space is customized to your taste as you would be spending a lot of time here.

You should also try to situate the home office location somewhere with minimal traffic and the least distractions.

Of course, being at home does not mean it’s okay to have your desk or entire workspace unkempt. Your desk should be clutter-free and your workspace attractive.


8. Limit distractions

Although you wouldn’t want to miss your favorite TV show, it is never a good idea to multi-task watching TV while working. You simply cannot be as productive if you have distractions staring right at you.

This includes social networks and possibly, your mobile phone. It is best to keep your phone in a different room or turn it off and the TV during work hours. You can always do them at the close of the day.


9. Control the sound

The sound in an environment has a significant effect on the level of performance one outputs. For many, the home environment is far too quiet, so adjusting the sound to something suitable could help stay focused. For this, you will need to experiment and figure out what works best for you. It could be some instrumental, jazz, quiet background sounds, or even the sound of silence, whatever works for you.

tips for working from home self care

10. Create time for wellness

Taking care of yourself is of utmost importance, but it’s easy to forget all about self-care when there’s so much work to do. Despite the workload, you must not overlook the time for self-care. Perhaps you need a walk during the day, or a shower, don’t push aside whatever it is that you consider self-care, or you’ll end up draining yourself and performing below your standards.


11. Take a walk

The deskbound nature of working at home makes it relatively easy to develop cabin fever. The nature of present times with social distancing makes it even worse. A walk around your neighborhood, about the backyard, or a trip to the gym during the day is an effective means of combatting this problem.

Also, it merely isn’t healthy physically or mentally to look at screens all day. A walk or light exercise allows you to hit reset, gets your blood flowing, and as a result, you have a clear head to approach tasks more creatively, thereby enhancing productive work at home.


12. Create house rules

One of the pillars of a system for efficient and productive work at home is the boundaries you created for your work. Simply, your roomies, kids, family, and pets are not to disrupt you while working so you can remain focused. You don’t have to turn your home into a dictatorship for this; it can be friendly as long as you and your companions stick to it. An easy way to do this is to get or design a sign you can put on your door, saying when you’re working and when you’re available for them.


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