7 Work From Home Tips To Supercharge Your Productivity
When I first started working from home I essentially had two modes. There would be days when I had these random bursts of motivation, and I would work non-stop for 2-3 days. After I nearly worked myself to death, I would get burnt out and stop working completely for the rest of the week. And the cycle would repeat itself. I had no structure or routine when it came to working from home and this lack of structure would greatly affect my productivity.
Fast forward two months later, I would say that I still procrastinate a lot, and sometimes when things become too overwhelming I will bury my nose into the phone or just take a nap. But now I can say with confidence that, the majority of the time, I am a very productive person. I can attribute my enhanced productivity and time management skills to the things I’ve learned in the past few months from blog posts, audiobooks, Youtube videos, and putting them into practice. This is not something that happened overnight. Through trial and error, I figured out the things that worked for me and the things that didn’t.
So, I’m going to share seven tips and healthy habits that have helped me become more disciplined and balanced, allowed me to make better use of my time and get more done. Whether you have been working from home for a while now or you’re relatively new to the prospect of making your home your workplace, I hope these tips will be extremely helpful for you.
1. Create a Designated Working Place for Each Type of Work
Every profession has a couple of tasks that can be divided into several categories. For example, a blogger is generally required to do 5 kinds of tasks that include brainstorming ideas for new content, creating content, brainstorming different angles they can use to market their content, creating pins, scheduling new pins, and repining old pins. Of course, there may be other tasks as part of your blogging strategy, but these are usually the tasks that I have to perform every week.
And you’ll notice that the same working spot doesn’t always allow you to be most productive for all kinds of tasks. The spot that allows me to be my most creative self when brainstorming ideas for new content or thinking about marketing strategies for posts is not the same space that gets me motivated to create new content. I find that ideas come easily to me when I’m on a commute or sitting in my balcony where I can be somewhat close to nature. When it’s time to write a blog post, the living room couch is the space that causes words to flow easily from my head. On the other hand, my desk is the space I use to create new pins, and doing mundane tasks like scheduling pins and replying to emails.
So, consider the quality of your work when you are trying to find a designated workspace. It might require you to experiment a little bit to find that perfect spot, but once you do, you’ll find that you can be so much more productive.
2. Consider the Quality of Your Work When Scheduling Time
This is again, an extension to my previous point. In addition to having a fixed spot according to the quality of your work, consider the type of the task at hand when you are scheduling the time for it in your calendar.
Schedule creative tasks or tasks that require a lot of brainwork on times of the day when you have the most mental clarity, for example, mornings or within a couple of hours of your afternoon nap. On the other hand, you can schedule relatively mundane and repetitive tasks at noon or evenings when you start to become a little bit mentally drained.
3. Create a Productive, Nourishing and Peaceful Morning Routine
Morning routines serve to warm up your mind and body to get you ready to take on the day. I used to be guilty of grabbing my laptop from my bedside table the moment I woke up and start working. This was caused by my desire to get more done as early as possible. But the result was that I wasn’t being as productive I knew I was capable of being, because neither my mind nor my body had properly woken up yet, and it would take me much longer to complete a task than it should.
So, allow your body to transition itself from sleeping to working mode. Wake your body up by squeezing in some physical activity like stretching or making your bed, replenish your glucose store to increase your mental clarity with a hearty and filling breakfast, bring your focus to the present moment by writing morning pages or practicing meditation. Remember that there is no universally perfect morning routine because the definition of a perfect morning routine is different for everyone. You can create a customized morning routine according to your own needs here.
4. Dress the Part
A lot of people advised me that when you are working from home, you should wear the same clothes you would wear if you worked outside. I tried doing that, but it just made me very sad that I couldn’t show my cute outfit to the world and I ended up sulking the entire day because my clothes were a constant reminder that I was in quarantine and hadn’t been outside in months.
That was just my story, and I understand it could be helpful to other people to dress in formal work clothes. But I find that I can be most productive and focused when I dress up in comfy clothes that are slightly more upgraded than my usual home attire but not as formal as clothes I would wear outside.
5. Set-Top Three Goals for the Coming Day the Night Before
Setting goals the night before makes it easier for you to get out of bed the next morning, because you know what to expect. And on top of that, it helps you avoid decision fatigue that might arise from thinking about your plans for the day in the morning.
So on the night before, list three of your most important tasks for the next day. Then spend five minutes to sit in a quiet space and play a little movie in your mind regarding the tasks that need to be done the upcoming day. Visualization is a very powerful tool, and envisioning yourself doing the tasks increases the likelihood of you getting them done.
6. Schedule Your Breaks and Spend Them Wisely
Working non-stop from hours on end can place a large strain on your concentration levels which hampers your productivity. If you don’t like to schedule breaks because you think they will slow you down, remember that when we continue to work even when our mind and body is begging for a break, it will take you longer to complete tasks that they should.
So schedule frequent breaks but do spend them wisely. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through your phone on each break, spend your 10-15 minutes on activities that will allow you to return to work feeling refreshed and increase your drive to work. For example, taking a 10-minute walk across the block, having a healthy snack, or making yourself something warm to drink like tea, coffee or fruit infused water which will allow you to slow down and relax.
7. Balance is Key
When you are working from home, and your work is something that you are in love with, it can very difficult to allow yourself to stop. But it is important to draw a line between your home and your work to maintain and nurture the relationships with the people you love, and that includes the relationship you have with yourself.
You don’t have to work for a set section of the day and then give time to yourself and your family and friends afterward. Instead, create a routine that suits both you and the people you want to give your time to. For example, I love spending time with my sisters. So I start working early in the morning and stop in the afternoon. My afternoons are reserved for my siblings where somehow two us always teams up and annoys the other. Our littlest sister is usually the victim because she gives the funniest reactions when you annoy her which is adorable. And then I spend my evenings working on mundane and repetitive tasks. Finally, I end the day with dinner, catching up on Netflix and a small self-care routine.
So the key is to find what works for you according to your personal preferences, your levels of energy during different times of the day, and the routines of the people you would like to spend time with.
It can difficult to adjust to new habits and working schedules in these uncertain times. So if you find yourself unable to concentrate or give you all everyday, its okay. Remember to be kind to yourself and take things slow.
I’m curious do you find wearing outerwear makes you more focused when working from home, or are you better off with comfy clothes? Answer in the comments below and let me know which of the tips you found most helpful.
About The Author
I’m Zarnaz. I’m a self help junkie, caffeine addict, writer, engineer and I’m extremely passionate about the science of people. I want to know what inspires you, motivates you, drives you to make better choices and ultimately, how to help you reach your full potential. This is a blog dedicated to that cause.