Working from home has become even more common over the past couple of years, as the pandemic pushed people out of the office by necessity. The benefits of working from home include avoiding commutes, having more time with your family, and avoiding additional stresses that can come with an office. However, staying productive can be hard when your couch and television are … right … over … there. Here are 8 tips for productivity that can ensure a productive day and keep a good work/life balance.
Dress for Work
While it is nice to be able to work in your pajamas, it shouldn’t be your everyday habit. Getting dressed for the day is something that we have done all our lives and signals internally a change – moving from our sleeping selves to our active selves. While you don’t have to dress in full office attire, having comfortable clothes you wear for your workday will help cue your mind that it’s time to wake and work.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Make sure you have a place for your work that is free of distractions. If you have children or pets, make sure that you can keep them out of your workspace when you have meetings or just need to focus on your work.
Set Regular Hours
Often working from home means setting our own hours. While this flexibility is nice, you should create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to work when you should be spending time with your family or partner – or just taking time for yourself. In addition to being good for you, regular hours are good for your productivity and relationships with your clients. You want to set clear expectations for when you’re available, after all.
Organize Your Workflow
Make sure that you have a way to organize your tasks to keep up with what needs to be done and where you are in a project. The complexity of your work will determine just what you need. For some people, a simple worksheet that tracks projects due is enough. However, if you have projects with multiple steps or if you work as part of a team, scheduling software that tracks tasks is a must.
Use Good Tech
Working from home, your equipment is important. You need a good computer and a reliable internet connection. A quality smartphone capable of running productivity apps or connecting you to work is important, especially if your work takes you out of the house for projects. If you can, invest in device protection so that you can quickly repair or replace equipment that breaks.
Boundaries are important in any kind of relationship, personal and professional. Take time to look at your personal and professional needs. Determine from there what boundaries you need to set to ensure that you can meet those needs. Examples of healthy boundaries include,
- Not taking work calls or answering messages outside of working hours
- Maintaining specific off days and ensuring vacation/holiday time for yourself
- Keeping focused on a task and addressing questions or problems after
- Having a scheduled time for meetings
Keep Your Workspace Clean
Even if you tend to gather clutter, it’s important to keep the workspace around you clean. A clean workspace ensures that you can find equipment and work items quickly and easily. Note that this extends to your computer desktop as well as your physical space – you should keep computer files organized so that you can find them quickly and easily. A clean physical workspace is important for your safety and health as well. Avoiding dust will help to keep you from getting sick. A clean workspace will also reduce accidents that can damage important equipment.
Keep Work and Personal Time Separate
When we work from home, it can be easy to let our personal and work lives interact and intertwine. If you want to avoid conflict and burnout, however, keep work and personal time separate. Your work time should be dedicated to work and your clients. Your personal time should be dedicated to you and your loved ones. If you feel stressed about work, look at your schedule and your workload. Make sure you’re dedicating enough time to your work and not taking on more than you can handle. Even if you’re doing your dream job, you still need time away from work. Nothing is worse than getting burned out doing something you love.
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