Working from home can boost productivity once you get the hang of it. If you’re just starting out or in need of a few tips to tighten up your routine, these ideas will help.
Have a clear plan
Create a to-do list or action plan as your daily road map. Once you have established your priorities, you’ll have more clarity about which tasks are most useful. It isn’t enough to be busy when you’re working from home. Every effort should lead you in your desired direction. Know where you’re going and you’re more likely to get there.
Don’t let yourself get sucked into a social media time warp. Random forays onto the internet are massive time wasters. Instead, choose two set times daily to respond to messages and the like. Give yourself a time limit, say 15 minutes, and train co-workers to expect responses during these established times.
Create a work station
In his book On Writing, Stephen King advised going to the same place at the same time every day to write. Doing so sets up a Pavlovian response of sorts, he says. When I sit here, I write. The same is true of working from home. When I sit here, I work. Set up a work station and a schedule…stick to them as a way of creating the habit of work. Bindertek has all the supplies and furniture you need to easily set up an organized work station.
Be sure everyone understands you are actually working
The trouble with working from home is sometimes people think that means you are available for long phone chats, childcare and errands. Make it clear that you aren’t. Working from home successfully means you must be in integrity with yourself and your employer. You must actually be working. When distracting requests come in offer a polite but firm no.
Sharpen the saw
Plan lunch and short breaks just as you would in the office. Time away from work tasks helps you stay sharp so you bring fresh energy to tackling your to-do list.
Know when you are most productive
Plan your day to take advantage of your most productive hours.
One of the most difficult work from home habits to establish is minimizing distractions. Be strict with yourself as you develop the habit of staying on task. Put yourself on a schedule and reward yourself for adherence. If you’re having a lot of trouble you may want to keep a time log for a week or so. Notice where you see problem patterns and adjust as needed.