The global pandemic has dramatically altered the way we work, with remote work becoming the new normal for millions of people around the world. While the flexibility and freedom of working from home can be a blessing, it can also come with its own set of challenges.
Distractions from family, pets and household chores can make it difficult to stay focused and productive. Additionally, the lack of physical separation between work and leisure can blur the lines between the two, leading to feelings of burnout and reduced productivity. Despite these challenges, remote work is here to stay, and it’s essential to find ways to make it work for you.
Whether you’re an experienced remote worker or just starting out, the tips and tricks outlined in this comprehensive guide will help you stay productive and efficient while working from home. So, let’s dive in and explore the 10 tips that can help you stay productive when working from home!
10 Tips for Staying Productive When Working From Home
Use these productivity tips to help you stay organized and on top of your tasks while working from home:
1. Create an office space
Working on your couch or on your bed? It will quickly make you want to spend hours on the internet, open Netflix, or sleep.
Working in the middle of your living room or on the kitchen table? If you don’t live alone, you’ll be interrupted a lot, your concentration might take a hit, and you might get a simple task done in three times the normal time.
Having an assigned office space is therefore necessary, both psychologically and physically. For one, your presence in your office will notify your brain that it’s time to work, and your productivity will naturally increase.
On the other hand, it will prevent you from being constantly distracted by the comings and goings of people around you, and it will allow the other inhabitants of your house to know that you are working and that you should not, therefore, disturb you.
Of course, your workspace should also be comfortable and motivating. Read all our tips for arranging it as well as possible in our article: How to arrange your house well to be able to work there?
2. Don’t get overwhelmed by clutter
Speaking of the office, it’s also important to keep clutter out. Indeed, the disorder does two things. First, you spend more time finding what you’re looking for.
Then, if only in a corner of your head, you can’t stop thinking that you have to tidy up. Result: you lose precious time, and your concentration at the same time.
So be sure to keep your workspace clean and tidy. However, if you are used to making a lot of mess when working, it is not always advisable to tidy up all the time as it will also waste your time.
It’s usually best to spend a few minutes at the end of the day cleaning up the day’s clutter. This will allow you to start each working day with a tidy desk.
Some of us, however, prefer to work on a desk full of stuff. In this case, it is still important to organize the mess. So be sure to get rid of anything no longer needed, such as empty plastic bottles. In addition, make sure that your important documents and files are easily found, to avoid wasting tens of minutes before getting your hands on them.
3. Respect schedules
If you are free to choose your schedules, it is a huge plus for your productivity. This will allow you to work at the times of the day when you are most productive. Early in the morning, late in the evening, from noon,… Not everyone is productive at the same time, and it will therefore be up to you to choose the schedule that suits you best.
However, whatever schedules you decide to follow, it is important to stick to them. Not setting your schedules or letting your hobbies encroach on your working time is the best way to scare away productivity!
On this subject, note that when it comes to managing your time, there are several ways to do it. Some people, for example, prefer to check their emails only 2 or 3 times a day so as not to be constantly interrupted by incoming messages, while others prefer to be connected at all times to manage everything in real-time. It all depends on you and how you work.
4. Make a schedule and a to-do list
Making a list will give you a clear overview of the day’s tasks and goals. You will also be able to determine which are the most important tasks to start with and make sure you don’t miss any deadlines.
If you don’t have any tasks to prioritize, consider putting the most boring or difficult ones first. This will allow you to quickly get rid of it and not spend your day thinking about it.
Additionally, making a list gives you the opportunity to cross off tasks as you complete them. This simple gesture has the advantage of increasing our satisfaction and pushing us to work to cross off other items from our list!
In addition to a daily list, it is also important to make a weekly or monthly schedule, to give you a better overview of your missions and the deadlines to be met. If you have big projects, you can also divide them into several key stages to ensure that you are moving forward.
5. Take breaks
We can already hear you, you are saying to yourself: “Excuse me? The objective of the article is to teach us to be productive and we are told to take breaks. Isn’t all that contradictory?
Well no, it’s not! Indeed, while it’s important not to take too many breaks, it’s equally important to make sure you take a few.
Breaks allow us to release pressure, think about something else, and boost our energy. After a good break, we are therefore fresh again to get back to work, which means that we concentrate better and that we are more efficient.
If you feel too tired or have a headache, try going outside. The outside air will wake you up and help soothe your pain. If the outdoors doesn’t tempt you, you can also decide to read a few pages of a book or magazine, drink a cup of coffee, or take the opportunity to do the dishes. After all, breaks can also be used to do useful things!
So how many breaks to take and how long should they last? There is no ready-made answer to this question because the choice is yours!
You can take a 5-10 minute break every hour, or a longer break every two hours. Either way, try not to break more than 30 minutes. Indeed, too long a break could make you less eager to get back to work!
6. Eliminate all distractions
Between hobbies, things to do, the other inhabitants of the house, and the postman ringing the doorbell, the house is full of distractions.
You will therefore have to do everything to eliminate as many of them as possible in order to be able to work. Our tips 1 and 3 will already be of great help to you to get there.
However, even in a closed office and respecting schedules, another major source of distraction that is very difficult to control is the Internet.
If you don’t have to work with the internet, it’s simple: stay away from your computer or disconnect it from WiFi. If, on the other hand, you need to stay connected, it will take a lot of discipline not to open a tab that has nothing to do with your work. It is indeed very easy to end up surfing for 30 minutes without realizing it!
In this regard, you should know that there are several applications for smartphones and computers that allow you to block certain sites for a certain period of time.
So, if you need to concentrate, you can for example decide to block all your social networks and the sites you frequent the most for an hour, until your next break. It’s hard at first, but it will only do good for your productivity!
7. Give yourself rewards
Facing a task you really don’t want to do? If you still can’t get going despite eliminating all the distractions around you, why not set up a rewards system?
Give yourself little pleasures at the end of each boring and difficult task. It can be for example a piece of cake, an online shopping session, or a chapter of your favorite book. You’ll see, these rewards will help you get started.
And, once the task is completed, you will also receive another great reward: the satisfaction of having finished it and finally being able to put it out of your mind. Sometimes that reward is enough to make us want to roll up our sleeves!
8. Dress up
If you thought working from home meant you could skip showering and getting dressed every morning, you were wrong! Indeed, working in pajamas tends to make us much less productive.
So continue your morning routine as if you were going to the office. No need to put on a suit, but it is important to be at least presentable.
Indeed, some studies claim that there is a link between the way we dress and our state of mind. If you stay in your pajamas, you will therefore be much less motivated to work and you will rather want to cocoon in your armchair.
In addition, the morning routine that combines shower, breakfast, and clothes will help your brain switch to work mode. You will then be psychologically ready to attack the day!
9. Go out and exercise
Another activity that has nothing to do with work! And yet, like breaks, it helps us improve our concentration.
If you can, try to go for a walk for a few minutes in the morning. Natural light helps wake us up after a long night, so you’ll be ready to work when you return home. Plus, it’ll also make you feel like you’re not going from bed to desk without an in-between.
As for sport, although it tires us at the moment, it has an extremely energizing power. It is even recommended in case of chronic fatigue, for example. But that’s not all: it also immerses us in a state of well-being, reduces our stress level, and strengthens our self-esteem. So many things that only improve our productivity at work!
If you don’t have the time or inclination to go to a gym or go for a run outside, you can also exercise at home. Do it in the morning before work, on your lunch break, after work, or at a time of your day when you’re never really productive. However, it is important not to exercise less than 3 hours before going to sleep. Indeed, because of the energy that sport gives us after a session, you could face insomnia. On the contrary, if you go there during the day, the sport will help you sleep better. And, once again, it will give you energy for the next morning!
In short, sport is a virtuous circle that will only benefit your productivity and your state of mind. Not to mention that if you work from home, you will need to move more anyway to stay healthy.
10. Use a Standing Desk
A standing desk is a simple and effective way to stay productive while working from home. Not only does it keep you active and alert, but it also reduces the risk of developing health problems associated with sitting for long periods of time.
If you don’t have the space or budget for a full-standing desk, you can use a standing desk converter that fits on top of your existing desk.
The Bottom Line.
staying productive while working from home can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. By following these 10 tips, you can create an efficient and effective workspace that will help you achieve your goals and maintain your work-life balance.
Whether you’re using a standing desk, setting up a dedicated workspace, or establishing a routine, each of these tips will help you stay focused, motivated, and productive while working from home.
Remember, remote work is a new reality, and it’s up to each of us to make it work for us. So, take these tips to heart and create the workspace of your dreams, and watch your productivity soar!