If you work from home, you know what a blessing it can be. But there are also some challenges that come with this. For one thing, it’s so easy to get distracted by all the little things that pop up throughout the day—and forget about actually getting your work done!
A few simple productivity tips can make working from home easier and more effective for everyone involved. Here are my best tips for staying productive when working from home:
Tips To Stay Productive While Working From Home:
Create a Morning Routine
In order to stay productive and focused, you need a routine that kickstarts your day.
A morning routine is just like a pre-game ritual for athletes—it gets your mind in the right place so you can focus on the task at hand.
A morning routine might include some of these things:
- Listening to upbeat music while getting ready.
- Taking time to meditate or exercise.
- Reading something inspirational before starting work (a book, blog post, article).
- Writing down goals for the day and why they’re important to achieve them (known as “SMART” goals).
Remembering why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why it’s important.
Having a morning routine is a great way to make sure your day starts off on the right foot, but it can be hard to stick with if life gets busy. If you’re feeling like your routine isn’t working for you any more, here are some tips for improving it: Track how much time you spend on tasks throughout the day by using an app like ClickUp.
Set Realistic Goals for Each Day
- Set goals that are achievable. Your goals should be challenging, but not so difficult that you can’t achieve them.
- Don’t set goals that are too ambitious. On the other hand, don’t give yourself tasks that are so easy they’re meaningless and unproductive.
- Don’t set goals that are too easy and/or vague. For example, setting a goal such as “Spend less time on Twitter” could mean something different to each person—and doesn’t provide much helpful direction when it comes time to measure your progress!
Another way of thinking about this is by asking yourself: Could anyone else have done what I just did?
If the answer is yes, then chances are your goal wasn’t very specific enough or was too general for its own good (e.g., it lacked a clear objective).
That said, sometimes even well-defined objectives won’t be measurable until later on down the road (e.g., losing weight), but if we try our best here at least we’ll know how well we’ve done relative to others who weren’t working from home today!
Do the Hard Stuff First
In his book, The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod describes how he used to hit snooze on his alarm clock each morning. He’d then go through a series of rituals that would take him two hours to complete.
Finally, he would get out of bed and head to work where he had a hard time focusing on his tasks due to lack of sleep. His solution was simple: instead of hitting snooze—or even worse, sleeping in—he decided to wake up earlier and jump right into working out so that he could be well-rested for an entire day at work. It worked! Now Hal wakes up at 4:30 AM every morning and by 5:00 AM he is already working out or meditating or doing something productive with his time instead of wasting it away in bed.
After his morning workout, Hal heads to the kitchen and makes himself a healthy breakfast. Then he does some reading for 15-20 minutes before heading off to work.
He found that by starting his day with hard things first—like working out or meditating—he was able to get more done throughout the day because he had more energy.
By the time Hal gets to work, he is ready to tackle whatever problems his team needs him to work on. He also has more energy because of all the extra sleep he gets each night.
Set Deadlines for the Day
Setting deadlines helps you stay on task and focused throughout the day.
Try setting a deadline for each task or project, so that you can keep track of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. If you’re not sure how long it will take you to complete a job, set an approximate time frame as well.
If your work schedule allows for it, try setting daily deadlines for yourself—you could even include them on your calendar or in an app like TickTick or Amazing Marvin. If you’re working from home, this is especially helpful because working from home doesn’t always mean uninterrupted work hours!
It’s also important to consider whether or not those deadlines are flexible; sometimes work takes longer than expected (especially if it involves other people). In these cases, breaking down goals into smaller tasks may help reduce stress and keep things moving forward smoothly.
Take Frequent Breaks Throughout the Day
Taking regular breaks throughout the day is necessary for your productivity. Breaks can help you to stay focused and will give you energy to keep working. The key is not to take too many breaks; otherwise, it can be difficult to get back into work mode.
A good way to ensure that you are taking enough but not too many breaks is by following a 90-minute rule: every 90 minutes, take a 5-10 minute break. This means that if you have completed 3 hours of work in total, then 30 minutes out of those 3 hours should be spent on your break time.
One way to keep track of when it’s time for a break is by using an online timer or an app —it has both options available! Another option would be using an egg timer (available from most supermarkets). Set the timer for 5-10 minutes before continuing with what you were doing before taking the break.
There are many ways in which one could use their break time including going outside or walking around the neighborhood while listening to music through earbuds, having lunch with co-workers or friends over Skype or Facetime (if they’re located elsewhere).
Stay Motivated With Music
Music is an excellent tool for staying motivated. It helps you focus, feel more energized and positive, and it can even get you in the mood to work.
The best music is the kind that motivates you—and there are a lot of ways to find out what your personal motivating music sounds like! Start by thinking about how certain songs make you feel when they play on the radio or at a party.
Maybe one song always makes you dance around like crazy because it’s so upbeat and fun; maybe another song makes you want to go home early from work so that you can listen to it without interruption.
These are good starting points for choosing music that motivates both on-the-job productivity as well as general enthusiasm throughout your day (and life).
Get Your Body Moving
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. You’ll feel better, sleep better, have more energy, and be way less likely to gain weight or experience depression.
If you work from home and don’t have as much access to a gym (or even if you do), a few short workouts each week can make all the difference in how productive you are at your job.
The best thing about working out is that it doesn’t take a lot of time. You can squeeze in a quick workout while the baby naps, or even just do some stretching while you watch TV at night. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas for quick workouts and stretches that anyone can do from home:
Make a To-Do List Before Bed
The night before you plan to tackle your tasks, make a list of everything that needs to get done. Prioritize the items on your list by importance and add some time estimates.
Then sleep on it! When you wake up in the morning, look at that list with fresh eyes and make sure there aren’t any omissions or errors.
If you find something missing, add it in—but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by how many things there are left to do: remember that prioritizing is key!
You’ll also want to factor in breaks for yourself during this process of planning out your day; don’t forget about the need for rest and relaxation when working from home!
With these easy tips, you can stay productive while working from home.
If you’re working from home, the best way to stay productive is to treat it like any other job (even if it isn’t). It can be easy to fall into bad habits and start feeling guilty about not being able to get things done.
When I first started working remotely for my last company, I would spend all day staring at my computer screen and getting nothing done.
I actually felt bad about myself because I wasn’t accomplishing anything! Of course, this made me feel even more unproductive because now I was frustrated by my lack of progress.
And this downward spiral continued until one day I decided that enough was enough.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but there are still some ways to stay productive that we haven’t discussed. For example, if you struggle with distraction from other people or pets, it may be worth considering getting a noise canceling headset to block out distractions.
The same goes for other people who work from home—if your family is loud enough that you have trouble concentrating on work when they’re around, consider putting up screens or soundproofing your entire home!
Mo Fayez is an engineer by trade with more than 15 years of experience in management, passionate about Management coaching, self-help, and productivity. He has a passion for teaching and helping others become the best that they can be. He also enjoys training people to become more productive at work.Learn more about this blog that Mo has created in 2021, and why he decided to start this blog. If you want to send Mo a quick message, then visit his contact page here.