Working from home has many benefits. You can avoid the daily struggle of commuting, and you are free to spend your time in any way you want. However, this convenient setup also has its downsides.
As a remote worker, how you motivate yourself is solely up to you. The comfort that your home gives is another distraction. Despite the convenience and ease, you must finish as much work as you can as you would in an office setting.
If you are looking for tips on how to be more productive when working from home, here are four points you can start with.
#1 – Create a “start of work” routine
When you work in an office, the routine of getting ready for the day, buying your coffee, and commuting can prepare your brain for what is to come. On the other hand, in a work-from-home setup, you are free to do whatever you want. It does not provide you with a fixed pattern to follow. If you want to be highly productive, you should begin by creating a daily drill that will warm up your brain.
This warm up stimulates your body and brain to prepare yourself for work. What is great about working from home is that you can build your routine by putting together activities that work for you, such as exercising, making coffee, or reading the news. The only catch is you need to make them your routine. That means sticking to it and getting your system used to it.
A dedicated workspace can also help. If you can sit down and work anywhere, then good for you. However, if you need more structure, having a workspace solely for work can help signal your brain that you need to finish your tasks without distractions.
#2 – List down your tasks
A to-do list can help you stay composed, motivated, and productive. The process of listing down the tasks you need to finish for the day allows your brain to assess what you need to do and how much work you need to exert for the day. It can also help give you enough headspace. Once you have written down what you need to do, you clear your mind and focus on what you should be doing next.
Ticking off each task will also make you feel that you are slowly progressing. This feeling can serve as positive reinforcement throughout your workday. The more doable your tasks seem, the better you become at completing them.
#3 – Set a personal schedule
One advantage of working from home is that you do not have a schedule to follow. However, this does not mean that you should allow yourself to work the entire day. While a work schedule is unnecessary for your setup, having a distinct division between your personal and work life can give you a more relaxing and less stressful experience.
When making a personal schedule, consider all the other commitments you have in your life, and start making a routine that will allow you to address all these demands. For example, if you have a child, include them in your schedule. If you have outside commitments, such as volunteer work or sports, make sure to finish your work before these activities.
Do not forget to schedule some breaks in between your work, too. They can help you refresh your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, allowing you to be more productive.
If you work with a team, let them see your calendar so that they will know when you are free to meet for work. Make your schedule known to your friends and family, too. That way, they can understand and respect what plan you set for yourself while managing their expectations.
#4 – Set up a process for collaboration
Working from home may seem like a solo experience, but you still need to interact with other people to complete specific tasks. This is where collaboration comes in. Besides maintaining your personal schedule, you also need to allot time to interact and work with your colleagues. Also, try to develop a collaboration process that will work with everyone’s schedule.
Set up routine meetings or brainstorming schedules between you and your colleagues. You can also smoothen the process for assigning work, making decisions, and relaying feedback. All these processes can significantly improve your workflow, especially if you find the best way to communicate for each task. You can schedule a video conference, use chat apps, or send emails, depending on what you need to finish.
Working from home is an ideal setup for many, but it will only work for people with self-discipline and determination. This structure can also be draining if all you do the whole day is work. If you want to perform your best, consider following the four tips enumerated in this article. Once you successfully master all of them, you will have a more fulfilling job with enough time for your other priorities in life.
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