Working from home is a flexible option that enables you to manage your work and personal life more effectively. However, many people find it difficult to stay focused without the discipline and structure of a traditional working environment. Following these five steps will improve your productivity and help to create the right structure while working from home.
When you leave the house to go to a regular job, a mental and physical shift takes place that prompts your brain to switch to work mode. However, when you work from home, it’s easy to allow your work and home life to merge together. Family members, hungry pets, domestic chores and ringing telephones can all distract you.
Training your brain to switch to work mode is the key to productivity when working from home. You need to create solid boundaries between your home and work life. Schedule time for domestic chores and other responsibilities so that you can put them out of your mind during working hours.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Having a dedicated workspace will help your brain to shift into work mode more easily. If you don’t have space for a home office or a separate room to use, you can designate a small corner, kitchen surface or even just a chair to be used only for your work.
Make your workspace as pleasant as possible, but try to keep it free from clutter and unnecessary distractions. If you need help staying motivated, you can pin some inspirational quotes or images on the wall. Ask family members to respect your workspace and to avoid disturbing you while you’re working.
Map Your Working Day
Creating a daily or weekly schedule will help to organize your work activities and keep you on track. Without a schedule or task list, it’s easy to waste time procrastinating or working on unimportant tasks.
Some people work best when each day is planned out in a calendar, with work tasks divided into specific blocks of time. Other people prefer a more flexible approach, using detailed task lists organized in order of importance.
Choosing the right strategy will depend on your own preferences, but it’s important to plan ahead and organize your working day effectively. Mapping out your day or week in advance gives you a clear plan for your work activities.
Schedule Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks is essential for keeping your mind fresh. Thinking about the same problem or task for a long period of time can make it difficult to find effective solutions, as your thoughts become narrow and you lose perspective. Taking a break is often all that’s needed to change your perspective and come up with new solutions.
One of the most effective ways to organise your day is by using the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is a time-management method that works by breaking the day into small blocks (traditionally 25 minutes), interspersed with short breaks (5 minutes) and longer breaks (15-20 minutes). If you want to try the Pomodoro technique, there are plenty of apps available to make the process easier.
Take Care of Your Health
Physical and emotional health have a huge impact on productivity, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates and antioxidants, as these are all needed for your brain to function effectively.
Take some exercise every day and try to get outside in the fresh air, as physical activity and a change of environment are crucial for physical and emotional health. In addition, make the time to relax and unwind at the end of each day.
Working from home can make it difficult to concentrate, but making a few simple changes to your working day will boost productivity. Setting boundaries between your work and home life, creating a dedicated workspace, mapping your work day in advance, scheduling regular breaks and taking care of your health are all crucial for success when working from home.
How do you manage to stay focused when working from home?