Working from the comfort of your own home has its perks. You don’t have to wear smart clothes, you can watch your favourite TV show without having to sneak it in between conference calls, and you never have to commute again. However, for many people, the occasional distraction becomes a major annoyance that prevents them from getting work done—especially if they’re working at home.
That’s why we put together this post all about how you can become a better home worker with fewer distractions! Here are our top tips for being productive when there’s no boss around telling you to do so.
1. Start early
It’s no secret that the earlier you get started, the better. That’s why we encourage you to start early—before the sun comes up, meaning before work starts or your kids wake up. The earlier you get started, the more time you will have later in the day to do none work activities.
2. Have a specific workspace
Work from home? Work from a coffee shop? Work from a different room in your house each day? Having to work in different places can be a major distraction for some people, so set up your own office space at home. You will need a desk and a good chair, but you should also have a wall calendar to keep track of appointments, a filing system for working papers, and maybe even a small poster or two to give the office an inspirational feel. Don’t forget; you can also choose from a range of cheap printers, so equipping your home office needn’t break the bank.
3. Get out of the home whenever you can
The more often you leave your home office, the less likely you are to get distracted by all the other things that are going on in your house. If you have kids at home, they’ll want attention and activity every few minutes; if not, it’s easy to let yourself get sucked into a pattern of web surfing as soon as something isn’t immediately accessible.
4. Set realistic goals
Knowing what you have to do and by when is key for keeping distractions away and staying on task. As such, create a list of tasks for the day (or week) and allocate timeframes for them.
5. Work in small increments
Studies show that we have our most productive work sessions when we work in 50-minute increments with 10-15 minute breaks between them, as opposed to longer sessions without breaks.
6. Don’t work from home on a beautiful day
If you have kids, you might be tempted to work from home on a warm day when your son or daughter wants to play outside. Resist that urge! Not only will you not get much done working around the distraction of your kid, but you’ll have fewer hours outside to enjoy yourself! Instead, get up early or stay up late and use that extra time, so you can take advantage of a nice day without being distracted by work.
If you’re not careful, working from home can be isolating and leave you feeling lonely, especially if you were used to working in a busy office environment. Following these tips will help to avoid these downsides of working from home and help you benefit from the extra time you will have for your family.
Image Credits: Chris Montgomery