If your organization is working from home, it's important to make the transition from office to home as smooth as possible for yourself. Finding methods to stay productive can help you keep your work organized and boost your motivation to get things done. With a few adjustments and some simple habit-building approaches, you can keep yourself productive throughout the day, even when the comforts of home become a distraction. In this article, we cover 20 productivity tips for working from home that you can use to stay productive, boost your remote performance and keep yourself motivated throughout your workday.
Importance of productivity strategies when you're working from home
As you make the switch to remote work, there are a variety of factors that can affect your productivity. From streaming entire TV series to getting laundry done, your home can be just as distracting as noise in a physical office. This is why productivity strategies that help you stay focused, organized and on track with your deadlines are important to use throughout the day. With simple methods for limiting distractions and creating a suitable work environment, you can boost your performance and stay productive even when working from the comfort of your home.
Tips to stay productive while working from home
Use these productivity tips to help you stay organized and on track of your work while working remotely:
- Keep your morning routine.
- Set daily and weekly goals.
- Make time for breaks.
- Use time management techniques.
- Designate a workspace.
- Take breaks outside.
- Eat lunch at the same time.
- Participate in online training.
- Schedule face time with colleagues.
- Ask for regular feedback.
- Contribute to virtual meetings.
- Use productivity apps.
- Schedule specific work hours.
- Stay organized.
- Develop a wellness routine.
- Communicate effectively.
- Take time off of work.
- Ask for support.
- Prioritize tasks efficiently.
- Limit distractions.
Keep your morning routine
Continue to set your alarm and go through your normal morning habits like you would for going into the office. The more quickly you start to associate your home environment with your work, the more smoothly you can transition to telecommuting.
Set daily and weekly goals
If you have extra time now that you're not commuting to work in the mornings, take a few minutes each day to plan out the work goals you want to accomplish. Use these daily objectives to build up to one larger weekly goal that contributes to your projects and assignments.
Make time for breaks
It might feel strange at first, but you can schedule more short breaks throughout your day with telecommuting. Be sure to set aside at least five minutes between tasks to step away from your desk and refresh. The freedom to stop, reflect and reset during your day can help you stay productive, as you're less likely to experience burnout.
Use time management techniques
It can be easy to lose track of time when working remotely, so it's important to incorporate some time management techniques that can help you monitor how long you're spending on certain tasks. The Pomodoro Method, for example, is a great strategy for setting you up to work for two to three hours, then encouraging you to take a 20- to 30-minute break.
Designate a workspace
Create a workspace for yourself in a separate room of your home, or if you have limited space, set up a spot somewhere where you can comfortably work without noise and distractions. Set a boundary that lets others in the household know that the area you designate as your home office is off-limits when you're working.
Take breaks outside
When you take work breaks, use some of them to get outside and enjoy nature. Fresh air, the sounds of birds and other aspects of nature can help you recharge and refresh. Additionally, taking your breaks outdoors is another effective method for reducing stress, which is highly important while working from home.
Eat lunch at the same time
Take your lunch break at the same time every day. This way, you'll get a healthy routine going that gets your body used to a scheduled eating plan. Additionally, planning your lunch for the same time every day gives you a way to plan a longer break where you can schedule a quick workout session or other relaxing activity before getting back to work.
Participate in online training
If your company offers opportunities for professional development, consider participating. Similarly, consider participating in online training or courses that can help you boost your skills and advance in your career. Learning new skills and increasing your industry knowledge can help you stay motivated to succeed in your career and keep you productive.
Schedule face time with colleagues
Use a video conferencing platform to meet with your colleagues face-to-face at least once per week. This can help you and your teammates plan and collaborate more effectively, as you can all see one another and communicate verbally instead of just in writing. Scheduling regular face time with your team can also help you stay connected and keep you from feeling too isolated.
Ask for regular feedback
Just like regular face time with your team is important, asking for regular feedback from your supervisors is essential to understand how your team leads and managers see your performance. Knowing exactly where you can improve, along with the aspects of your work that are above standard, can help you stay excited about your work.
Related: How To Ask For Feedback
Contribute to virtual meetings
Be sure to bring your ideas to your team meetings, whether you're meeting through a video conferencing platform or your team uses a group call. Speak clearly so your colleagues can hear you and give your input both verbally and in writing so your team can see and hear your ideas.
Use productivity apps
Take advantage of your smartphone technology and download a productivity app or two. For instance, you can find several apps that help you organize your tasks, set timers for priorities and track your performance so you can adjust your daily and weekly work goals.
Schedule specific work hours
Similar to keeping your morning routine, it's crucial that you set specific "business" hours that let everyone in the house know when you're working. As an example, designate 9 a.m. every morning for your starting time. Let family members know that during the hours you're working, you're not to be disturbed unless it's an emergency. The sooner you set these boundaries, the more smoothly your work schedule will flow.
Keep your workspace free from clutter and develop a system for keeping important files and paperwork organized. You can get creative with your storage options if you have the room, or you can use plain manila folders to separate different work documents. No matter the method you choose, it's important to stay consistent with your approach to develop efficient organizational habits.
Develop a wellness routine
Use any free time you have during the day to develop a healthy routine for yourself. While you don't have to incorporate two hours of intense exercise, it's important to make sure you're moving and staying physically active throughout the day. Similarly, explore healthy recipes to try and take time for self-care. Staying healthy can positively impact how you perform at work and increase your productivity.
Telecommuting can be difficult for communicating effectively, and it can also be difficult to tell if you're communicating enough. Stay connected with teammates and your manager by making a goal to communicate with them at least once per day. Use your regular communication channels, send email updates or reach out through video chat. It may seem like over-communicating, but when you can't work in person, it's important to communicate effectively each day.
Take time off of work
Don't forget to use your vacation time or paid time off. Schedule time away from work to spend time with your family, do projects around the home or even start a garden. Whatever you decide to do with your time off, remember that just because you're working from home doesn't mean you don't need a few days off of work.
Ask for support
If you feel stuck or frustrated or just need to connect with someone, ask for support. Reach out to your teammates and let them know what you're going through. Similarly, if you feel like you're overwhelmed with your workload, talk to your supervisor to work out a more flexible arrangement. Asking for help when you need it is extremely important for helping you stay productive and on track, especially if you have kids or multiple family members at home.
Prioritize tasks efficiently
Learn how to separate the most urgent priorities from other important tasks. Use a chart to help you list out your objectives according to their urgency so you can stay on top of deadlines and remain productive, even if your workload increases.
Limit the distractions you find throughout your home as much as you can. For instance, if you find you can't enter your living room without switching on the TV, use another room or area of your home to work in. Removing distractions from your environment is important for keeping you focused on your work, which ultimately can impact your productivity.