If you do the work you love, chances are you want to become even more productive at it. Humans generally desire to do more, but many things can draw you back.
For starters, having a noisy family can make working from home a nightmare. So how do you ensure you get more productive while working from home?
Improving productivity while working from home involves enhancing your environment while countering/eliminating those things that distract you.
To put you on the right track, here are tips to improve your productivity.
1. Work in an office-like setting
If you’ve not set up a home office, now’s the time to do so. But it’s more than just creating a workstation. It involves organizing one that gives you the feel of being in a commercial space rather than your home.
While working from home, you don’t want the sight of a comfortable bed distracting you, bringing you thoughts of sleep or relaxation. You want to stay focused.
So if you have an empty room or small storage space, consider setting up your home office there. If not, set it up in your bedroom such that it doesn’t face the sleeping area in any way.
Having a designated workstation helps build discipline as you work from home. Being there gives you the feeling of a professional rather than working on your bed, which substantially boosts your productivity.
Many things can distract you, and clutter is one of them. If your home office isn’t clean and organized, it will detrimentally impact your productivity.
Get rid of all non-work-related items from your home office. These things can get your thoughts running into things non-work-related, and you need time to bring your mind back to the job at hand.
By decluttering, you’re steering clear from the most significant distraction that can hamper your productivity while working from home.
3. Set ground rules with co-inhabitants
Do you live with family or friends? Having someone bang on your door or barging in while working can be distracting and annoying. It completely takes you a hundred miles away from the job at hand. It wouldn’t be unpleasant to set ground rules such as a DO NOT DISTURB notice on your door whenever you work.
You can kindly tell them to maintain the kind of attitude they’d express if you were in an actual workspace.
4. Spruce up your design with natural elements
Humans have a natural longing to connect with nature without even knowing it. It is called biophilia.
Simply being around nature can improve your mood and relieve stress, contributing to productivity. In fact, using a biophilic design in your home office can increase your productivity by 8%. But it doesn’t even stop there.
A biophilic design can boost your general well-being and creativity. So having natural elements such as greenery and natural lighting is essential to improve productivity in your workstation. Let the sunlight in during the day rather than working in a dark room or one lit solely by artificial lighting.
5. Have a schedule and avoid procrastination
Of course, one of the benefits of remote work is its flexibility. You often get to work to decide when to turn on your laptop, especially as a freelancer. You can decide to work on Sundays and not Mondays if you like.
But this also comes with the ability to procrastinate and go scot-free. You can decide to sleep all day without being accountable to anyone. And that’s detrimental to your productivity when it becomes a habit.
Set up a working plan and stick with it to improve your productivity while working from home. If you have to work from 9 am to 1 pm, make the most of that time. Avoid procrastinating to play video games or watch than reality show instead. Stay disciplined.
6. Dress up for work
There’s a feeling that comes with dressing up officially. Your brain is compelled to think professionally, helping you stay focused on your work.
Without a doubt, almost every remote worker’s favorite work outfit is pajamas. But wearing pajamas in your home office gives you a certain thought: “Let me just finish this and go back to bed.”
You’re naturally inclined to regard the job passively like it’s a side thing. But when you dress up for work, work becomes the top priority, and you are more focused and productive.
7. Take time-bound breathers
Have you ever felt refreshed and smarter at work after taking a 30-minute break playing video games? It wasn’t a coincidence. It’s scientific.
Taking breaks at work increases productivity, allowing you to stretch tired muscles and feel refreshed again.
But the key here is to keep it short and time-bound. Getting as many breaks as possible is good, but you end up lazy when you go off for too long. You’d no longer feel like getting back to work.
That’s why you must limit your breathers to fixed durations, advisably about 15-20 minutes each. Three such breathers across a 6-hour work time are good enough.
Remember never to overdo anything; too many breaks would do more harm than good.
8. Prevent friends from dropping in while you work
You may think it isn’t nice to ask friends not to come over. But think about it; it wouldn’t help you in any way, and you’d be angry deep within when they come and stay throughout the time you’re supposed to work. You calculate how much work you could have done, and you feel nothing but utter frustration.
You can let them know what you do and invite them over in your free time. That’s why it’s a great idea to have schedules.
Playing after completing a project is so much sweeter. You feel fulfilled.
Avoiding the distraction of friends is an excellent step to improve productivity while working from home.
9. Do chores only after your work hours
One of the benefits of working from home is being able to work and do household chores whenever you feel like it. But it wouldn’t help your productivity if you stopped work midway to do chores. You may end up spending more time than expected on the chores and get tired. You may need to rest to get back your flow and work.
That’s why you should leave these things out until you’re done with the task at hand.
One effective way to optimize productivity while working from home is to go out daily. Take a walk, get a breath of fresh air in the evenings, and see nature. It helps you feel refreshed, happy, and satisfied.
By applying these tips to your daily routine, you’d see how productive and happy you become as you work from home.