If you’ve recently started working from your apartment or townhome, you’ve probably developed a new respect for anyone who has done it successfully. Home is full of all kinds of distractions that would never tempt you if you were working from your company’s location. Why not do a quick load of laundry, start preparing dinner, or play with the cat? If working from home is a challenge, here are some tips to help keep you productive.
Change Your Space, Change Your Mindset
When working from home, it’s tempting to stay in your jammies and work from bed. But while you might be more comfortable, you won’t be productive. Having a dedicated place for work in your apartment or townhome – even if it’s just a small desk – will help you maintain a work mindset while you work. It’s also important to dress for work. Change out of your pajamas or sweats. The simple act of wearing what you would wear if you were on-site at your company, makes it surprisingly easy to focus on work.
Objects in Motion
Maintain focus for the first 15 minutes of any work session. Studies show that you can overcome the inertia of not working by forcing yourself to have just 15 minutes of focused work time. You might remember from physics class that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. It’s the same with work. Once you get yourself rolling, you’ll be well positioned for sustained productivity.
When working from home, your circumstances provide constant reminders about the non-work things in your life. Maybe the laundry is piling up, there’s a cobweb in the corner you keep forgetting to clean, or a new series on Netflix you’ve wanted to start. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break and starting a load of laundry, plan for it. For example, schedule 50 minutes of focused work, followed by 10 minutes of recharging time. Then stick to that schedule. The ratio of how long you work vs. how long you recharge is less important than maintaining a firm schedule for both.
To Thine Own Self Be True
This might be the most important one…no one knows better how to make you productive than you. If you work best in the morning after your coffee, schedule your most demanding tasks for that time. If you’re a night owl, take advantage of the flexibility working from home provides and do the tough stuff after the sun goes down. Once you find your rhythm, stick with it and enjoy your new-found productivity.