5 Strategies For Working From Home & Staying On Task
With the rise of cloud-based workstations, it’s far easier to work from home than ever before. Although working remotely presents unique benefits, it also has distinct challenges, such as maintaining productivity.
Here are five strategies you can use when working from home to improve your focus and complete your work.
#1. Create a Consistent Schedule
Many remote workers have the luxury of creating their own schedules, and this flexibility can actually be detrimental to your work because it’s easy to work sporadically or start work late. It’s important to get work done when you’re at your best, and for many, that means working consistently and starting your work at 9:00 am or earlier.
Regardless of the schedule that you create for yourself, consistency is key. Start and end your work at the same time every day so that it becomes an ingrained habit.
You can do this by starting your day with a morning routine that transitions you into work mode. This could be making a cup of coffee, exercising, meditating, or anything else that gets you into a productive headspace. A consistent morning habit can help you start your work day consistently.
Additionally, make sure you also implement a routine for ending your workday. Working late into the evening may sound like it will make you more productive, but you risk burnout when you overwork. Instead, create an end-of-the-day habit for yourself that marks the end of your work hours.
Finally, make sure to schedule breaks for yourself. Giving yourself regular breaks is important for long-term productivity.
#2. Communicate with Others
Consistent communication is critical for your productivity and overall well-being.
Firstly, when it comes to productivity, it’s important to communicate your needs if you work for a company. If your job supports your remote setup, be willing to express your needs, such as printers, software, monitors, and other necessities.
Communication is also important for your mental well-being. It can be challenging to socialize with fellow employees when working remotely, but you can use remote communication tools, like Slack, to maintain friendly relationships with others.
Additionally, you can make an effort to attend all remote meetings, even the non-mandatory ones. This will also establish or maintain your place in the company as you continue working from afar. Managers and executives can feel somewhat disconnected from remote employees, so it’s important to be visible and demonstrate how you play an integral role in the company.
Finally, it’s critical to remember that over-communication will always be better than under-communicating. Make an effort to speak with your team and superiors frequently for both your personal well-being and productivity.
#3. Establish Boundaries
The key to a healthy work-life balance when working remotely is establishing boundaries between your home and work lives. If possible, create an office for yourself to compartmentalize your work. This helps you separate your work life from your home life.
This is important for mentally dividing your work from your home, but it’s also critical for maintaining boundaries with others. If you live with roommates or family members, you may face frequent interruptions that hurt your focus and productivity. When possible, create boundaries between yourself and those you live with so that you can focus on your work tasks.
If you care for small children while you work, this may not be entirely possible, but you can establish periods of productivity where you keep your child distracted with an activity.
#4. Focus On One Task at a Time and Use a Work Timer
It’s common for people to brag about being great at multitasking, but in reality, most people are more effective workers when focusing on one task at a time. Taking on multiple tasks at once creates unnecessary stress and reduces your brain’s efficiency.
If you have the opportunity to create your own schedule and to-do list, you can find the best times of day to take on particular tasks. This will help you optimize your workflow.
For example, if you have an easier time writing earlier in the day, focus on accomplishing your writing-related tasks in the morning, and take on more administrative or communication-based tasks in the afternoon.
Finally, a work timer for each task can greatly enhance productivity. Utilizing a work timer keeps you focused on the task at hand and helps you avoid distractions.
You can also use your timer to increase the speed of your workflow by determining the amount of time you want to spend on each particular task beforehand. When faced with a self-imposed deadline, you’ll feel more pressure and motivation to accomplish your work in less time.
#5. Avoid Distractions
Distractions are a huge obstacle for those working from home, but you can incorporate tools into your routine to reduce distractions and time-wasters.
One common source for becoming distracted and wasting time is social media. Fortunately, there are simple ways to decrease your social media usage.
You can install a browser extension that blocks certain websites while you work, and you can get into the habit of logging out of your social media accounts after each use. That way, accessing them becomes more inconvenient because you’ll need to sign in every time you visit the site. Finally, consider disabling your social media notifications on your phone.
In addition to disabling phone notifications, you can take this a step further by consciously putting your phone out of arms’ reach while you work. That way, you can’t distract yourself with it, allowing you to focus entirely on the task at hand.
Optimize Your Productivity AND Work-Life Balance!
If you’ve been wondering how to work from home effectively, we hope these tips help you along your journey to increasing productivity and promoting a healthy work-life balance.