Working from home is a growing trend nowadays. You avoid traffic at peak hours, you save time and help the environment by not taking the car. The flexibility it creates makes it easier to reconcile your personal and working life.
Flexible schedules help us organise our lives better, but it can become counterproductive if we don’t know how to establish boundaries and be efficient when working from home. Here are my preferred tips to boost productivity when working from home.
1- Get ready for the day!
Routines matter, as they help us to get in the right mindset. So even if you are going to spend the whole day at home, wake up at a decent time, get out of your PJ’s and change into street clothes. You don’t have to go full-glam, but at least change from pyjamas to leggings! Then, have breakfast and start your working day as if you were going to go outside.
2- Make your bed… and stay away from it.
Your bed is tempting, I know. But try to get away from it as much as possible after you wake up. When you are new at working from home, you think that the greatest thing to do is to take your laptop, bundle up in bed and try to get stuff done. Spoiler alert: you are never going to be as productive. So make your bed and stay away from it until it’s bedtime again.
3- Establish a fixed place and schedule to work.
My recommendation is to look for a fixed place in your home that you’ll make into your home office. It’s better to have a fixed room to work, but if you live in a small apartment, your can start your work day by transforming your living room table into your workspace. Having a fixed place associated with work makes it easier to get into the right mindset.
Once you're at your home office space, stay there for a pre-defined period of time. One and a half to two hour periods work well for me. Have a short break to stand up and stretch in between these periods, and then take a longer break in the middle of the day or after you’ve accomplished a set of predefined tasks. When you’re on a break, get out of your office corner.
Be rigorous at working, but make the most of being at home when it’s time to relax. If you are usually sleep deprived, take time off to nap (preferably on the couch, remember we are avoiding our bed). If you don’t usually take the time to eat healthy and consciously, enjoy a nice nutritious meal without rushing yourself. It’s crucial to set boundaries to ensure you’re productive when working from home, but it’s also nice to enjoy the perks it brings!
4- Take care of your mental health.
If you are not used to staying at home, not leaving the house for a whole day can feel stifling. If you are lucky enough to have a garden or a balcony, go there during your breaks, or even, assign yourself one or two work periods to work from there, weather allowing. You can also use your longer breaks to go for a walk outside, or to the gym. Exercise and fresh air really help to keep your mood up!
5- Be social!
Although working from home has many advantages, you may feel isolated being on your own all day. If you will work from home often, find some nice cafés nearby or a co-working space where you can be productive while interacting with people at the same time. Another great option is to pair up with a friend who also works from home, and either meet at a café or hop on a call during your break to catch up.
You may also want to have an accountability buddy, someone you call at the start of your day to let them know what are you planning to accomplish, and at the end of the day to report back on accomplishments!
What are your tips to be efficient when working from home? Let me know on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or in the comments!