If you are one of those who have to work from home, because you carry out your professional activity, by teleworking or if you are working remotely due to some temporary circumstance or the latest Covid-19 outbreak, surely you are aware that being totally productive is a titanic task.
There are tons of distractions, less responsibility and less communication than when you work in the office. But that does not mean that it is impossible.
There are many ways to stay focused from any location and here are the 7 hacks to be more productive working from home.
1. Set a schedule
Without a doubt, one of the indispensable tricks. When we are at home it is easy to give ourselves flexibility, start at different times, take more breaks, and even try to do things around the house while you are working. Establish a schedule, if you work on your own, or agree on a schedule if you work for others and stick to it.
If you are lucky enough to be able to establish your schedule, we recommend you take into account 3 factors:
- Your schedule must have time to serve your customers, your boss or your collaborators
- The schedule should allow meetings with your clients, collaborators or bosses, or time to organize your own work
- Establish the schedule taking into account your hours of greatest productivity. If possible, start the day very early to take advantage of those moments of greater tranquillity to perform tasks of greater value or that require greater concentration
Just as we have told you that you must respect your schedule, you must also respect your rest. Do not do personal things during business hours, or vice versa. Obviously, if you have the flexibility to do so, you can organize your day to accommodate personal and work issues, but still respect the time frames for everything.
Avoid turning on the washing machine while talking to a customer, or taking a work call while playing with your child.
We recommend that you communicate to those of interest the moments when you will be available to work and when you will not.
This will make it easier for them to respect your schedules, and require your services when they know that you are available to serve them.
3. Get organized
We recommend that the night before, before you completely disconnect and start watching your favourite series, listen to music or read, you review what can happen the next day and organize a series of objectives to achieve.
The next morning go back to review this organization and adapt it if necessary. It is not about sticking to that plan, but having a minimum orientation of what we want to achieve on that day.
You will see how organizing helps you reduce your stress.
When you get organized, heed these two tips:
- Plan your day around your own natural cycles – do the hardest job when you have the most energy
- Plan your rewards and breaks
4. Take breaks
Establish regular rest periods in your schedule. You already know that if you spend a lot of time in front of the screen it is good to occasionally look up and force your eyes to look at some distant object.
Nor will it hurt if you get up from the chair, stretch your legs and do some stretches, you will see that in addition to feeling better physically, your mind clears and returns to take energy.
Respect enough time to eat breakfast and eat.
5. Create a workspace
You have to create a suitable space for work, to concentrate and have everything in order. I know that sometimes it is irresistible to work from bed, sofa or kitchen, but avoid it.
You need a conditioned space, where everything you need is at hand and you know where it is, with the right light and with the privacy and tranquillity to carry out your tasks comfortably.
6. Set limits and Keep Tidy
Just as we have told you that you must establish a schedule and a workspace, it is also important that you establish limits within the house.
Warn your roommates, your partner or your children that when you are in the work area you cannot be disturbed or interrupted, as well as you can define an “Emergency” mechanism if for some extraordinary reason it is necessary to interrupt you.
In this way, you will all be aligned and it will be much easier.
Equally important is having a space and having it organized, like leaving it tidy once your day is over. This way you will find it perfect the next time you start your work period, and keeping the space clean and tidy will facilitate your concentration and focus.
Therefore, try to leave your workspace the same or better than you found it, clean and tidy.
7. Don’t lose touch
Whether they are company colleagues, collaborators, clients, competitors … try to keep in touch even if you work from home. If you can, set up one day a week, or every fortnight to make face-to-face visits or hold face-to-face meetings.
Use the multiple options available to keep in touch with them, be it through messaging, video conferencing or remote group training. Just because you work at home doesn’t mean being isolated from the world.
A great advantage of working at home is usually being able to establish a custom environment, music, air freshener, lighting, temperature …
Take advantage of that advantage to set up an environment to your liking, forget about fighting with your colleagues over the thermostat or lighting.
Put on the music you like best and focus on giving your best.