The idea of your daily commute consisting of your bed to the coffee machine and then to your laptop sounds appealing however sometimes it can be difficult to be productive when working from home.
There is something that just feels normal about getting in your car or using public transport and joining everyone else on the daily journey to the office. Working from home feels, well, abnormal. There is no rushing to get in on time, asking everyone how their weekend is or wondering where your coffee mug has disappeared to. The main drawback with your home also doubling up as your office can be finding a healthy work life balance however once you nail that you also need to be productive.
I worked from home for the better part of a year. It had it’s advantages but it had some drawbacks as well and one of those was being able to work productively in an home office environment.
So, with that in mind I have come up with 3 tips that you can use if you are wondering how to be more productive working from home.
Ditch The Dining Room – Make An Office!
It might be the norm to load up your laptop in the room where you eat your Sunday dinner but it won’t do much for your productivity.
The thing about going to an office everyday is that it feels like you are in a work environment. Do you honestly ooze productivity sitting in an uncomfortable chair and doing your best not to make a mark on your expensive 6 seater table? Probably not. Make a home office because if you feel like you are in an office setting then you will be more likely to spend more time working and less time procrastinating. Mentally you will be ‘in the zone’ as well.
The Balance recently posted a great guide for creating your first home office.
Take Breaks Like You Would In Any Job
This is something I was massively guilty of when I worked from home.
Under UK law you are entitled to a 20 minute break if you work over 6 hours. I suppose the beauty of working from home is that you can take a break whenever you want however closing your Microsoft Word tab and loading up Facebook shouldn’t count as a break. Get away from your computer altogether. I would sit staring endlessly at my laptop screen for hours without taking a break from what I was doing. Does this make you more productive working from home? The answer is a definite, no.
Get away from your home office that you created after following my first tip and do something else. Go and enjoy the garden for a while, sit in the kitchen and have a coffee or throw that ball your dog has been pestering you with for the last hour and a half. You’ll come back to your desk in a much more productive mood.
Don’t Suffer In Silence – Music Is Your Friend
Some people work better in complete silence and that’s fine but for me I needed something in the background to keep me motivated.
Put your earphone’s in and head over to YouTube to find some chilled music to listen to. I love some soothing house music and it increase my focus and productivity massively but play whatever you like. There is a lot of discussion on what makes the best music for productivity but what we can agree on is that music does increase productivity when working from home for most people.
When you imagine working in a busy office there is always something going on. Working at home is different. Depending on your circumstances you can work in almost complete silence which will make your tasks and your working day seem infinitely longer.
How Do You Stay Productive Working From Home?
These tips worked miracles for me when I started to work from home back in 2013.
Even now when I combine my freelance digital content creation with my day job I still follow these 3 tips to increase my productivity. I rarely work in silence, I have a dedicated home office space and I take breaks to give my mind a rest.
These ideas might not work for everyone but if you are struggling to stay productive when working from home then why not give them a go?
If you have any other methods you use to maintain or increase your productivity at home then let me know!