For many of us, working from home is as much of a challenge as it is an advantage. It’s difficult to stay focused when your roommates or family are around. There are so many distractions. You might see a mess from breakfast and feel suddenly compelled to clean it right up. Or your children or parents are a constant white noise in the background during important meetings. Besides distractions, you might even be unmotivated. Unfortunately, remote work entails isolated work and you might miss the camaraderie from working around your coworkers. Staying productive when working from home is definitely challenging but when it comes down to it, it’s all about drawing out a schedule and setting boundaries.
Here are seven ways to tackle all the distractions and stay productive when working from home.
1. Begin your day early when working from home
It might be tempting to sleep in since you’re only going to be working from home anyways. However, you shouldn’t be doing that. In order to stay motivated and productive, wake up at a consistent and early hour that gives you enough time to get in your working hours. From there, you are able to develop healthy work and life habits where you can form solid work hours apart from rest and home life. So do what you do to get ready for your early commute to the physical work office, but instead of getting out of the house, you’re moving to your work table or another place in your house where you can work quietly and efficiently.
2. Create and designate a workplace
The hardest part of working from home is finding a quiet place to work. There are so many things at home that can distract you from working or staying on task. To avoid this, designate a location at home where you can say, “this is my workplace”. When you have a physical workplace to go to for the day, it makes working from home easier. You have a location that is dedicated to working hours which also tells the people at home that you’re working and to not bother you. You’ll become more productive and feel more excited about working when you’re able to get things done efficiently.
3. Draw a schedule with your family
Everyone knows that one of the toughest parts of working from home is dealing with other members of the household. You might have kids that are learning from home or haven’t gone to school yet. Additionally, there might be other people working from home as well, and finding a place where everyone can work or learn individually can get difficult. What you want to do is draw a schedule and designate a workplace with your family. Let them know the hours that you are working and aren’t available.
4. Take breaks
You are allowed to take breaks. It gets difficult to realize when you need to take a break because you’re working from home but these are extremely essential to your productivity. We’re only human so we need time away to rest our minds, get a snack, and just unwind from constant work. Make sure that you take at least two breaks in the hours that you work and schedule them so you don’t forget.
5. Keep a regular schedule and hours
When you work from home, your work schedule could begin to blur into your home life. It’s important that you draw boundaries around when you’re supposed to work and when you clock off. Create a schedule and keep to it. Act like you’re working in-office and follow it.
6. Communicate with your coworkers
Working from home means you’re working solo without other coworkers around you. But as we know, work requires both independent work and teamwork. Keep communication channels with your coworkers during work hours to ensure that you stay in the loop of all the projects that you’re working collaboratively on.
7. Meal-prep your meals
Food is what keeps you running and many people find it difficult to find the time to take a break and eat. Meal-prepping your food and even preparing a lunch box as you would for work in-office is a good idea to cut on time for you to actually sit down and eat your meal.
Staying productive when working from home is something that we’re all getting used to and to make things easier, always set your boundaries, follow a regular schedule, and be kinder to yourselves.