Working from home has many advantages – being able to do your job in your pyjamas, watching your favourite TV shows as you work and knowing no one is going to steal your lunch from the fridge – but it’s also easier to get distracted when you don’t have your boss looking over your shoulder. If you’ve found yourself becoming less productive lately, these five tips could help improve your output.
Stick to Routines
Without the structure of a daily routine, it can be hard to get tasks done. Lunchtimes extend from half an hour to all afternoon and before you know it you’ve a backlog of work to catch up on. If your working hours are flexible, set fixed shifts for yourself. Factoring in breaks and a (reasonable!) amount of time for lunch and knowing when you’ll switch off for the day will help you be more productive during working hours.
Plan and Prioritise
Organisation is vital if you are going to be more productive. It may seem counterintuitive to spend time planning when you could be getting on with one of the tasks that’s begging for your attention but prioritising your workload will ensure you meet deadlines and don’t fall behind. Knowing you have everything under control will help you become more productive.
Let People Know You’re Working
When you work from home everyone assumes you’re free. Whether it’s your sister calling for a chat, your dog wanting your attention or a neighbour asking if you can take in a parcel for them, if people know you’re home, they assume you’re contactable. This eats into your work time, making it hard for you to find a flow and complete the jobs that need doing. Set clear boundaries so people know you are not to be disturbed – if other people or animals are home, it can be beneficial to work in an office so you can close the door and focus on work. You’ll be amazed how much more you can get done without interruptions.
The Right Equipment
Help yourself by having equipment that makes your work life easier. Reliable wi-fi is a must for most work from home jobs and, especially in the age of Zoom and Teams, it is worth investing in a Lenovo work from home headset. The basics of a laptop, mobile and printer are a must, too. You’ll find you are far more productive if you have everything you need to do your job on hand.
If distractions are your nemesis, opt for an hour where you focus purely on work. No trips to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, no scrolling on Twitter or browsing the sale section on your favourite online clothing store. Set an alarm and dedicate one hour to tackling your to do list. It will surprise you how much you can get done in such a short space of time when you put your mind to it.
Making changes can feel like a lot of effort, especially if you’ve been working in a particular way for a while but taking the time to reassess can help you become more productive and reach your goals. Good luck!