Working from home is becoming the new normal. Meanwhile staying productive at the office and at home are like two different things entirely. The office is set up for work, but the home is not.
It may even be more difficult when everyone is at home. With so many things calling for your attention, you may not be able to get enough of your time at home.
Here are 6 helpful tips to help you work effectively from home
1. Begin your day with an end in mind
Ask yourself, what you’d like to have accomplished by the end of today, then take a step further to write down all the tasks and activities. You want to write out all work-related and other general home tasks. This list will become your to-do list for the day.
After compiling the list, separate work-related activities from the other activities. Remember to also include time for breaks.
2. Schedule your work activities: Not only work activities though.
The goal is to schedule a time for work activities to fit into your normal office time bracket. Your brain is already used to performing work-related activities during this time.
You can categorize your non-work activities into 3 segments; before work, during work, and after work. This should look like your regular daily routine, only that commute is no longer a part of it.
Try to clear up allotted non-work activities before you start working.
3. Set a dedicated space for work
You may think that working on your bed or a couch while watching TV helps you do your work, but are more likely to take more time than normal.
You might not know it, but your productivity at the office is associated with that desk you work from. It helps to maintain focus and condition your mind into a work mode. How about you set up something similar at home. Find yourself a dedicated space for work. All you need is a desk and a table. You may opt for an enclosed space to reduce distraction.
4. Inform everyone that you are working
To minimize distraction, inform everyone at home beforehand. Let them know you have work activities and you wouldn’t want any disturbance during the specified time.
This may sound counterintuitive. Don’t expect everyone to know that you have important work activities to perform. Tell them about your unavailability for a set period of time.
5. Walkthrough your activity list
Now that you have settled by your desk to begin work, review your work activities for the day and rank them according to the level of importance or urgency. Then work your way through individual items on your list.
6. Don’t be isolated
You can recreate the office experience in your own little way by staying in touch with your colleagues. Use instant messaging apps, voice, and video calls to keep track of work activities.
You can also spend time outdoors and with family at the end of your workday to refresh your mind.
Working from home can be challenging if you are just starting. Practicing the tips above will help you optimize your capacity and achieve a better work-life balance. Who knows, you may even become an advocate for remote work in the future.