20 Ways to Be Productive at Home

20 Ways to Be Productive at Home

Coronavirus is teaching tens of millions of people that working from home is not as fun or as productive as many people believe.

Working from home makes some people more productive. Many others; however, get less work done at home than the office.

Many employees return to the office because they find working from home tedious, tiresome, boring, frustrating, and exhausting. Today, however, many people have no choice but to work from home because of COVID-19.

How to Increase Your Productivity at Home

Increasing your productivity at home is easy. If you take control of the process and properly organize it.

The best way to learn how to be productive at home is to examine the writings and advice of veteran freelancers and writers. Many people have built successful careers and made lots of money as successful home workers.

Understanding those people and learning their techniques can help you succeed. Thus, the key to being productive at home is to be willing to change how you work and copy those who are successful.

To help you succeed working at home here are some great work-at-home productivity tips:

Twenty Ways to Become More Productive While Working at Home

Take Control of Your Work Environment and Limit Distractions

Many people get no work done at home because home is full of distractions. Your house is full of distractions that can include; chores, children, your spouse or partner, television, video games, books, music, food, etc.

The best way to limit distractions is to create a separate home office. The ideal home office is a room dedicated just to work. You could turn your spare bedroom, bedroom, or even the deck into a dedicated work area.

If you cannot create a home office try limiting distractions by covering up the TV. Or have the kids go outside and play. Another way to avoid distractions is to locate a secluded workspace. This could include the laundry room, the garage, the deck, or even the backseat of your car.

Act Like a Professional

Many people become unproductive at home because they stop acting like professionals.

Some people get lazy because they wear pajamas or sweats to work. These people get no work done because they are not in their work mindset.

You can put yourself in a work mindset by dressing in your casual work clothes. Women can get themselves into a work mindset by putting on makeup or doing their hair before work. Men could achieve a similar result by putting on a tie or a suit before sitting down at the computer.

Other ways to develop a work mindset at home include following a schedule. Starting work at 9 a.m. and quitting at 5 p.m. can get you into a work schedule.

Turning off the TV, setting up a home office away from everybody else, and not eating in your work area can help you think that you are work. Some people even get up go outside and come back in at the beginning of the workday.

Schedule 

Scheduling is the key to success in work from home. Many home workers get nothing done because they never organize or schedule.

Write out a schedule and try to follow it every day. You could start at 9 a.m., take an hour off for lunch, and finish up for lunch as you do at the office. A great scheduling tip is to schedule three or four hours of important work before answering emails, phone calls, or social media.

A schedule is one of the most productivity tools that home workers have.

Find Ways to Relax Yourself and Focus

Many home workers fail or produce substandard work because they become confused, unfocused, and agitated. Such agitation is worse these days because of all the frightening coronavirus news.

Finding methods of relaxation and focus can prepare you for work. Some home workers relax by meditating or praying each morning. Others walk or have their pet with them while they work. Many people will find music or comedy as relaxing as meditation.

An excellent way to avoid agitation is to not watch the news or check social media or email until you have completed some work. It is hard to focus on expense reports, marketing, or production figures while thinking about the latest death toll numbers. Thus, delaying the news until you’ve done your work is a great idea.

Set Production Goals

Many people fail at working at home because they refuse to set production goals.

A goal gives you something to strive for and a reason to work. Try setting a goal for yourself; such as writing 5,000 words, or completing five reports, a day.

You can reward yourself for achieving goals with breaks or time off or special treats. You could watch an episode of your favorite TV show every time you complete an article or report for instance.

Another great productivity hack is to not turn on social media or email until you have completed a specific amount of work. You can use this method to turn social contact into a reward for completing your work.

Pace Yourself and Rest

Many home workers burn out because they work too hard and get no rest and have no fun.

Some people will work all day with no breaks at home. Others will miss sleep, family time, exercise, or fun because they get caught up with work.

One way to avoid overwork is scheduling. Scheduling an hour for lunch or two or three half-hour breaks a day is one of the best means of avoiding burn out. Having a quitting time, such as 5 p.m. is another way to avoid overwork.

A great rule is to have a time such as 5 p.m., to turn off the computer. Then keep the computer off until 9 a.m. the next morning.

Stick to a Routine

When you work at home you have none of the incentives to work that exist at the office.

There is no boss or coworkers, and your family is there to distract you. Plus, you lack the routine of sitting down at your work station and following the office routine.

You can provide yourself with an incentive to work by creating a routine or duplicating your work routine. Getting up and going to your home office or work station at 9 a.m., and eating lunch at noon for instance.

Try scheduling Face Time, or Zoom, with friends or coworkers at certain times to duplicate the water cooler. If your team holds a meeting at 10 every morning. Ask the boss to hold the meeting on Skype at 10 each morning.

Following a routine can get into the mood for work and help you become more productive.

Create a Work Station

An unprofessional work environment is one of the biggest productivity killers at home. Trying to do your work at a laptop at the kitchen table can be impossible.

One way to make it easier to work and be productive is to create a work station at home. The best work station is a desk with a chair and a computer similar to the ones you use at work.

You can order a professional computer with two screens similar to the ones at work online. You can also order desks, ergonomic chairs, and other paraphernalia.

Even something as simple as a comfortable chair can make a huge difference. Kitchen chairs can be back killers if you sit on them all day. The living room furniture can be comfortable, but they do not design couches or arm chairs for work.

Focus on Your Work

Multitasking is the enemy of productivity at home. A sure-fire way to be unproductive is to try and do housework and work at the same time. Household chores such as laundry and cleaning can distract you from work.

One great way to avoid distractions is to have an office or workspace away from your living area. Another is not to work in places where you can see housework. Working in the kitchen is a bad idea because you could see food, dirty dishes, cooking utensils, or laundry.

Another way to avoid distraction is not to work in the family room or living room where you can see the TV set or the video game. Working on the deck or porch can be a bad idea because you can see all the outdoor activities you are missing.

Other huge distractions to avoid include social media and email. Social media and messages can distract and divert you because they often contain the crisis of day somebody wants you to fix.

Take Time Off

When you live with your work it is easy to spend all your time working. Working all the time makes you unproductive because it will burn you out.

It is easy for freelancers to put in 10 or 12 hour days and seven day weeks.

Many home workers become stressed and tired because they work all the time.

To prevent overwork and burnout you need to schedule time off when you work at home. First, you need to schedule one day off a week. A day off is important even if you spend it vegetating in front of the TV set.

It is also a good idea to take time off every evening for reading, television, family time, etc. Make sure you schedule time off when you start working at home. If you do not stress and frustration will follow.

Remember your Family

It is easy for home workers to neglect and ignore their families. Neglecting your family is easy because your work is always there to distract you.

When you start working from you need to schedule some time for family. Such time is important because you could be the only social contact they have.

Schedule a few hours a day to spend time with your kids. Then schedule some nightly activities. Examples include movie night, game night, and picnics in the backyard or walks in the park.

Scheduling and time management can help your family be a help rather than a hindrance you work from home. Your family can increase your productivity if you work with them.

Have Fun

Many people never learn time management because of their jobs. When you work for somebody else the boss manages your time.

When you work at home you manage your time and often become unproductive. Homeworkers are often unproductive because they are not managing their time.

Start managing your time from the start by writing up a schedule and modifying it as necessary. A good basic schedule could be to perform the most important task in the morning when you are fresh and ready. Then do busy work at 11 a.m. or closer to lunchtime.

Time management is a skill that anybody can learn by practicing it. The sooner you start managing your time the more effectively you will manage your time.

The key to time management is to remember that if you waste time you will not get it back. If you remember that lesson you will be productive at home.

Practice Time Management

Many people never learn time management because of their jobs. When you work for somebody else the boss manages your time.

When you work at home you manage your time and often become unproductive. Homeworkers are often unproductive because they are not managing their time.

Start managing your time from the start by writing up a schedule and modifying it as necessary. A good basic schedule could be to perform the most important task in the morning when you are fresh and ready. Then do busy work at 11 a.m. or closer to lunchtime.

Time management is a skill that anybody can learn by practicing it. The sooner you start managing your time the more effectively you will manage your time.

The key to time management is to remember that if you waste time you will not get it back. If you remember that lesson you will be productive at home.

Remember your Mental Health

It is easy to go stir crazy and become unproductive when you work at home. If you do not watch your mental health you will become unproductive working at home.

Getting large amounts of rest and relaxation is the best way to protect your mental health while working at home. The first step to being rested is to get eight hours of sleep at night. The second step to rest is to restrict your worktime to under eight hours a day.

Beyond that, you can increase productivity and calm your mind through meditation and prayer. Another excellent means of resting is to spend time outside walking, running, or bicycling. Exercising your mind through mental activity such as crosswords or complex games can help your mental health.

Other ways to rest your mind include music, reading, podcasts, audiobooks, podcasts, and pets. Having your pet with you can give you companionship and relax you.

Watch your mental health and seek help if you start losing control. Finally, find somebody to talk to and consider using tools such as Skype or Zoom to reach out for help.

Watch your Physical Health

One of the fastest ways to become unproductive while working at home is to neglect your physical health.

When your work is always with you, it is always easy not to exercise, eat right, or get enough sleep. That means you need to pay close attention to the basics of good health.

Try to get eight hours of sleep every night and an hour or more of exercise each day. If you cannot go to the gym try walking, running, or bicycling. You can practice those exercises while social distancing. Streaming videos can teach you many exercises you can perform at home without elaborate equipment.

To eat right, schedule three meals a day and try to cook them from scratch. Try cooking healthy recipes and eating healthy ingredients.

Other ways to be more healthy and productive is are to limit snacks and alcohol and stand while you type or work at the computer. Working at home is a great time to quit smoking because you will not have the smoke break and smoking coworkers to distract you from quitting.

Taking a few basic steps to improve your physical health can make you more productive while working at home.

Create a Weekly Schedule

Successful scheduling and planning must go beyond your daily routine. When you start working from schedule your weekly routine.

Schedule one day a week for shopping and one day a week for other errands. Then schedule one day every week.

You will need to schedule days for shopping and errands because those activities will eat up all your time. Having a good schedule can give you the time to be productive.

Take Advantage of Delivery

A great way to give yourself more time for work and productivity is to use Amazon and other online platforms for all your shopping.

You can order all your groceries and household supplies through Amazon or Instacart. Companies such as Dell and Amazon can provide all the computer equipment and office supplies you need.

Eliminating shopping trips can make you more productive because the average run to the store can take two or three hours or more. Trips to big box stores such as Walmart and Costco can take all day.

Most big box stores; including Walmart and Costco, will come to you if you shop online. Thus you can spend your time working, instead of shopping.

Skipping shopping trips can help you avoid coronavirus because you can limit social contact. There is no reason to risk your life or your family’s health with shopping trips in today’s world.

Schedule as Much Time for Work as Possible

A good rule of thumb to follow is to assume there will never be enough time to complete most tasks.

Given that reality, you will need to schedule as much time as possible. One way to give yourself enough time is to schedule twice as much time as you think you need.

You need to schedule more time because there will be delays, distractions, and problems. Scheduling more time will give you more opportunities to be productive.

Set Realistic Goals

Many people become unproductive because they set unrealistic goals they cannot meet. You could assume you will perform more work than you can complete.

One way to be more productive is to cut your goals by half or a third. This works because most people overestimate their capabilities but underestimate their capacity for work.

Cutting goals in half, means you can achieve those goals. Achieving the goals will make you happy and give you an incentive to work harder.

Be Happy

If you are unhappy you will be unproductive. To avoid unhappiness you need to monitor your mental attitude. Take action if you become sad, worried, angry, frustrated, or action.

There are many ways to increase happiness including social time with others, meditation, prayer, reading, family time, hobbies, and discipline. One way to be happy is to read self-help books. Some self-help books offer good advice.

Never Give Up

Do not give up if you are not as productive when you start working at home. Successful work from home is a skill you can learn.

 

You will have to work hard and practice to learn that skill. The more you work at home the more productive you will be working at home.

Originally published at https://geekcrunch.reviews/20-ways-to-be-productive-at-home/ on May 15, 2020.

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