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If you work in an office Monday to Friday, doing the daily commute and sitting in rush hour traffic working from home can seem like the holy grail.
An extra hour in bed, pyjamas while you work, and sod putting on makeup? Yes, please. But, and I’m speaking from personal experience here, the lines between home and work quickly become blurred. Suddenly your zoom meeting is on mute, while you lay in bed watching another episode of Modern Family that you’ve seen a million times already. So how do you stay productive when working from home?
Here are my top 5 tips to make you the most productive little worker bee.
Make a “work” space
Find yourself a designated work area and don’t let your work spread outside of this! Your home should be a place you can relax and recharge and it’s hard enough that our work is suddenly encroaching on this. Try to find a quiet, comfortable space that lets you focus on work rather than letting your mind wander to the fact you haven’t hoovered for 2 weeks and that you need to put a wash on. Once you have finished your work for the day, that space is ‘closed for business’!
Have a plan for your day
When working from home it makes sense to have a more fixed schedule for your day. When you’re in the office your day is often structured around your colleagues and what they need from you. As you don’t have that at home you have the opportunity to take your time and make it your own! Do the jobs that take the most brainpower early doors when you’re most likely to be alert and leave the less exciting admin jobs until the afternoon.
Take regular breaks
A lot of people, myself included, seem to feel that they need to justify the time they spend at home by being available continuously. We can’t let anyone know we left our computer when we’re at home in case they think we’re slacking right?! Be honest though, do you do that in the office or do you get up and talk to colleagues or go and make yourself regular coffees to break the monotony of answering emails. Make sure you’re getting away from your desk and if possible outside. Take breaks throughout the day and remember that boring VDU training that your job made you do. Breaks from the screen every hour please! If you need more self-care ideas whilst you’re at work, you can read my post here.
Keep your to-do list manageable
Manage your expectations with what you’ll achieve while you’re at home. You might be thinking there’s no one to distract me I can get this massive long list ticked off. But when it gets to 1 pm and you’ve only crossed off item 1 because everyone has been calling all morning to ask for your help with something they didn’t get round to yesterday you’re going to be disheartened. Keep it short and sweet with the most important jobs and finish the day feeling like an accomplished queen.
Put your phone away
Or at least turn it on silent. I can’t write a post about productivity without mentioning mobiles. I’m the absolute worst at picking up my phone every 10 minutes to see what’s new on Instagram or TikTok and suddenly 3 hours have passed. Allow time to look at your phone, those breaks we spoke about earlier, good time. Middle of your 1 to 1 with your manager on Skype, bad time- again speaking from experience. OOPS.
Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you stay productive whilst you’re working from home. Do you do anything specific to help you stay focused? Let me know in the comments!