Productivity when working at home can be a challenge. It’s a different environment from an office building, a library, or a coffee shop. Those are places where many can buckle down.
Your home, however, is a more comfortable environment. Typically, it’s where you return to relax after a day of work.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive at home. You might not be able to simply turn on a switch, but there are still ways to boost production from home.
There are ways you can set yourself up for success. Here are six of them.
Create Boundaries to Increase Productivity
You need an environment that promotes productivity. There can be all kinds of distractions that can steal your time.
Boundaries will be different for everyone as everyone has a unique living situation.
Create a space dedicated to working that separates you from the rest of the household traffic. Even if it’s the corner of a room or a different seat on the couch is all you have to work with, designate that spot as your workstation where distractions are minimized.
Boundaries between you and other household activities helps avoid distractions. Respect your workday in the same manner if you were in a company office. If there were things that you couldn’t do working in someone else’s office, avoid them in your workspace.
If you’ve ever commuted to work, then you know about creating routines. You wake up, groom yourself, get the coffee going, grab a bite to eat, grab your belongings, and hit the road.
Even at the workplace, you wind up developing a routine—methods of doing things more efficiently. Apply these same principals to your home office.
Routines simplify your life. They can help you perform activities without thinking about them or expending too much energy.
Identify Top Tasks
Set aside some time either at the beginning of your workday or at the end to prepare for the upcoming day. Develop a task list for yourself to follow.
Note all of the tasks and activities that you need to work on. Then, prioritize all of those tasks consider which ones provide the most value.
If you see your entire list is a mile long, identify a reasonable number of tasks to focus on during your work hours for the day and save the rest for another day.
You might realize that every task is not vital. Put some tasks in a backlog. This way you can keep your work schedule to reasonable hours and avoid overworking yourself.
Find the Best Times to Accomplish Specific Tasks
With your task list, you can find times in your day to tackle specific tasks. Figure out how you can make the most out of your time.
Find times when you’re naturally the most productive. For example, if you’ve found that you’re the most energetic and productive between noon and 3 pm, reserve that period for your most intensive tasks.
Keep track of your energy levels throughout the day. Even note when an outside distraction might occur daily and schedule around that.
While some may find it difficult to stay productive, it may be difficult to stop once you’re in a flow. If you were previously commuting to a work location, you probably stopped working when you left the office.
When you’re working from home, it may be easy to just continue working. You can easily overwork yourself before you know it.
Give yourself some time to relax and decompress to avoid being occupied with work. Maintain work-life balance and prioritize other things in your life.
Set an alarm or some other trigger that will get you out of your workstation. This can even help you stay productive throughout the whole week.
Your company, your manager, nor customers will wait for you to produce. While some may understand things aren’t easy, what they ultimately want is production and something that provides value.
You can increase your productivity and set yourself up for success. You may have to test and tweak to find your optimal environment. Find out what works for your situation.
Isaiah Stone is a digital analyst in the consumer goods industry. He is fascinated with productivity, business growth, and accomplishing more. He contributes content to sites like OAKFLOW and Growth Learner.