How to stay productive (and sane) while working from home
Over the last few years, the number of people working from home has grown tremendously. But with that comes a new set of challenges. How do we stay productive working from home when we’re surrounded by distractions like the house chores, the TV, or our families?
In this article, we’re going to share some quick and easy tips to help you stay productive (and sane) while working from home.
Routine is everything
One of the great perks of working from home is being able to stay in your PJs and not have to worry about brushing your hair or putting on makeup everyday. But here’s the thing - it’s super important to establish a good routine when working from home.
By “getting dressed” for work, even if you’re only moving from the kitchen to your home office, you’ll be in a better mindset to get stuck into your work and get it done. Getting dressed for work is important, it helps to establish a boundary in your brain between work time and relaxation time.
It’s also a great idea to stick to a set work schedule. Of course, one of the benefits of working from home is that you can work whenever you like. So if you prefer to start early and finish early then do that everyday. Set a time for your lunch break and stick to it. By creating a solid routine, you’ll be able to organise your day to maximise productivity and get the most from each hour.
Make sure you have a designated work area
It might be tempting to plonk yourself on the couch to do your work but you’ll be much better off if you have a dedicated spot in the house for working from home. By having a dedicated work space, you’ll be better able to stay organised and get into the right headspace for working.
This is another psychological trick too, to help your brain recognise when it's work time and when it's relaxing time. If you have the space, convert a spare room into your home office. If you don’t have a spare room you can claim as your office, try to find a space within another room that you can use for working from home.
Let other family members know that when you’re in this space, you’re not to be interrupted as this is your working time. Again, this will help you to compartmentalize when you are working and when you are not
Keep your workspace clutter free
One of the biggest dangers to productivity when working from home is excess clutter in the house, especially in your work space. Once you’ve figured out where you’re going to work each day, you’ll want to make sure that you keep that area as tidy as possible.
A clean and tidy workspace makes it so much easier to start your job tasks when working from home. If you’re surrounded by dirty coffee mugs, piles of laundry or paperwork, you’re more likely to feel distracted and unfocused. Keep it clean when working from home!
Make sure you’re taking breaks regularly
No matter where you work, it’s important to give your brain a little rest every 45 minutes or so. When working from home, you may want to use the Pomodoro technique, which is where you concentrate on a task for at least 25 minutes, before taking a short 5 minute break. This technique can help you to stay on top of your tasks and stay productive while working from home.
After a period of focused action, get up out of your chair and stretch or move your body a bit, get some fresh air or make yourself a cup of tea. These short breaks can help to give your mood a lift and if you’re working on a difficult project - time away from the screen might just give you the inspiration you need if you’re looking for a solution to a difficult problem.
Have a virtual coffee with a coworker
Working from home can get isolating after a while, so it's important to keep a connection to the outside world alive. Humans are social creatures after all! It’s important for your mental health to keep up with social interactions outside of work, even if they’re online.
So why not set up a virtual coffee break with a co-worker or chat via Slack after you’ve knocked off for the day. By staying connected to the outside world while working from home, you’ll feel more motivated and focused when you are on task at work.
Acknowledge your productivity
How good does it feel when you can cross something off your to-do list? Capitalise on that feeling and celebrate the small wins when working from home. There’s no need to go overboard, but by patting yourself on the back for staying productive you’ll instantly feel better about your day and more motivated to get on with the rest of your tasks.
Celebrating what you’ve accomplished is also a great way to keep track of how much you’re actually getting done while working from home.
Don’t forget to log off each day
You might be tempted to just do one more thing when working from home, but it’s important to log off at your designated end of work day. Sticking to your work schedule is essential if you want to have a good work-life balance, so don’t forget to log off at the end of each day.
This means no more answering emails or slack messages until the following work day. A good way to ensure you actually “log off” when working from home is to establish an end of work day routine. This could be creating your to-do list for tomorrow for example.
By having your to-do list prepared in advance, you can switch off from work and not be constantly thinking about what else needs to get done. This way, you’ll be ready to tackle the next day’s work when working from home.
Stay organised when working from home with Avery
Our filing solutions include colourful Manilla Folders, Fasteners to keep your paperwork secure, and Quickvue files which are great for easy access in your filing cabinet. Cable Markers will save you endless headaches, while Dot Stickers are perfect for project / task management. Explore our range today.