Do you shake your head in bewilderment when you hear people say working from home increases your productivity? If you feel like you accomplish less since switching to telecommuting, you aren’t alone.
Please don’t beat yourself up — mastering WFH (work from home, ICYMI) productivity means learning a new skillset. Fortunately, many of the methods to help you cope with the new situation require minimal effort to reap maximum benefits. Some of the practices below also benefit your health and improve your well-being both on and off the clock.
So here are some tips to help increase your productivity when working from home.
1. Create a schedule
If you waste lots of time in the morning before figuring out your day, get into the habit of taking five to 10 minutes before concluding your workday to create a schedule for the coming day. When you make the plan the night before, you don’t waste precious minutes with guesswork over what to tackle the next day.
This method works marvelously for long-term goals, such as finishing a novel. This is because people often overestimate what they can do in one day and underestimate what they can accomplish in a year. Breaking overwhelming tasks into manageable chunks kicks procrastination to the curb and decreases your stress levels.
2. Get organized
If you have paperwork scattered all over your apartment, you will waste time looking for what you need. Document chaos happens when you store your documents and work materials in too many different locations. Invest in desktop organizers and a locking file cabinet — the latter is vital if you handle personal client data like Social Security numbers.
3. Eliminate distractions
Many of us are guilty of it, especially when it comes to our phones. While it may seem like a momentary distraction, getting back on task wastes precious production time. To combat that, disable notifications during the workday. If you can’t resist the urge to check social media apps, lock your device in a drawer until you need it for work-related purposes.
4. Reflect on your purpose
It’s natural to drag through the workday if it feels like drudgery. However, this attitude won’t make you more productive. Instead, reflect on your purpose.
For instance, if you despise Excel, you might groan when you have to prepare a complicated expense report. However, if you take a moment to realize your work impacts your company and your livelihood, the task becomes less demanding. Reminding yourself of the “why” behind your work can motivate you to stay on it.
5. Keep physically fit
If you want your body to function at its peak, you need to give it TLC. Regular exercise improves your productivity by reducing the time you spend feeling lousy. You need to put in the effort, though. Researchers from the Netherlands discovered that performing strenuous activities three days a week correlates to fewer sick days. Moderate exercise didn’t produce similar results — consider alternating days of HIIT training with walking.
6. Fuel your body right
Your brain is a muscle. So like any other muscle in your body, it needs the right nutrients to perform. Strive to eat a healthy, plant-based diet complemented by lean proteins and healthy fats like olive oil.
When you telecommute, your refrigerator is only steps away. If you want to curb overeating, add mealtimes to your schedule to control the urge to snack at your desk.
7. Get adequate sleep
When you don’t sleep well, you become more accident prone because you lose focus and concentration. This deprivation hinders your productivity — so make shuteye a priority. Establish a regular bedtime and stick to it, even on the weekends. This way you will be able to stabilize your circadian rhythms and be more alert during office hours.
You can become more productive when working from home if you take the right approach. Try following these seven tips to supercharge your productivity and watch your life change!
Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below.