Working from home can feel like a dream come true; no dress code, no conference room meetings, no driving any distance to get to work. All these are cool until personal obligations, too much comfort and some other distractions begin to affect your productivity. This can be as a result of lack of supervision and dependence on your proactiveness to get things done.. I mean, nobody is going to beat you if you don’t do something at the time you’re supposed to do it, you can decide in between works to do your laundry, phone or receive a phone call from a friend.
The problem here is, at the end of the day, you realise you’ve spent too much time on these distractions and try to make up for it in the midnight or at any time when you should ideally be resting.
I have been working from home for a while, I’ve faced most of the pros and cons of working from home and over time I’ve been able to bring these experiences together to get lasting solutions to hindrances to being productive while working at home. Most of this centres around being able to set boundaries. Without further delay, I’ll go right into 5 Ways To Stay Focused And Productive While Working From Home;
1. Be Sincere With Yourself.
In all honesty, not everyone is built for working from home. You need to think it through, is working from home a good choice for you? Examine your character whether you are the type that gets distracted on time or you need some form of activities or human around you to keep you engaged. If you’re any of those and you must work from home, you’ll need to put in even more effort so that your work wouldn’t be affected.
2. Have a workspace:
Personally, this is something that has helped me a lot. Sitting on the couch or laying in bed with your laptop gives room for too much comfort. You should designate a space as your work area where to do all your work, if you keep moving from living room to kitchen to bedroom, your thoughts won’t be together and your productivity would be all over the place. Quick tip, sometimes you can actually dress the part, I mean dress up like you’re going to an actual office. For females who love to do makeup, loving makeup isn’t a sign of insecurity, you can decide to do simple makeup as well. All these are just to help you create a work atmosphere.
3. Set Boundaries
You need to treat your work at home as you would if you were working in an office. By this I mean, excesses you wouldn’t allow from family and friends. Unapologetically state your boundaries and try to make it clear to your family and friends that working from home doesn’t mean you have time for chitchats or activities that are not related to your work. You can say to them for example, that you’d be working from 9 am till 3 pm but sometime around 12 noon, you have about 20 minutes to chat. This way, people will have more respect your limits and wouldn’t interrupt at times when you would be working (unless of course its an emergency)
In cases where you have unexpected visitors, especially one who is going to take a lot of time, you should be diplomatic with your response. Allow few minutes of conversation but do not suggest an extended discussion. Politely but say something that implies you have some work to do and would meet up with the person some other time.
4. Have A Schedule
When you wake up each day, you should have an idea of what you want to do and achieve that day. Establish your work hours, identify your tasks for the day, create a system to help you prioritize and set time for each task according to levels of priority keeping it in mind that you have to stick with them. On a wider note, you should also have a list of your task for the week, month and months. For tasks that require uninterrupted attention, you could turn off your phone or emails just so you don’t get any distraction. As you stick to your schedule and do each task one after you realize you’ve had a productive day.
5. Take A Break
In making a schedule, it is expedient that you leave spaces in between to rest. It’s not healthy to work straight from morning to evening or night. Take short breaks to refresh your mind, you could walk around the house, move from your work desk to the couch, eat something if possible or take a drink, just give your brain a break and then go back to your work again.
Creating an environment that works personally for you is the most important factor to successfully work from home. It’s okay to experiment with different things and figure out the method that best works for you.