If you struggle to stay focused, or feel like you don’t have enough time to get your work done, try these four ways to be more productive when working from home.
4 Ways to Stay Focused When Working from Home#1 Schedule time for work
Sure, working from home allows you to have flexible hours, but when work time is anytime, it’s all too easy to step away from your desk and tackle household chores that should be saved for later. Scheduling a specific time to get work done will help you feel focused and ready to tackle your to-do list.
Set a start and end time for your workday and stick with it. If you co-habitate with others, make sure they’re aware of your business hours. A study by UC Irvine found workers need 15-23 minutes to regain focus after being distracted. Ask the people you live with to save non-urgent interruptions for non-work hours.
#2 Keep personal projects separate from business
When you are working, focus only on your work tasks. Trying to do the laundry while working on a big project can cause you to miss important steps. Our brains can't multitask and aren't designed for rapid task switching.
Instead, you can (and should!) take breaks during your day. Short, ten-minute breaks are good for your body and help you be more productive. During break times you can focus on household tasks or take a peek at social media. When it’s time to get back on task, set non-work activities aside until the end of your workday.
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#3 Declutter your home office space
It’s hard to stay efficient in a cluttered space; but for many of us, our home office space doubles as the focal point for managing the household. Stay organized by:
- Removing items that can be stored elsewhere in your home
- Keeping personal items out of sight during the workday so you aren’t distracted by them
- Setting limits on the number of non-work items can take up space (plants, knickknacks, photos, etc.)
#4 Keep your desk organized
A disorganized desk is a drain on productivity. Some people find clutter helps them be creative, great, but there’s a difference between organized piles and a scattered mess. Don’t waste valuable time searching for misplaced meeting notes or office supplies. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to tidy up your desk. That way, when you return to your desk the following day, you’re ready to dive right in.
ITI Staff Share Their Tips and Tricks For Working Remotely
I reached out to some of my colleagues at ITI who always work from home for their tips for working from home. Here’s what they said:
Wade Bricknell, Director of Sales, Management & Training - If you’re new to working remotely, it can be difficult to manage distractions from kids, TV, the kitchen, etc. I find having a list of what I need to get done, emails to write, calls to make, etc. helps me stay on task. Some people experience the opposite problem, being so focused on work you lose track of time. Make sure to take a 5-10 minute break every couple of hours; set an alarm if you need to. It’s bad for your back to be hunched over all day.
Mike Flavin, VP Strategic Accounts
- Be prepared -- make a plan the night before so you start out strong
- Set goals and review them -- be accountable to yourself
- Create a relaxing workspace
- Take breaks - go for a walk, stretch, or just rest your eyes
Raul Chong, Regional Director of Sales - I like to work standing up, so an adjustable height desk is a must-have. If I’m sitting down and working, I like to be comfortable, so I bring in extra pillows from the spare bedroom. I also have my Sonos Speaker behind me to ask Alexa random questions that come to mind.
3 More WAYS TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
If you’re a parent working from home, you won’t want to miss our next article. We’ll cover the unique challenges of managing kids in a home office environment. Until then, here are three more strategies to help improve your productivity:
- Choose the best space for your home office
- Use these 20 time management tips from Forbes
- Train your brain to be more productive
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