In this article, I want to give you 10 self-proven tips for staying productive working from home. I have been working from home since 2015, so I have first-hand experience in what works and what to avoid. Working from home sounds like a dream come true, but there are some things we don’t consider at first thought.
A lot of us have recently started working from home due to lockdowns and quarantines caused by the Coronavirus, so I thought I would share what I have learned during the past years.
- Get up at the usual time. Don’t sleep in and use the time gained for personal development or an extended morning routine. If you don’t want to change your morning routine, then set the alarm to accordingly so you are ready for your workday at the usual time.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. I know from experience how daring it is to eat while you work but once you are hungry the concentration is gone. Also, a hungry stomach will make you want to go to the fridge more often and this will not help you stay productive. I like to eat a bowl of cereals or porridge with fruits to start my day. And of course, there has to be coffee!
- Get dressed and put light make up on! Video conference calls make this some sort of necessary anyways. I highly recommend to not work in your pajamas or robe, or any sort of loungewear. Find something nice and comfortable but not too comfortable.
- Start and end your workday at the usual time. This is crucial as there are no physical boundaries present and there is no transition from work life to personal life like it would be when commuting.
- Work at your designated work area! The kitchen table or dining room is not suitable for the home office in the long run. It is OK for a day or two, but if you work from home on a regular basis you should consider designating a room just for your home office where you can shut the door to be undisturbed.
- Plan out your day. What a surprise, isn’t it? What helps me staying productive is to focus on the top three things to accomplish today. Don’t overload your task list. I know this is a tough one, being guilty of this myself. In the long run, it will be a better choice, though.
- Ignore the dirty dishes, laundry, or any other home chores. I know it is only too challenging to quickly load the dishwasher or fold the laundry. Remember: you are at work and would not be able to do this anyway if you were at your office.
- Eat a healthy, light lunch at your dining table, not your desk, and try to rest your mind a bit. I like to do small chores at the end of my lunch break like doing the dishes or doing a 15min quick clean. I try to have about 45 to 60 min available for my lunch break.
- During the workday take regular short 2 min breaks. Get up from your chair once per hour and walk through your apartment to get some steps in. If you were at your office you would stand up to fetch something from the printer or have a quick coffee chat with some colleagues. We need to compensate for that movement in the home office.
- Last, but not least: stay hydrated! Water is an incredible boost to our concentration. To stay productive you need to be able to stay concentrated on the task at hand.
I hope these tips help you to stay productive, if you have any other input you want to add to my list please leave a comment down below.