Many of us have dreamed of working from home. Working from a home office with no commute, no distractions with our kitchen a few steps away sounds too good to be true. Covid forced most of us to start working from home whether we were ready or not. And I’m assuming most of you, if you are at all like me, were not prepared for remote work.
Most of us don’t have homes that are set up for maximum productivity. They are full of distractions. I’ve learned a few things over the last year working from home which have boosted my productivity all from the comfort of my living room.
Here are 4 tips that worked for me to boost remote work productivity:
One - Create a schedule
Going to an office can be a drag. The commute can be long and maybe you aren’t on the best of terms with your supervisor who you have to see everyday. But, an office environment brings a rigid schedule which is structured to maximize productivity and profits.
In an office, you can’t flip on the TV and watch a movie in the middle of the day or browse YouTube for an hour in the afternoon. The office environment forces you to work while you are there. It’s easy to pack up, go home and leave work behind. Working remotely from home doesn’t give you many boundaries. You can get up and play Xbox at two in the afternoon and you will be the only person who will ever know.
I’ve found that sitting down and hand-writing a schedule first thing each morning makes all the difference between a wasted and productive day. Time spent making a schedule is invaluable. I try to write down my tasks for the day on an hour to hour basis. Then, I stick to this schedule with as little variations as possible. It has done wonders for my productivity.
Two - Get Ready for Work
Working from home means I don’t have to put on work clothes. I don’t have to comb my hair and can just lounge around in PJs all day. It’s easy to stretch out on the couch with a laptop and work for the bulk of the day without ever really sprucing up.
I’ve found that if I don’t physically prepare myself for work, I work less and work slower. It’s comfortable to stay in pajamas all day, but there is something mentally refreshing about a clean shave and fresh clothes. I don’t see a point in putting on a suit and tie to work from home, but putting on a decent outfit and looking nice puts me in the right spot mentally to get a ton of work done.
Three - Unplug Netflix
Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney Plus and every other streaming service out there are the kryptonite of productivity. We are all guilty of it. A movie playing in the background is no big deal right? We can still focus with the TV in the background right?
Every single time I turn the TV on in the background I find myself spacing out and staring at it instead of doing actual work. I know a few people who can get work done with the TV going, but I highly doubt it speeds up their work flow.
Working with the TV off doubled my productivity. Instead of TV, I’ll put on music with no lyrics. Strictly classical or instrumental focus music helps sharpen my mind and execute the tasks at hand.
Four - Be Aware of Bad Food Habits
I’m not going to go on a healthy body means a healthy mind here. I’m not suggesting you go on some crazy diet to improve your productivity.
But, I’m sure you have fallen into the same pitfall as I have working from home...endless, bottomless snacking.
The kitchen is so close by. It’s full of our favorite foods and it is so easy to bust open a massive bag of cheetos and munch away on the couch while we work. Then 3 o’clock hits, the bag is empty and the carbs are putting us to sleep!
It happens to the best of us. It is so easy to eat and snack and munch on food that kills mental awareness throughout the day when we are stuck at home. When I cut out snacking, my productivity was drastically boosted.
There are several other key factors to getting work done at home, but I found the above four basic points took my remote work productivity to another level.
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