Due to the COVID-19 situation, most entrepreneurs and employees have been forced to work from home. Working from home has lots of advantages such as saving commute time and expenses, being close to your loved ones, and developing new skills. Like a double-edged blade, working from home also has several disadvantages. Among them is procrastination.
The transition from the workplace to the home office has not been easy for most people. This change has led to a decline in productivity and performance because our minds have associated the workplace by getting things done and homes with relaxing.
Is it possible to boost your productivity and performance to achieve the same or higher results as you would in the workplace? Yes, it is. Through the following practical tips, you can achieve this goal.
1. Treat your space like an office
One of the dangers of working from home is how our mind has been conditioned to associate home with relaxation and comfort. A relaxing environment is good for every hard worker. However, working in the same environment will make it harder for you to achieve your goals.
While working from home, it’s important to snap out of the relaxing mode. You can do this by setting aside a room or a space dedicated to work only. This means that when you walk into this space, you should behave like you are at the office.
Start your day by taking a shower and getting ready as if you are heading to the office. Dress in something better than a pyjama or sweatpants. And start working on your to-do list.
2. Take short breaks
Working from home offers a new kind of flexibility that most of us never thought of. Unlike offices that have designated break times, working from home has no solid structure. You can do whatever you want without your boss finding out. A lack of organization on your part can result in wastage of time and resources.
Breaks are important because they give you enough time to switch off and refresh before going back to work. You might be tempted to work for six or seven hours continuously without taking a break. However, this poses a higher risk of burnout.
After working for one or two hours, it’s important to take a fifteen or twenty-minute break. Otherwise, the law of diminishing returns will start working on you.
3. Eliminate distractions
You are surrounded by distractions at home. The problem is, you cannot eliminate them because they are the same things that you use when you want to relax. Distractions like television, phone calls, emails, and social media platforms can make it harder for you to focus on your work.
Never start working until all the distractions have been removed from your work station at home. Turn off the television, put your phone in silent mode and stay far away from it, turn off email and social media notifications on your computer. And most importantly inform your loved ones about your plans to avoid being interrupted.
4. Create a schedule
Creating schedules is a great way to boost your productivity while limiting the temptation of being distracted. Once you get into your workspace, take a look at the most important tasks that you’ll need to complete before the end of the day. Next, try to fit them into your timeframes. This approach will make it less likely for you to get distracted or postpone working on your high priority tasks.
It’s always important to create a schedule that is easy to follow. After completing your most important tasks of the day, don’t forget to reward yourself. Your reward could be something simple like a snack or brief social media time. However, don’t allow yourself to get sucked in.
5. Measure your productivity
It’s impossible to know whether you are moving forward or backward if you don’t measure your results. Today, you can easily track your productivity thanks to the rapid advancement of technology.
For instance, if you manage an online business, a platform like Google Analytics will help you monitor your performance in real-time. A service like Salesforce can help quantify your efforts in the retail environment. Measuring your output will help you stay motivated in and out of your office and challenge yourself to do more.
6. Change your environment
If all your efforts to beat procrastination go stale, try changing your environment. If you’ve been working from home for a few months, consider working in a coffee shop or a quiet park. Remember to keep a safe distance from other people and follow the guidelines outlined by the local health authorities. Changing your environment at least once a week will help you reset your focus in a way that will get the most important tasks out of the way.
7. Consume healthy foods
One of the most overlooked ways of staying productive while working remotely is eating healthy. With food deliveries just a tap away, it’s easy to order junk foods and eat irregularly. Overeating can lead to severe drops in productivity. On the other hand, starving yourself can also lead to a decline in concentration. It’s important to have an eating schedule in place. Also, consuming healthy foods will boost your focus and productivity in the long run.
8. Plan for interruptions
Even the most calculated plans can fall apart at the eleventh hour. If you are not prepared, a call from a loved one who just wants to chat can lead to procrastination. One of the best ways to close the gap between intention and action is by planning for interruptions. This involves thinking about the interruptions that you might encounter during the day and then rehearsing how you’ll respond.
There is no right or wrong way to work remotely. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. When you eliminate distractions from your working environment and plan your days in advance, you can protect yourself from procrastination and increase your output. By preparing yourself as if you are heading to the office every day, you’ll greatly reduce the chances of slipping into the relaxing and comfort mode.
Author: Leon Collier – Freelance Writer