It can be beneficial to work from home because you don’t have to worry about things such as traffic every day. You can work in your pyjamas if you like, and you have a lot fewer expenses such as day-care to worry about.
But working from home can have its own set of distractions that you need to be aware of.
Some of these can include meeting the expectations of your boss or just trying to stay productive.You can also be distracted by the television, the Internet, or fiddling around on your smartphone.
Here are a few tips that make you an unproductive worker at home and how to fix them.
SET A SCHEDULE FOR YOURSELF
When you work from home you have no concrete schedule that you must adhere to. You should ensure that you set a schedule for yourself just like you would a regular job.
This means you need a 9-5 work day like everyone else or you’re going to waste a lot of time doing things you shouldn’t. if you have customers or partners that rely on your work, you must ensure that things get done, so a schedule is critical to your success.
Make sure you tell others your schedule, so they don’t interrupt your work flow during the day. You want to minimise your interruptions and maximise the amount of work you get done during the day.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TASKS
Another thing that keeps you unproductive is that you don’t track your tasks. You need a calendar that lists all your goals, so you have something to strive for.
As you do a task, just cross it off and add new ones when they crop up.
When you work from home, you can’t just fall back and relax. You must get things done so keep track of all your tasks and ensure that you accomplish them promptly.
HAVE A DEDICATED WORKSPACE
When you work from home, you need an office space or at least a dedicated spot in your home where you can just leave your ‘work stuff’.
You can’t just work from your couch as this makes you unproductive. You ned a comfortable chair, good computer, and phone in your office work area. You must have a comfortable area so you can maximise your work time.
TAKE BREAKS… YOU’RE NOT A SUPERHUMAN
You may think that going flat out is going to get work done, but it will do the opposite.
You must take breaks to be productive. An average person can focus 90-120 minutes on one task before they need a break. You should take regular breaks such as lunch and a coffee break or two just like you would at a regular job. If you can, fit in some exercise for a few minutes.
And have you heard about the Pomodoro technique ?
The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”) that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes. With time it can even contribute to improving your attention span and concentration.
YOUR MOTHER WAS RIGHT… YOU MUST EAT WELL
If you work from home, don’t make it an excuse to eat poor quality food just because you’re at home.
If you want to be productive, your body needs energy so eat good quality meals when you’re at home. If you eat well, you’ll be able to focus on the job and get things done as you’ll feel well and have energy.
LEARN TO COMMUNICATE WELL WITH YOUR TEAM
If you work from home, you need to communicate with others that you work with. Period. You must be proactive and find systems that work for your team.
You can use instant messaging services like Facebook, Google Chat, or Gmail to keep in contact with your team. Make sure you only use these serveries for work purposes as it’s too easy to get distracted by them when you use them for personal reasons. Use tools like Skype, Zoom or Google Hangout for video calls with others you work with. If you don’t work with anyone, try going out and having some coffee on your break and chat with people for a bit of human contact.
The Huffington post published an in-depth article about communication when working remotely.
STOP THOSE DISTRACTIONS
When you’re at home and working, you must eliminate distractions.
You want to stay off Twitter and Facebook and stick with your work-related materials. You should only check your phone during your breaks such as lunch or coffee break. By reducing distractions, you’re going to get more done during the day. If there are others in the home, make sure they understand you’re working and set guidelines for them.
If you can control yourself, there are a number of tools that can be used to block or limit you from accessing certain websites.
If you have pets, don’t be tempted to spend a lot of time with them, do that when you’re not working. You don’t want distractions to interfere with your work no matter how tempting they may be.
It can take disciple to work from home, but it’s very rewarding and is shown to boost productivity.
Use this post to stay more productive during your day at work. You can set your own hours, but you still must sit down and get the work done at home so don’t let distractions get the best of you.