Working from home can be an incredibly beneficial experience, but only if you’re actually staying productive. It may also be a significant challenge in these times of forced “shelter in place”. It can be quite difficult to remain on task when you have so much going on around you. Inc.com created a great list of ways to keep on task while working from home. We at Magnetic Monkey Marketing wanted to take a quick moment to share our thoughts about it with you.
- “Act like you are still going to work” Usually, our homes are designed for our comfort and relaxation. It is a space for downtime and TV watching. That’s great for lazing around, but not for getting down to business. If you act like you’re still at home, you won’t feel like working. You have to switch into work mode. Make some coffee or tea, get dressed, and get to work. You have to kick-start your body into gear—not treat it like its naptime.
- “Compartmentalize your space” There have been many studies saying that you should not use your bed to do work in. That is a space reserved for sleeping. If you try to work while sitting on your bed, your body will get confused. You will be less productive and less likely to get your stuff done. Have a designated area for working from home. If you have a home office, that’s amazing; if not, a desk or even a kitchen table will do just fine. It should be an area where you can take a step away from your ‘home life.’
- “Turn up the volume” I think that music is a great way to stay productive. For those of us who need some sort of background noise to get work done, this is a great idea. Set up a Pandora station so that you don’t have to constantly change the song. Or if you’re the type to like ambient noise, check out Coffitivity.
- “Communication is essential” One of the most important things to remember when working from home is to keep up with communication. Because you’re not able to just walk down the hall for a quick chat, you have to utilize the tools at your disposal to stay in contact with your colleagues. When you make it a point to check in with your team members throughout the day, you are keeping yourself on a productive course. Email, video conferencing, and instant messaging are just a few of the many ways to keep in touch.
- “Minimize distractions” It is incredibly easy to get distracted while in your own home. There is always something else (or seemingly more interesting) that you could be doing with your time, but you have to resist the urge. I said before that you shouldn’t be changing the song every five minutes. This is not your time to be an iTunes DJ. Stick to a long playlist or a Pandora/Spotify station. It will minimize your external distractions. Also, you should not let your pets dictate your life. A quick pat is okay, but the second they try to sit on your keyboard or whatnot, its time for them to GTFO.
- “Prepare your environment” Just because you are working from home, it does not mean that you can forget about office supplies. Make sure you always have some paper and pens handy, your printer is fully stoked on ink, and the coffee supply is always flowing.
- “Eat healthily” Your kitchen is in the next room, which makes it easy to cook for yourself, but you can’t spend hours trying to prepare some fabulous six-course meal. Keep light and nutritious meals on hand for work lunches. It can also be quite easy to forget to eat entirely. You can’t let this happen! You should take a lunch break just as if you would at an office.
- “Take breaks” Okay, this might seem a tad counter productive, but studies actually show that the most productive workers focus for at least 52 minutes and then follow with a short break. Rest periods are vital for engaging in products. It will keep your mind refreshed and focused.
Keep these tips in mind next time you are working from home and you will definitely see your productivity increase!