12 Ways to be More Productive While Working From Home
But, well, not everyone is doing so well and loving it. Many returned to the corporate world or hired an office.I am still here and loving it only because I learned 12 very important lessons about productivity, and today I share them with you hoping that you can be a little more productive, from inside out, wherever you decide to show it.
This might sound like a no brainer but it’s a thing! On so many days when I was super busy and needed to be productive, I realized that I feel drained and weak at 2 pm. It took me longer to complete simple tasks and I made a bunch of mistakes. The simple reason skipping breakfast and lunch!
Eating and eating well means taking care of your biggest productivity asset – YOU! You need the good stuff to feed your body and brain and maintain your thought process. And you would think that at home you can put an end to fast food as well. Wrong! I had days on which I had breakfast with ice cream or lunch with crackers just because I didn’t have the time to think of something better.Eating well improves your productivity from within. It provides your body intelligence and strength and reduces stress by giving your brain enough calories to cope with it.
2. Change Your Working Environment
Home office hell....Never getting out of the house! I realized that I am getting in a deep black hole by just sitting at my home office desk every day and talking to my cat. So, I decided to go to a cafeteria and switch scenes (And see some people). It was a total disaster because the waitresses were using all the wifi to chat with their boyfriends or something on their smartphones.Got home and just sat on the sofa because I couldn’t go back to that desk. And it worked magic!
Changing just a little detail about your working environment makes you feel like you are doing something new and exciting. We all know how this affects motivation and productivity. At home, change the room, chair or position you work from, and at the office, switch with a colleague or just work standing for an hour (a stability ball instead of a chair works great as well, and it is so fun!)
3. Be Comfortable
Have you been to a stress interview? Part of those is being put to the test in a really uncomfortable environment – noisy, dark or badly fitted chair and desk. Why do they do that? Because discomfort increases stress for the body and mind and they want to see you work under stress. And what does stress do for productivity? You guessed right, it decreases it!
Sometimes when I couldn’t get things done right I realized that my body is in a really weird position or the light was not enough in my home office. Making yourself comfortable with your work environment reduces the attention your brain and body need to give to stress and improves your productivity.
4. Have a Routine
Sorry, but working from home doesn’t mean getting up at 11 am and watching Netfix until you feel like working.I always get up and start work at the same time. I also schedule so that I finish my workday approximately at the same time. To be honest, sometimes I get out of my routine and that’s okay because I prioritize. But productivity is a habit.
If you get used to work certain hours or get some things done in a particular order they become automatic and involve using less brainpower. The result? More brain power to do demanding tasks and improved productivity!
5. Touch of Nature
Your working environment needs to be comfortable as much as pretty. I always try to have flowers, seashells or branch decorations on my desk to remind me that I live in the real world and not in my office.
They also motivate me to get things done faster and get out in the nature to enjoy life.
Staying close to nature helps you accept the world and yourself as you are and forgive yourself when something goes wrong. You will feel more productive when you are constantly reminded about the beauties of nature and even when you are working alone you won’t feel lonely.
Beauty helps productivity!
6. Exercise (or Why I Do the Housework)
That’s not news, I know, but I can’t tell you how much exercise has helped me in terms of being ore efficient. If you already do it – great but even if you hate exercising, you can increase your productivity by doing small errands at home.
First of all, let’s talk yoga. It’s not only for the body! Doing yoga only once a week has helped me sensibly boost my focus. It’s not like there aren’t distractions, I just don’t get bothered. I can keep my mind on the task at hand even when I get a bunch of urgent emails and deadline notifications.
Yoga is great for focus and it is productivity’s best friend! You will find this strange but I also use housework as an exercise. Doing the laundry or vacuuming the office helps me get my mind empty. This in turn creates new ideas and solutions and helps me solve problems faster.
If you work at an office, go get lunch instead of ordering it or walk to the coffee machine. Go say “Hi” to a colleague you have been chatting with all morning or just have a stroll to the balcony.Moving your body a little does miracles for productivity!
7. Plan to Reduce Pressure and Stress
Everyone who talks about productivity tells you to write to-do lists. Well, I tell you use flexible to do lists!I used to schedule everything to be done on a certain day and when I couldn’t get to the end of the to-do list I felt bad, unproductive and like a small failure.To - do lists and plans can increase stress and reduce your desire to work.
So now I use flexible to-do lists – I schedule enough time in advance so I can decide if I need to finish this today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I schedule for day-by-day work but also for week by week and always have important deadlines plus my own personal deadline. In this way. This allows time for errors or unexpected situations.
Less stress, more productivity! Plan for unexpected work as well. This is the type that really messes your productivity and priorities.
8. Be Your Own Boss
This is your chance to be your dream boss! Let’s face it – we all have a real boss, but we take small daily decisions mostly ourselves.When I first started working from home I wasn’t a good boss to myself I would take on projects that were not fit for my skills, overwork myself and not give myself enough pay. I didn’t allow myself breaks and vacation days.
Well, you know what? I hated that boss and didn’t feel like working for her! And when we don’t like the person who is bossing us around we want to work less and less and productivity goes down.
Now I am a much better boss and I like working with myself (not bipolar if you worry about that!). I allow myself to say “no” and take lunch breaks. I also pay myself better and have working hours that keep me happy.Being your own boss means establishing rules and codes of conduct that show integrity as well. Keeping deadlines and being accountable for errors is part of my responsibility to myself.
If you know that the rules are always kept fairly, you will stop thinking about the how and focus on results that increase your productivity.
Work is not only about work. If you know people on a deeper level you want to be better for and to them. You want to do a superior job and deliver more results. When all you do with your colleagues or clients is work, you feel detached from it. It doesn’t feel like a big deal when you miss a deadline or don’t do something well enough.As soon as I started knowing my clients personally I understood what is important for them and could do a better job! I fell their priorities as mine and this makes it much easier to be productive in the direction they need.
Working at home is a bit lonely sometimes you might get to miss the socializing at the office. But what I have learned is that socializing out of the office, with people that have nothing to do with your work, can do wonders for your productivity.
People with different backgrounds provide you with perspective and inspiration that might let you see old habits in a new way. And before you know, you are inspired and working more efficiently than ever!
10. Have a Priority System
Every morning I deicide what’s the most important thing for me to do first thing today. And I do it, no matter what. Sometimes it’s watching a webinar reply that I have been keeping open in my browser for a week. Other times is answering clients’ emails. And yet, sometimes it’s going for a long and relaxing run.
To stay productive you need balance. If you devote most of your productive time to one and the same thing every day you will simply get bored. Every day you need to make a conscious decision about what your priority is that day, and start with that. This doesn’t mean to ignore all other important things on your to-do list but simply to focus on what’s significant and shine that day
11. Don’t Get Too Used to Patterns
You know how when starting a new project you are super excited and do enormous amounts of work for near to no time? As times passes by the idea looks dull or the routine starts killing you. You dread doing what you used to love at work!
The solution that helped me to keep my productivity up is to always find a new way of doing things.It’s important to create habits because they reduce the brainpower used for a task and leaves more space for creative thinking and productive work. But it’s as important to break from the habit sometimes when it has turned into a boring errand.
Again - balance creates productivity!
12. Get Your Technology Right
Laptop not working, lost Internet connection, slow apps...Those are all things that increase stress and of course, reduce productivity. Get them in order! I remember weeks in which I worked for hours and got nothing done because I was trying to use unnecessarily complicated technology. If it doesn’t work the 3rd time, just drop it and move on, you can always get back to it.
Sometimes productivity is not something in your control and it’s okay to accept that. But before installing a new productivity app on your laptop make sure it won’t slow it down and have the opposite effect.It’s important to be productive but just when you want it...Give yourself a break sometimes and enjoy what you have produced.
These 12 things have directly affected my productivity lately. If they haven’t improved it, they have definitely created a big limitation when not done right.The most important thing to keep yourself productive is to love what you do. Then, even on bad days you can still reschedule for tomorrow and get it done.Now I would love to hear from you! What is your favorite productivity tip? When do you struggle with being productive? Comment below and join the discussion on productivity!
Highly Productive People Do Every Day
Habits of Productive People
Good Thoughts to Keep in Mind While Under Pressure