If you’ve recently made the transition to working from home (or are considering it), you may find that one of the biggest challenges is staying productive. It’s easy to get distracted in your own space. The TV is just right there with an entire season of Say Yes to the Dress you haven’t yet binged-watched, as is the novel you’re currently devouring. When distractions start eating up your working hours, it’s time to take yourself in hand and change how you do things.
(Photo Credit: Mislav Marohni?/Flickr)
Figure Out Your “Why”
Chances are, you’re working from home because it affords you the flexibility to create your own hours. Implied in that reasoning is the idea that there is something else you’d like to be doing in your other hours when you’re not working. That’s what we call your Why. Figuring out your Why and reminding yourself on a regular basis the reasons you’re freelancing or telecommuting can help snap you back to task and realign your priorities. Write it on a sticky note on your monitor if you need to, or better yet, on the fridge and TV, where you’re more likely to find yourself straying.
Create an Office
If you’re in a small space and don’t have a separate room for an office, make an effort to set up a work area, suggests Lisa Evans. Simply creating an area where your work gets done can help you focus. You can even establish a “commute” routine where you help yourself adjust to the start and end of your workday.
Work in Rhythm
Your body has a natural time to do just about everything, including exercising, resting, and problem-solving. Working with your body clock can change your productivity dramatically. It could be as simple as doing harder and more complicated tasks in the morning when your brain is fresher and better able to think, rather than waiting until the late afternoon when your body would prefer to take a nap.
Keep to a Schedule and Stop Multitasking
Once you figure out what your schedule should be, stick to it, says Jane Chin. Turn off distractions, set a timer, and don’t answer emails or the phone for the next two hours, while you buckle down and get a serious chunk of work done. Doing one task at a time creates a greater chance of doing excellent work.
Tell Us What You Think
What productivity suggestions do you have for those who work from home? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.