Whether you're employed, underemployed or creatively motivated, working from home can be extremely difficult. All of the wonderful things that you usually use to relax and entertain you are just a few feet away. With nobody looking over your shoulder, it's incredibly easy to goof off and watch videos or read articles all day. It is certainly a challenge, but as someone who's been doing it for the last three-plus years, I think I can offer a few extremely helpful tips that will allow you to milk the most out of these potentially productive days.
5. Start Early
The toughest part people have with working from home is that they want to take advantage of the extra time they save in the morning by sleeping. In reality, you should get up and get prepped as if it's a normal work day. Get out of the pajamas, set the alarm for a reasonably early time and get to work after having a nutritious breakfast. Extra sleep is nice. Getting a jump on work as soon as you can is nicer.
4. Remove Distractions
If you can stand it, turn off everything that will possibly distract you during your attempt to work. Keep your phone off, disconnect the Internet if you're working in a word processing document and keep your television completely unplugged. The second you start dawdling on your electronic devices you are much more likely to spiral far away from productivity. If you must have some of these distractions around, try closing your eyes every so often to keep your peepers from getting too tired.
3. Change of Scenery
You need to be honest with yourself when you're working from home. If you are hitting a wall as far as productivity is concerned and you can't focus in your home or apartment, it's time to go elsewhere. Visit a local coffee shop, a library or some other Wi-Fi enabled place that will allow you to get some extra productivity in. If it isn't possible for you to leave your home, at least go from one room to another and try varying the setup. Even this small alteration can make a big difference if you're feeling stuck.
2. Keep Positive
I used to have a tendency to get angry with myself if I wasn't able to get into my work quickly and efficiently. This is another aspect of working from home that can really cause the day to spiral. If you are feeling pessimistic, watch an inspiring video, focus on things you're grateful for or listen to an upbeat song or two. You are much more likely to have success from your home if you are positive throughout the day.
1. Set Goals, Achieve Them
The toughest part of working from home is staying motivated. The best way to stay motivated is to set goals. The most effective way to feel satisfied is by achieving goals. It's as simple as that. Write some goals down at the start of your work day. Cross each one off as you finish it. Try to finish as many of them as you can. You'll be a work-from-home productivity rock star in no time.
Done with Working from Home? Go back to Personal Time Management.