5 Ways To Boost Productivity While Working From Home
I began working from home full-time in January 2017 as a graphic designer. I am a very disciplined person by nature, so staying productive has always been a skill of mine. However, I realize that this concept is entirely new for most of the country right now. If you are working from home for the first time, or maybe you already work from home but are having trouble getting the most out of your day, here are some tips to boost your productivity:
1. Make sure you have everything you need
Think of everything you could possibly need to get your job done and have it ready and in your workspace. Computer, charger, mouse, pen, notebook, a steaming hot cup of coffee... If you don’t have the proper equipment, you’re going to waste precious time looking for it or just simply procrastinating while you wait for it to appear.
2. Make a to-do list
Before you actually start working, check your email, look at your queue, check whatever you need to check so you can make a to-do list. The list should be in order of priority. You can write this down on paper, use an app like Notes (Apple device), or use a productivity tool like Trello. Whatever you find the most easy to use. I personally like to keep an ongoing and ever changing list for my week as a whole. This allows me to work ahead of schedule if my day allows. It also gives me a good forecast of what to expect and if I need to fill in any gaps for the week.
3. Allow yourself to take breaks
This might sound counter-productive, but this is an incredibly helpful tool. When you give yourself a break it allows your brain to focus more when you get back to work. Make sure you are moving away from your computer and workspace. It can be easy to feel like you should be working when the work is sitting right in front of you. Distance yourself for 10 minutes or longer to make a fresh cup of tea, go for a quick walk, or put a load of dishes away.
4. Turn off notifications
If you have a deadline and you know time is tight, turn off your notifications. It can be difficult to stay focused when you are being pinged on Slack, text messages, email, project management tools, etc. Every time you check on a notification, it can add minutes or hours to your day depending on how many times you were interrupted. Tell your team that you are going heads-down until you finish whatever you are doing and if they need you, you’ll respond when you are done.
5. Implement time blocking
If you find yourself doing the same tasks over and over each week you need to time block. For larger activities you can block entire days. For example: I only create social media posts on Monday. If you find yourself in several meetings throughout the week, block off, say, Tuesday and Thursday mornings only for meetings. By doing this, you’ve set yourself a loose schedule that clusters similar tasks together — which in turn increases your daily expectations and productivity.
Comment below and share if you have any productivity hacks of your own!