At first glance, working from home seems like a sweet deal: no time lost commuting, your day starts and ends when you decide, and you get to work from the convenience of your home.
But like many things that are great in theory, there’s a catch. At home, you quickly discover there are new challenges to account for like time management, too many distractions, and inconsistent work habits. In fact, these obstacles seem to rear their ugly head time and time again.
Here is a simple way to create a routine that boosts your productivity when you work from home:
Focus on Time Management
Pay careful attention to your day to day schedule, and see what adjustments you can make.
For starters, tackle your to-do list, keep the list of items to just a few, and put the most important tasks at the top of your list. Less is more here—long to-do lists clutter your thoughts, and set you up for failure.
Plan ahead and write your list the night before—it gives you one less thing to worry about in the morning. Go to bed early, aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep because a good night’s rest goes a long way. Sleep deprivation slows the rate of information your brain can process while hindering memory retention, and negatively impacting your overall mood.
Clear Your Mind
A trusty routine in the morning is as important as sleep, so how you choose to spend your first waking moments sets the tone for the day.
Before you look at your phone or start on your to-do list, give your mind and body the time it needs to fully wake and declutter. A morning workout lowers blood pressure and is a great de-stressor, journaling allows you to unload mental baggage, and meditation helps you gain control of your mind—pick what works best for you!
No matter what, stick to your morning routine and hold yourself accountable. Constant practice increases work output and creativity.
Do Important Tasks First
Now that you have a clear head and tasks in mind, you are ready to get to work.
Start with the hard stuff. Resist the temptation to complete trivial items first, and instead, go with the most important objective of the day. You know, the one you have been dreading and putting off for weeks on end? Yup, that’s the one…
Focus on this one task, but don’ juggle too much at one time. Multitasking means more work for your brain and increases your chances of burnout. On the other hand, a single task approach holds your attention longer and boosts creativity.
Don’t let distractions impede your process as well—put away your phone, keep opened tabs to a minimum, and switch your laptop to Do Not Disturb when you need time to unwind.
Make it a Habit
These simple adjustments are of little to no cost and they add stability to an otherwise unconventional workspace. See what works best for you, be consistent, and you’ll make an impact on your productivity in no time.