Whilst many people are industrious machines when working from home, if you’re new to this style of working it can be quite difficult to adapt. Even if you’ve been working from home for years, it can be difficult for high-quality work to come naturally to you day-in, day-out. If you’re looking to increase your efficiency, and really make your days as productive as possible, consider implementing one or two of the following tips.
1. Get up, get dressed and get at it
Most people love the idea of working from home for a number of reasons. “I can lounge in my PJ’s all day!” is a (very justified) thought which is likely to run through anyone’s mind.
But what hinders so many people’s productivity is not getting themselves geared up for a day of working. Just by getting up, washed and dressed, you’re already more productive than if you have an extra hour in bed and skip getting dressed. Imagine you’re going to any ordinary office job – but you save so much time by not having to commute! Get ahead and begin your day productively, and the rest will follow.
2. Create your own work-space
It can be difficult to concentrate if you’re unsettled where you’re working. Sitting on the sofa with your laptop might be comfortable, but is that how you’re going to improve your output?
The likely answer is no, therefore you need to set up a workspace that’s yours to use; you can even set up on your dining table. As long as you can work without too many distractions and can keep everything you need nearby, you can make yourself a decent workstation. The best home offices, however, are in their own rooms and completely void of distractions. If you’ve got a spare room then that will work perfectly. If it’s going spare, you can optimise the space for efficiency and make it completely yours.
3. Keep your work and personal stuff separate
This might be easier said than done, but it’s a really good tip if you’re wanting to improve productivity when working from home. It’s often too easy to become distracted with paying bills, looking at family vacations – or anything that may pop up whilst you’re at home.
Although it’s impossible to avoid it completely, just try and keep anything physical separate. Find a space in your office for your personal to-do list, then only go to it once you’ve finished what you need to for work. This can also work if you’re organising your computer desktop, and stops any crossover when you’re looking for digital files.
4. Make the most of natural light
If you’re tucked away in a small room, then it’s important to not let it become too dark and utilise natural light. This is how it quickly becomes a place you hate to work in, and all your productivity can go out of the window (so to speak).
By giving the room a re-shuffle, ensure nothing is blocking windows so that light can pour around the room. But be careful of where your monitor is positioned to avoid any unwanted glare on the screen! You’d be shocked at how much a bit of light can improve your mood. And if you’re in a good mood, you’ll be more focused on completing your task list.
5. Invest in good equipment
If you’re serious about working from home, then it’s worth considering whether your current equipment may let you down. If you’ve got an old laptop that’s expected to handle all of your workload, its speed could hinder your progress. Not to mention if you’re constantly having to reboot or troubleshoot problems, it can become incredibly frustrating.
If you do a lot of typing, an ergonomic keyboard could save you pain in the future. After all, nothing stops work getting done like a morning at the doctors for wrist problems. It’s not just the tech either – investing in a good chair will look after your back, and ensure you’re comfortable for any potentially long working days.
6. Take a break
Many people are under the impression that staying glued to their workstation all day will make them the most productive. What they don’t consider is how their concentration is effected if they don’t take a break every now and then. Even just going to get a drink can make a difference.
Removing yourself from your work, even just for five minutes, gives your mind and eyes a much-needed rest. Often you’ll leaving troublesome work for a little while, and then coming back to it, can often help you come up with solutions to the problem you were facing.
7. Re-decorate to match your style
If you’re lucky enough to have a real home office all to yourself, get creative and personalise the space. It’s all about being comfortable. One of the major perks of working at home is that you’re not restricted by what you can and can’t do.
Re-paint the walls to reflect a colour that you love – one which relaxes you is best for productivity. If you’ve got an outdated carpet dragging the room down, laying some lightly-coloured wood flooring can give the room a boost and make it look more professional. Optimise the space to make sure everything is where you need it; making it look great is all part of the fun.
Everyone’s working style is different, and it’s okay if not all of the above is applicable to your situation. Take what you can from it and see how you can improve your productivity. Productivity awaits!