If you have been struggling to be productive while working from home, you are not alone. According to a study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, over 3.1 million remote workers have complained of longer workdays due to reduced productivity.
Working from home may have its freedom perks, but it also comes with a lot of distractions. If you want to increase your productivity, you need to know how to eliminate your distractions, while increasing your focus. You need to learn how to create a schedule and have a level of self-discipline so strong that nothing can affect your time management skills.
The problem is, this is easier said than done for most of us. If you are stuck at home with children, pets, and a house that needs cleaning, the last thing you want to do is focus on work.
Thankfully, we've created this handy guide to help you increase your productivity while working from home. Keep on reading to learn more.
Improve Your Time Management Skills
If you feel that you have a lot of tasks to complete, yet at the end of the day you feel like you got nothing done, you may need to improve your time management skills. Time management is the process of visualizing and planning out your day before your day begins.
Start by writing down the most important tasks that need to be completed, such as your content calendar. Then follow that up with all of the other tasks to complete if you have the time.
Allow yourself ample time to get things done, and give some extra time for cushioning. Another key element to time management is to set deadlines and schedule some time for yourself during the day.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a very effective way to increase your productivity, invented by a man named Francesco Cirillo. He believed that by recording your time, you will become much better at time management and focusing.
Simply pick one project that you want to focus on, then set a timer for 25-30 minutes. When the timer goes off, take a 2-5 minute break, then begin again. After four rounds, take a longer break, then you can get back to work again.
Set Up Your Workspace
Working from home does not mean that you should be lounging around the couch or working from your bed. You need to treat it as if you are headed to an office, otherwise, subconsciously you will not take it seriously enough!
Designate an area of your house into your official office. If you live in a smaller apartment, then choose to create your office in your living room space. Make sure this space is a distraction-free zone by eliminating all items that may steal your focus. This could be your cat, dog, tv, smartphone, or messes that you need to clean up.
Even though your commute may have only been to the bathroom, passing the kitchen and to your office, you need to pretend that you are officially at work. This will help your mind to categorize this space as work time and separate the rest of the house from this space.
Have a Morning Routine
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to boost their productivity is they show up at their workspace still in their pajamas. As surprising as it may seem, what you wear can completely affect your productivity levels.
Wearing a sharp outfit for work, even if it is at home, is a form of setting your intentions for the day. Oppositely, if you dress lazy, your intention becomes lazy.
One study discovered that when participants wore more business-style clothing, they felt more trustworthy, competent, and authoritative.
Hack Your Brain to Boost Productivity
Productivity is all about understanding your brain and redirecting your focus. There are many secrets to hacking your brain to boost your productivity, and it all depends on which your subconscious responds to most.
Procrastination, for example, is the result of getting little boosts of dopamine from short term rewards. If you can redirect those dopamine responses from something more productive, then you can trick your own mind out of procrastination.
Meditation is another excellent way to increase your productivity. Not only does it help us to connect to ourselves, but it can also free the mind of excess negative thoughts that affect your productivity.
Clean Up After Work
If you live in a smaller space, you must separate your workspace from your life and pleasure space. Once your workday is over, clean up all of your electronics, papers, and work-related items, and put them away. This will help your mind to fully relax and take in the break.
Otherwise, your subconscious mind may start to focus on work, and make you feel shameful for not working. Eventually, this could lead to burnout as you may never fully rejuvenated and restore your energy.
Set Boundaries In the Household
If you are at your office, friends and family do not just walk by and begin talking to you. This means that the same should apply when you are working from home. If you are surrounded by family, this can make it extremely difficult to keep your focus if they are not respecting your work boundaries.
To fix this, set up a family meeting and go over the new rules while you are working from home. Tell them that even though you are there, they have to act like you are not around within specific hours of the day. This will also help you to be more effective with your time management as you have to keep the work within the hours you mention.
Learn More About How to Increase Your Productivity
As you work to increase your productivity, remember that it is all about trial and error. Some tips may work for others, but it may not be as effective for you.
To learn more about how to increase your productivity, check out our article on how to enhance your career as a freelancer.