Working from home for many of us is becoming the new normal. For some that sounds like the dream, the short commute to your workspace, the extra time to eat your breakfast, swapping your smart wear for something more comfortable among many other things. Of course, working from your own home has its benefits, but be mindful of the distractions that aren't part of everyday office life.
5 tips to stay productive and avoid distractions:
- Switch off the TV and avoid household chores during the day:
When working from home it can be very easy to be distracted by leaving the TV on in the background, and even easier to start washing those leftover dirty dishes that accumulated last night. Leave them until tomorrow and turn off the TV! Switching between areas of your life and multitasking during your workday has been scientifically proven to reduce your productivity. If you want to stay 100% productive, you should only be stopping to eat lunch, going for walks and fresh air, or checking in with your family.
- Effectively manage your inbox and messages:
Turn off those message notifications that pop up on your screen. Although extensive communication with your colleagues during the day is essential whilst working from home, flicking from your current task, and getting distracted by the flurry of messages your colleagues are sending is not productive. I’d suggest setting aside five minutes every half hour to respond, or in your morning meeting agree on focussed hours where no-one should be sending messages.
- Create a set office:
Although working from your sofa can be tempting, designate a home office (preferably with a door) to separate yourself from outside distractions. Only use the home office space when you’re working to help give you the feeling of being back in the office, giving you a clear divide between your working life and your home life.
- Deal with your personal phone:
Many workers have said that checking social media is a huge distraction whilst working from home. It's all too easy to open Instagram, flick through some photos and before you know it 20 minutes have disappeared. Turn your phone face-down, turn it off or put it on vibrate. Don’t let your phone steal your precious time!
- Post your schedule:
Maybe post this on the outside of your door to let your family/children see when it is that you are free, and when you are working and shouldn’t be distracted. A schedule helps your working day to seem more official, so people are more likely to respect your boundaries.
It can take some time adjusting to working from your home but with small steps you can be just as productive as you are in the office if not more! What helps you work better from home?