Five years ago the concept of working from home wasn’t one that was really mainstream. There were some entrepreneurs who might have done it, and some people were allotted the occasional work-at-home Friday from their employer, but it wasn’t a significant workplace trend.
Now, it’s incredibly common to work from home, whether you are self-employed or you’re a remote worker for your company.
It sounds like the ideal setup, but it’s not without potential pitfalls. One of the biggest issues many people face when they work at home is how they can stay on track and productive, even with all of the distractions of their home surrounding them.
The following are easy ways to stay productive in your at-home work environment, no matter how tempting it can be to veer off track.
Don’t Work Where You’re Comfortable
One of the biggest ways you’re going to get off track with your work? Working on the sofa or even worse, in your bed.
Don’t let yourself get too comfortable. Try to always work sitting up, and preferably at a desk or table.
Use a Timer
Sometimes it can be good to have a little pressure on ourselves when we work, but this isn’t necessarily something you always get when you work from home.
Using a virtual timer can be a great way to put just a bit of added pressure on yourself to finish things in a timely way, and also help make sure you’re not wasting time on unnecessary tasks. You can use a timer to plan out your day in detail and stick to a set schedule, more like what you would follow in a traditional work environment.
Take Advantage of Tools That Make Your Life Easier
The key to working at home is to work smarter, not necessarily harder. You have a world of tools and resources at your fingertips so find the options that work for you and help you remain efficient.
For example, if you’re a digital marketer, find SEO keyword tools and data tools that you can use quickly to make your life easier. If you’re in sales, make sure you have the necessary communication tools to speak with your clients easily.
Whatever it is, take advantage of the technology that’s around you and can make your life easier and more productive.
Give Yourself a Start and End Time
If you work in an office, you typically go in and leave at a set time each day. Sure, those times might vary a bit based on the specific project you might be working on at the time, but in general, there is a schedule.
Re-create this even if you work at home. This will help you maintain a sense of work-life balance, and keep you from either putting things off (because you’ll know you have to be finished by a certain time each day) or letting yourself be in constant work mode.
Find a Way to Transition After Work
Most people who work in an office every day have some rituals they follow to unwind after a long day. That might mean they go to the gym or meet up with friends for drinks. You should follow a similar plan if you work from home.
You need to find a way to transition out of work mode and into home-made, even if the settings are one and the same.
You might go for a walk in the evening, workout, or leave your house to meet up with friends.
Working from home is undoubtedly full of benefits, but it’s not a perfect scenario at the same time. It’s important to find things that work for you to ensure you stay on track, accomplish what you need to, and are successful in your home work environment.