How to Work More Efficiently from Home
More people are working from home today for various reasons. For some, it’s a holdover from the pandemic, while others have upgraded their employment to self-owned businesses, independent contracting, or freelancing work.
If you’re finding it difficult to work effectively from home, you’re not alone. Time management issues, loneliness, and digital miscommunication are three of the many potential problems you’ll need to solve.
Without a proactive approach, working from home can even lead to burnout, micromanagement, or career stagnancy.
What Can I Do to Work from Home Effectively?
The best thing you can do is to create a designated space for yourself. It should be a separate office away from your bedroom and living area unless you don’t have that option.
Creating a separate space will make it easier to transition from your home routines to your work responsibilities.
Once you have that home office created, here are some ideas to help you work from home more efficiently.
1. Maintain a Regular Schedule
It helps to have a schedule that you stick to when working from home. When you treat this routine as a regular commute to an offsite office, it’s much easier to maintain a productive work-life balance.
Working from home does give you some extra flexibility in some jobs. You might get to start early or late, leave to manage midday appointments for the kids, or volunteer in your community. Just make sure your boss is okay with what you’re doing.
2. Stick with a Morning Routine
Sure – you could work from home in your pajamas. It feels good to have that change for the first few days, but then your PJs become your new work apparel. Once it isn’t fun, your productivity and efficiency can start lagging.
Sticking to a morning routine makes preparing your mind and body for work much more manageable. Think about your habits, from walking the dog to brushing your teeth, and keep doing it.
3. Set Ground Rules
It never fails – people at home don’t treat your office as a private space. You’ll get random questions throughout the day, ranging from how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon to requests for homework help.
If you share your home with others, set rules early to create specific boundaries to maintain your efficiency. Your working time should be your own and not a time for requests to find shoes, measuring cups, or whatever else someone needs. []
4. Take Your Breaks
It’s tempting to sit in front of your computer all day when working from home. When you have some privacy, a few favorite tunes and coffee can help you get through almost any project.
Even if you’re self-employed, a lunch break and two 15-minute intervals can help you maintain energy levels to the end of the day.
Don’t forget to take your eyes off the screen for a few seconds. Try to stretch at least once an hour and focus on something far away to give your vision a break. It might also be helpful to have blue light blocking glasses to wear.
When you take a break, use the entire time. You don’t need to start work early.
5. Get Out of the House
Although some home-based workers must stay in their office during regular business hours, some people can get out of the house to get stuff done. Movement leads to better circulation, and some natural light with a bit of fresh air can stimulate the senses.
If you can complete your job duties outside, the experience can help you work more efficiently. Even if you can’t leave your desk, take those breaks in the outdoors to recharge your batteries.
6. Block Notifications
When you stop notifications from coming to your mobile device or browser, you’ll start your day with less anxiety. This step prevents external forces or other team members from dictating your mood while going through your morning routine.
You can reclaim your time as your own by stopping emails and social media from their attention demands. Instead of being reactive, you can choose when to check these elements of your life and if you want to engage.
Take Advantage of the Perks of Working from Home
What is it that you like to do? Since you’re working from home, the commute to the office only takes a few seconds. That means you’ve got more time to pursue the activities you love.
That means you could start baking, embrace painting, or any other hobby that interests you. Those breaks that you need to fill – use that time to chase another dream.
Then remember to quash that self-criticism. Everyone has their attention drift at times. If you can refocus your energy and get back on task right away, you’ll be successful with your work-from-home experience.