Over the past few years, I’ve spent a large portion of my time studying and working from home. During those periods, I’ve picked up a number of tips and tricks that enable me to be more productive, and avoid getting lost on the internet all day (come on, we’ve all been there!). Here are some key steps to working from home and procrastinating less!
Take fewer coffee breaks
When I’m working from home (which is pretty much all the time now), I find that my biggest distraction is the kettle. Whether it’s a coffee or a tea break, that hot water provides a great procrastination tool. And I definitely use it when I’m completing a particularly difficult or tedious task.
As a result, don’t be like me and try to take fewer coffee breaks, or schedule them. That way, you won’t end up wasting time in the kitchen. You can also use coffee breaks as a reward. I.e. I always tell myself that I’ll have a tea when I’ve finished editing a set of photos, or scheduling some things for pinterest!
Try and create a designated working space
If you’re like me and don’t have a desk (I know, I know- I’m working on this!) then try and have a little space where you can work from free from distractions. For me, that’s at the kitchen table. But for you, it might be a small corner of the lounge or a table in your bedroom.
Try to avoid sitting down on the bed or your sofa if possible as it’s all to easy to turn on the TV and get into a more relaxed mode. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean it’s the right time to relax! Conversely, once your work day is over, it will be hard to relax and ‘switch off’ if you’ve spent all day working in your ‘relaxation space’.
Have a routine
Before I set myself a routine I would sit down at my computer. I would sit there for hours on end, only to find myself sat there four hours later on some weird part of YouTube that probably shouldn’t exist. Making a routine will only help you in the long run to be more productive and produce better quality work.
Having a routine means that you should schedule in food breaks, as well as time for exercise. Blending time for work and personal time is a bad idea and can be exhausting. As such, it’s best to have a routine and practice self discipline for keeping to it!
Get dressed (and out of your pjs)
Unless it’s the weekend, I almost always wear some nice clothes to work in (even if the only person to see me will be my dog!) I find that dressing like you’re not going to lounge around all day definitely helps you to get in the mind set of being productive.
In the evening, I tend to change back in some leggings to get me out of the ‘work mindset’. Although changing clothes won’t drastically alter your mindset, it definitely helps you get into the habit of having a routine!
As an avid list-maker, I’m all about making to-do lists. And then making lists to make the to-do lists! That being said, I honestly do think that one of the best ways to visualize the most important tasks is to sit down at the beginning of the day and list them in order of importance (and not how interesting they are). Setting yourself goals for the day helps you to stay on top of your workload and get everything done (even if you don’t have the pressure of colleagues or a boss).
If you currently work from home, even if you’re oly working from home for part of your time, then you know that it can get a little lonely when your interactions with other people are online. Make sure to schedule plenty of time to spend with real life people (on your day off or to co-work).
The number one key to working from home!
Last but not least, I’ve saved the best until last because I feel that this is easily the most important step in being productive while working from home. Although you may be in your house and home, you should take care to separate your home life from your work life.
That means sticking to your routine (ie, not getting distracted by cleaning when you’re completing a boring task) and plenty of self-discipline (something I personally struggle with all of the time!).