Do you find it hard to stay productive working from home? This post is going to give you a few ways to eliminate distractions and get your work done at home.
I don’t know about you, but when I started working remotely in March, I had the hardest time staying focused.
Being at home made me want to get up throughout the day and do things around the house.
Before we found ourselves in a global pandemic, I thought my ultimate goal was to work from home. Now I’m not so sure anymore.
There are so many benefits to working from home. You get to work in a comfortable environment, wear what you want, and set your schedule to work around things going on in your life.
On the other hand, you have to have a certain level of discipline to work in this environment.
No one is checking to see if you’re on task, and social media will derail your whole day if you’re not careful.
The only way to have a successful work from home experience is to find ways to motivate yourself, remove distractions, and be productive.
If you work from home regularly, do freelance work, run a home-based business, or work from home due to the pandemic, keep reading to learn how to be more productive working from home.
Create a morning routine
If you were going into an office each day, you would have a morning routine, right? Working from home is no different.
A morning routine helps you create habits and signals to your brain that these are the things that you do before work.
Morning routines can include anything that makes you happy and gets you prepared for work. A few options are to work out, journal, clean, or read before work.
This routine sets the tone of my day, and I know it’s time to get to work when these things are complete.
Think about what you need to do to get in the mindset to work. Create your morning routine and try it out a couple of days a week.
When you have your routine down, make a habit of sticking to it every day.
Use a planner
Planning is a great way to stay on task and be more productive working from home. Using a planner takes the guesswork out of what you need to do for the day.
The day seems to run more smoothly when you know what you should be working on and the amount of time it should take.
A planner increases your productivity while working from home by keeping you focused on what you need to get done.
Take some time each morning to plan your day. Cross things off of your list as you complete them, and you will be motivated you to complete the next task.
Related: The Adulting Planner
Create an inviting workspace
The tip that has helped me be the most productive is to create an inviting workspace.
There is something about a clean desk that instantly makes me ready to work. A cluttered work area decreases productivity.
A messy desk is a distraction, and it hinders creativity. Not to mention the time it takes away from your task to look for something under a huge pile.
Take some time today to straighten up your workspace. File papers away, organize your pens, remove anything that doesn’t belong on your desk, and add a candle or flower as a finishing touch.
If your desk is clear, your mind will be clear and ready to work as well.
Related: The Get It Together, Girl! System
The next tip is to batch your tasks throughout the day to increase your productivity.
Batching tasks is a way to work more efficiently by completing related tasks together. Completing similar tasks at the same time increases productivity and minimizes multitasking.
Grouping tasks together means your brain doesn’t have to switch back and forth between tasks.
When I start my workday, I read and sort all of my emails, making a note of actions that I need to take later.
After I finish reading my emails, I move on to respond to all support tickets. When I finish the support tickets, I move to the next task.
Working this way keeps me organized and helps me stay on task.
When you do the same thing over and over again, you become faster and more efficient.
If you haven’t tried batching your tasks, you’re missing out. Try it for the next week and let me know if it helps you become more productive.
Related: Build A Better Week Toolkit
The world today is full of distractions. One of the biggest distractions has to be our phones.
Scrolling on social media or checking email at random times takes up so much of our day.
If you want to be more productive working from home, you should do your best to limit distractions.
Set your phone to do not disturb during your work hours or leave it out of your office altogether.
Other distractions during the day include family and friends. Some people don’t understand that working from home is still work.
Imagine being deep into your workflow, and your friend randomly wants to grab a coffee. It sounds so tempting, but your schedule is pretty full today.
You can either stop working and meet up with your friend or decline the offer.
A better solution is to communicate your work schedule to your loved ones. Let them know that you’re not available to leave work in the middle of the day unless you have made plans.
Limit distractions in your home office and follow up with your friends when you clock out for the day.
Taking breaks throughout the day is just as important as the work that you do. It seems like breaks would decrease your productivity, but it’s the opposite.
Walking away from your desk gives you a chance to clear your mind and refocus. Your brain gets a chance to rest, and you can take a breath before working again.
I love going for walks during my breaks. The fresh air and the sunshine rejuvenate my mind.
If walking isn’t your thing, find a puzzle or a coloring book to work on for 15 minutes in addition to taking a break for a healthy lunch.
Do not skip breaks while working from home. Stepping away from your work for a few minutes each day will help you avoid burnout and improve your mental and physical health.
Related: Time Blocking 101
If you’re like me, you aren’t the only one at home during the workday.
It is crucial to establish boundaries with your family members that will help you stay productive while working from home.
My husband has worked from home for the past three years. When I started working remotely due to COVID-19, we had to learn how to work from home together.
During the day, he has his side of the office, and I have mine.
We both use headphones if we are listening to music, and we communicate with each other before we make or take any phone or video calls.
Figure out a system that works for your situation. Place a sign on the door or set specific times that you will work without interruptions.
Communicate the plan clearly and stick to it. Establishing boundaries should help you make the most out of working from home.
Related: Master Your Life
Leave the office when it’s time to clock out
When working from home, there has to be some semblance of work-life balance. It’s so easy to keep working past your scheduled clock-out time.
One thing that helps break up your day and give you something to look forward to is leaving your home office or workspace when the workday is over.
In turn, this makes you more productive because you know that there is a certain amount of work that you must get done before you clock out.
Set a work schedule for yourself with a start and end time just like you would have at a traditional job.
When the day is over, make a note of what needs to be completed tomorrow and leave the office.
Enjoy the rest of the day with your family and friends, or take a bit of time for self-care. You have earned it!
Related: Productivity Powerhouse
The bottom line
Working from home is not all fun and games. You have to create a plan and have the discipline to stay focused on your work.
These tips are small habits that will help you become more efficient during the day.
Start implementing these tips one at a time, and you are on your way to being the most productive version of yourself.
If you’re looking for more resources to help you stay productive while working from home, check out the 2020 Ultimate Productivity Bundle.
It is jam-packed with courses, books, and workbooks to help you stay productive and achieve your goals.
Leave a comment below to let me know your biggest challenge with being productive while working from home.