5 ways to stay productive when working from home.

5 ways to stay productive when working from home

5 ways to stay productive when working from home.

Working from home can be a real treat. No long and stuffy commute to endure, no having to make small talk with colleagues you barely know at the tea point, and well, actually only having to make tea for one instead of for the whole office when you just fancy a cuppa. However, with all of the benefits of working from home, there are a whole load of distractions that have the potential to halve your productivity, as well as the possibility of ending up working way into your evening in an attempt to make up for all that time you lost getting yourself into an accidental FRIENDS binge watching session mid-afternoon.

So, here are 5 ways to stay productive when working from home.

Get out of bed.

No matter how tempting it is to haul your laptop onto your bed at 08:59am and stay snuggled under the duvet while you make a start on your emails, we can guarantee it won't make for a very productive morning. It's best to get yourself up at a similar time you normally would for work (give or take your travel time), shower, make yourself a cup of coffee and get dressed. You need to ensure your body - and mind - still think it's work time, not sleep time.

Then, get yourself sat at a desk rather than slouched on your bed or the sofa. If you don't have a desk in your home, head to one of your favourite coffee spots and set yourself up there - not only will getting out of the house, the fresh air, and the coffee leave you feeling more awake and motivated for the day, some say having the background noise can actually increase your concentration levels.


Focus on one task at a time.

Trying to juggle multiple tasks at once may make you feel a little bit like super-woman, but it can end up being more counter-productive than it is productive. Particularly if you're constantly jumping from one thing to another, you'll just end up with 90% of your jobs 90% completed - and that's no use to anyone, right?

Try using the Pomodoro Technique to help you focus on one task at a time. If you're not familiar, it's a very simple productivity method, whereby you choose one task that you would like to complete, and then you set yourself a timer for 25 minutes.

During this 25 minutes, you work on this task, and this task only with no distractions. No emails, no checking your phone, no talking to anyone else, nothing. Then, after the 25 minutes is up, you take a 5 minute break. This is one Pomodoro. After 4 Pomodoro's (or until you have completed your task), you can allow yourself a longer break of normally up to 30 minutes, when you reset and start again - whether that be on the same project, or the next item on your to-do list!

Allocate set times for emails.

Similar to the idea behind the above point and the Pomodoro technique, there is nothing more distracting and disruptive to your work flow than your emails and having a notification constantly pinging at you at the top of your screen every five minutes. We're all totally guilty of it - as soon as you see you have a new email, you switch to your inbox to see who wants what, and then you totally lose where you were and what you were doing before.

It then gets even worse if you start replying to emails, because as soon as you send one out, another one will just come right back in, right? Instead, try setting aside 10 minutes every hour for example, and use this time to read and reply to any emails that you need to during this time, and then shut them down again.

Minimise distractions.

Hide your laptop away in a drawer so you can't be tempted to pop Netflix on in the background. Delete social media apps from your phone. Arrange any deliveries for lunch time if you can. Tell yourself you'll do the washing during one of your breaks or at the end of your working day. Create a music playlist the night before so you don't waste the first thirty minutes of your day choosing what you're going to listen to. Try and keep your pets in another room - we all love our cats, but a kitty on your keyboard while you're trying to work probably isn't the best situation.

Work when you're at your most productive.

One of the benefits to working from home is the added flexibility and being able to manage your own time a little more. Identify the times of the day when you know you're at your most productive, and plan and structure your day around these times. For example, if you know you're a lot more productive and focused in the morning, try starting your day earlier than you would in the office, so that you can make more use of this time and get more things done. This would also allow you to take a longer break in the afternoon if you need to.

How do you keep yourself focused and motivated when working from home?