How to Maximize Your Productivity When Working from Home
One of the most common struggles in everyday work life is time management. It’s a struggle under normal circumstances, and the issue may exacerbate during extraordinary ones, like everything we’re currently living.
Working from home can make you more productive because it allows you to take ownership of your time and accommodate it to your needs. However, with everything that is going on in the world these days, it is easy to get side-tracked, loose control over how you are spending time, and suddenly find yourself in a chaotic situation.
Despite its many benefits, remote work during times like these has implications we are all learning to deal with. Here are some time management tips for a successful work-from-home experience.
Imagine You’re Going to the Office
It’s a natural temptation to spend the day at home working in your PJs. However, sticking to a routine is better for productivity. Plan your day as if you had to go to the office. Set your alarm, wake up with plenty of time to take a shower, get ready, and have an excellent breakfast before you start working. Having a clear routine signals your brain and lets it know it’s time to work, helping you get into a productive state. Oh. And don’t skip your lunch break.
Plan Your Day with a To-Do List
Before you jump into things, take a moment to put together a list of your to-dos for the day. It will help you organize your day better and keep you from losing sight of essential tasks.
Learn to Set Boundaries
Part of the success of working from home is learning how to set boundaries for yourself, your teammates, and everyone living in your household. First, find a designated workspace at home, define your work hours, and communicate them to your house members.
Talk to your team members to define what hours work best for meetings and what hours should be reserved to focus on getting work done. It will help avoid wasting valuable time on unplanned calls or other non-essential activities.
Take Charge of Your Calendar
Leaving your calendar wide open makes it easy for others to block your time whenever it’s convenient for them. Block time on your calendar for your daily tasks and honor it the same way you would treat a meeting with a client. It will give you a better structure to spend your time wisely every day.
Don’t Add to the Noise
Let’s be frank. Not every meeting needs to be meeting. At some point, everyone has been in endless meetings that could quickly be taken care of through email. Yes, teams need to meet, but there needs to be a balance because that time is likely to be better spent getting actual work done. Everyone is busy, so it’s best to work with your team to get a real feel of how often you should meet to stay connected and engaged without interrupting important tasks or getting in the way of deliverables.
Make Room for Breaks
You might think that breaks take time away from work but, not taking breaks can take a hit on your productivity. Did you know that your focus time decreases after 2 hours of working non-stop? Take advantage of those minutes of free time between meetings to take a breather and avoid trying to slip in more work. Schedule 15-minute breaks every 45 minutes of work to get up and stretch, get some water, or eat a quick snack if you need to recharge.