Working from home for most people is a dream come true. You don’t have to deal with traffic, you can usually set your own work hours, and best of all is you can spend more time with your loved ones.
While it’s nice not having a boss breathing down your neck 24/7, this can also lead to you being less productive as well.
Therefore learning how to be more productive when working from home is something many people struggle with. You are essentially your own boss, which means you’ll have to discipline yourself to accomplish whatever work you need to get done.
Below are 10 tips I believe you will find very helpful to boost your overall work productivity while at home — which will also free up more time to let you do other things you want to do.
1. Plan Your Day Beforehand
To truly become productive while working at home, it will take some planning ahead of time to get the most out of each and every day.
What I like to do is every weekend when I have more free time on my hands, is I will plan out exactly what I need to get done for the entire week coming up. I then create a simple to do list and check off each task as I complete it.
You may also want to make a daily to do list instead, as well as a weekly one. This will allow you to simply plan the night before what you want to accomplish the next day, instead of having to worry about it the next morning.
Having a physical list in front of you every day will keep you stay focused, feeling less stressed, and overall greatly increase your productivity at the end of the day.
2. Have A Routine That Works best For You
One of the many benefits of working from home, is you don’t have to wake up early and have the same hours like everyone else who works a normal 9-5 job.
If you feel you can be most productive say during the evening time when everyone else is asleep then do that. The important thing to remember though is to fine a schedule that fits your lifestyle, then stick to it.
You don’t want to be working early one day, then late the next one. This will eventually result in you telling yourself, “I’ll do my work when I have time later” — which usually ends up with you procrastinating all day long.
Therefore by creating regular working hours at home (much like you have at work), your brain will eventually associate those hours as “work time”, — making you more in the mood to work and get things done.
3. Have A Specific Place You Will Do All Your Work From
Having a particular place you set up and do your work from is crucial if you want to be more productive. While this can essentially be anywhere you want, I strongly urge you not to make your bed or lazy boy your office.
While there’s nothing wrong with working in your bed from time to time, it’s definitely not something you want to get into the habit of doing.
The best environment you can have is usually a place without much noise, proper lighting, and a clutter free desk to work from.
Again it’s totally up to you where you want to work, and you may want to experiment with a few different places until you find the that perfect spot. Just make sure once you do find that spot, you treat it as if you were in a office at your real job.
For me I have a spare bedroom where I do all my work — which makes it nice since I can close the door and focus. Then once I’ve finished working, I get up and go somewhere else — that way I don’t trick my mind into associating the place I work as also a place I should relax too.
4. Minimize As Many Distractions As You Can
While working at home means you can basically do anything you want whenever you want, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Like I mentioned just a second ago, you want a dedicated time you plan to do most of your work related task. This also means that during this time, you want to try to minimize as many distractions as you possibly can.
A few examples of these can be:
Pets: The best way to deal with your pets is to make sure you take them out before you start working.
This means taking them outside to use the restroom, giving them plenty of food and water, and lastly loving on them before you get started. Now if your pet will sit quietly next to you that’s one thing, however if they are likely to bother you — simply close the door and act like your not at home.
Family Members: While family time is very important and is something you should never neglect in my opinion, you also want to make it clear to them that during certain times of the day you would like to not be disturbed.
What works great for me is my wife will clean houses in the morning, so I can have the house to myself and get my task done. For you it may be working while your kids are at school — then spending the rest of the day with them after school ends.
Electronic devices: This is a big one that distracts many people (myself included), and is something that can easily hinder your productivity.
So what you want to do is turn off all your TVs, not play loud annoying music, and not having social media run in the background of your computer. Now I would say turn your phone to plane mode or off, but you never know when someone might call for an emergency — therefore I would just put it out of arms reach until you’ve finished working.
5. Pretend Like You’re Still Going To Work
Being able to work from home is nice because you don’t necessarily have to brush your hair, put on nice clothes, and eat breakfast like you work normally would.
However if you get into the habit of just sitting in your PJ’s all day, you may very likely find yourself feeling a little too relaxed and hoping right back into bed.
So in order to become more productive, you want to still act like you are going to work — that way you can force your body and mind into that working mode mentality.
A good way to do this is take a shower, eat a healthy breakfast, put on clothes that are nice enough to go out in public with, and even drinking a cup of coffee to get you ready for the day ahead.
6. Find Something That Will Light A Fire Underneath You
When you have days you can literally work all day at home without worrying about someone coming in to disturb you, it can make you start to work a much slower pace.
Well basically you think since you have the entire day to get your task done, you delay doing your work and do things you would much rather be doing like watching TV or playing with your pet.
What helps me get things accomplished every day is my wife essentially having two jobs. She has a part-time job in the morning, then later in the afternoon she has her full time job as a care giver. Since she can’t drive, I have to take her everywhere she needs to go.
So I know in the back of my mind while she is at her part-time job, this is the only chance I will have to really sit down focus and get things done. This basically helps me get things done more quickly — very much like having a boss give me a deadline to get work done during the day.
You’ll be surprised at how much better you become at managing your time when you also have a very busy schedule taking care of other important task throughout the day.
7. Take Several Breaks During Your Work Period
While you may think taking breaks would make you less productive, you’ll find that if you work non-stop all the time eventually you’re going to burn yourself out.
It has been proven that the most productive people in the world focus hard for a set period of time, then take a short break to recharge and come back with a relaxed mind.
You can experiment to see what works best with you, but a common way many people like to go about doing this is by working for 1 hour then taking a short 20-minute break.
It’s also important to note that when I say take a break I don’t mean sit in front of your computer and watch YouTube or read Facebook.
It’s best to get up from your desk and do something that doesn’t involve a screen — that way you can relax your eyes and mind at the same time.
This could be doing something like:
- Taking a short walk around your neighborhood
- Cooking or eating lunch
- Getting out of the house to run some errands
- Spending time with your loved ones or pets
Just be certain that you don’t get too comfortable during your break and turn that 20 minutes into an hour. Try to take one just long enough to make yourself feel recharged and ready to work hard again when you return.
8. Take Care Of Your Body
One of the best ways to increase your productivity not only at home, but with every day life is to basically take care of your body.
This means adopting a healthier eating habit, exercising on a regular basis, and making sure you get plenty of sleep every night.
You will be surprised at how much better you’ll feel if you do nothing but exercise for merely 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
I know personally on days I don’t exercise I feel somewhat sluggish, but if I take an early morning jog then work right after that — I feel more energized, focused, and overall a lot better.
Like I also mentioned, it’s just as important to eat healthy as it is to exercise. If while working you eat a bunch of junk food like chips and burgers, then drink sodas on top of that — you’re going to feel more like sleeping and being lazy rather than being productive with your work.
So the next time you go the grocery store, buy some fruits, nuts, and healthy meals — that way during your breaks while you’re working you’ll be able to fuel your body with proper nutrients to get you through the entire day.
9. Learn To Wake Up Early
Many of you have probably heard that the most successful people in the world usually wake up very early to start their days, and for good reason.
They see this a way to get a head start to things they need to get done, without having too many distractions get in the way.
While you of course don’t have to wake up extremely early (like 4am) — you may want to try and wake up an hour earlier than you normally would.
This would give you time to get some work done without your family bothering you, or you can do something else like exercise or eat breakfast before you sit down and get busy.
10. Reward Yourself After You’ve Completed A Goal
Last but not least, one of the best ways to increase your productivity is to reward yourself after you’ve accomplished a certain task or goal.
By giving yourself little treats, you make yourself more motivated to get your work done so you can enjoy whatever reward you plan on giving yourself.
This can be whatever you like, but here’s a good example of how you can go about doing this.
You can tell yourself you will go out to eat with your spouse, only after you’ve done all your work. If you didn’t accomplish your intended goals, then put it off for tomorrow night — just don’t tell her ;).
Or if you have a big project or goal that has taken you months to complete — you can plan a 4-5 vacation to the beach or mountains to relax and unwind after a job well done.
For me I love to play video games, but at the same time I know how distracting they are. So I tell myself I will only play them if I finish my work — otherwise I’ll just put it off for tomorrow.
As you can see learning how to be more productive when working from home isn’t all that hard. It does take some self-discipline, the right mindset, and having a clear goal of what you need to do each and every day.
I will say having a job that lets you work from home and be more independent is nice, but in the end you still are obligated to check in with someone and are told when you can and cannot take time off for vacation.
Therefore if you’re looking for a job you can do at home and can also give you the ultimate freedom to do what you want and when you want — why not try start an online business?
You can basically enjoy all the benefits that working from home offers, and be your own boss.
I will warn you though it does take hard work and dedication to make it happen. After reading this post on how to be more productive though, I’m sure you wouldn’t have a problem at running one — and it’s really not all that complicated either.
Find out where millions of people including myself learned the necessary skills to create a business about subjects were passionate about. Now many of these people are able to work from home full time.
So what did you think about my tips on how to be more productive? Do you have any strategies or tips that have personally helped you get work done at a faster rate?
Let me know in the comments below. 🙂