Working from home has so many perks. No travel time or being stuck in traffic every day. Being able to set your own hours. Having the flexibility to add in extra little things during your day like going to a mid-morning yoga session.
But, it can also have its difficulties. Working from home involves a lot of discipline. It’s easy to get sidetracked….that load of washing, the dirty shower, kids wanting snacks or people dropping in forgetting that you’re at home working.
You are your own boss so you are accountable to yourself. Eeek! So you need to stay as focused as possible and make sure you keep on track to reaching your goals.
If you have a space that you can dedicate for your work, it will help give you a distinction from work and home time. An office space is ideal. That way you can shut the door and get in the zone.
Making your workspace as lovely to work in as possible can also help you with your productivity e.g. inspirational images, plants, a clean space.
The first thing I do when I sit down at my desk is to plan exactly what I’m going to do that day.
What do I want to achieve? How much am I expecting to finish?
Personally, I’m a paper and pen list-making girl. I love the satisfaction of crossing things off as I finish a task. But, if you’d prefer to schedule digitally there are heaps of great programs to do it e.g. Trello, Asana. I’ve tried using them myself but always end up using a paper diary…maybe I’m just old school 😉
The trick is to make your daily goals realistic. If you give yourself too much to do then you’ll never get through it and you’ll end up feeling disheartened. If you feel like you’re getting stuff done then that’s when your productivity will soar.
You can either plan your week ahead or each day as you go. Whatever works for you. I usually have a couple of different lists going. A big picture plan of all tasks I have on and I then break them down into daily tasks.
By having everything written down it will make you more accountable
My biggest problem with working from home is that I enjoy my work so much that the hours can fly by and I can literally go hours and hours without taking a break. It’s not a sustainable way to work so what I find works well is scheduling in breaks.
It’s different for me each day depending on what I have going on but I’ll write my breaks in my daily plan. I find it forces me to take a break and when I do I don’t feel guilty.
You’ll find that there are certain times of the day that you work the best and are most productive. Try and schedule all your tasks that involve the most brain power at those times.
If you try and get difficult tasks done when your brain is only running at 50% capacity then it’s going to be 200% harder. It’s all about working smarter not harder!
Batching work is a really great way of being productive in your day. Things like scheduling your social media will take up a lot less time if you batch a week’s worth of posts rather than trying to post every single day. This works for me with all parts of my business, even designing.
Staying motivated can definitely be challenging, but hopefully, these tips to staying productive when working from home will help you next time you get distracted.