Working from home, while awesome (who doesn’t love working in pajamas?), comes with it’s own set of challenges. We’ve been out of the office for over a month now, and through trial-and-error we’ve nailed down some strategies to help us be the most productive we can. Check out the video below for our quick productivity tips, and the write-ups underneath for an expanded version.
Cultivate a more focused mentality
Working from home can offer opportunities for improved productivity but also comes with some unique challenges in the form of distractions or the ability to focus. Whether it’s a phone ringing, a knock at the door, or the neighbour’s lawn mower breaking the sound barrier, distractions abound and this can make it difficult to direct your attention on the things you need to get done.
Creating a list of tasks you aspire to complete that day is a good practice to start in the morning. Setting your intention early on in the day helps to give you clear direction as the rest of the day unfolds. Oftentimes, structuring items on your to-do list by order of priority can help you focus on the tasks that require the most mental energy and allows you to complete those first.
Finally, working on one task at a time helps you concentrate your energy and focus into a single objective. This ability to “hyper-focus” can allow you to complete tasks with greater efficiency and allows you to really immerse yourself in what you’re doing. This often means not just completing tasks faster, but coming out with a stronger and more well-rounded finished product as well.
When I’m working from home – global pandemic or otherwise – I need to go for at least one walk a day in order to stay productive. Listening to a podcast or some music is nice, but also just taking in the sounds of everything going on around you can help clear your head.
I find that these walks will help to reframe what you’ve been working on and keep you from getting bogged down. Taking at least 15 to 30 minutes away from technology will not only give you a new frame of mind it will give you some much-needed exercise.
One other thing that helps with productivity when you’re working from home is investing in a good pair of slippers. Comfy feet makes such a difference.
Of course, freedom and flexibility are important too; however, one may find it easier to stay productive by first defining the rules by which they are allowed to play in. To set the boundaries; then play within them.
For example, one could allocate the last five minutes of every half-hour to check one’s phone. This works well because you have a clearly defined rule of when you can check it. If the time is outside your window, you can’t check your phone. Simple. You can also set up alarms so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking the time.
It also works well because it is realistic. Most people are unable to stay focused on a task for too long. So a five-minute break every half-hour is both achievable and a good reward for staying productive.
In an ideal world, those five minutes would be spent getting up and stretching or doing something physical. But let’s face it, if you were THAT type of person, you’d already be doing that.
Here’s the main takeaway: Rules are good, use them.
Listen to your body
We get so wrapped up in our heads thinking about tasks and deadlines, it can be easy to forget to check in with our bodies. Are you holding tension in your neck right now? What is your jaw doing? Are your shoulders supported, or are they going to start aching in a few hours? Making it a habit to listen to your body as a preventative measure can save a lot of time and money (hello chiro appointments!) down the line. When your body has what it needs, you’ll be able to focus better, too.
Sometimes, listening to your body can mean checking in with yourself emotionally, and being honest about what you’re feeling. If you feel anxious in the pit of your stomach, your shoulders are tight, your hands are sweating, but you insist you’re feeling fine? There might be something larger at play. Take the time and be gentle with yourself, you won’t regret it!
To wrap up
Well there you have our top individual tips for being productive while working at home. Hopefully they are useful to you, or better yet you can adopt and adapt them into your own personal strategy. If you need a hand with any digital marketing or search engine optimization, we would to have a chat about your needs.