Whether you run a commercial enterprise out of your home or work remotely on occasions, you have, in all likelihood, struggled at some point with the many distractions and temptations working from home offers.
There are advantages to working from home, of course: reduced commute time, not having to buy gas or meals in expensive office canteens, and being able to stumble out of your bedroom in your PJs, grab a coffee and be straight to work.
Working from home can also result in increased productivity– studies have shown that more than 90% of people found that working from home helped them to achieve that elusive work-life balance, and made them work much harder in a shorter amount of time.
However, working from home brings many distractions. The dog wants a walk or to be let out in the yard. The laundry needs doing. The kids are running around making lots of noise, and that gripping Netflix documentary is calling you.
Here, we are going to look at how you can manage the distractions that working from home offers so that you can work smarter, not harder.
Optimize Your Office For Productivity
How many of us who work from home actually have – and use – a home office? While there might be one, it might never get used. In fact, some people might not even realize they have one in the making.
In the event you don’t have a room that you can use, perhaps look at turning your summer house or a corner of your bedroom into a dedicated and distraction-free work area. If you simply can’t squeeze one in anywhere, and it is something that you know will help you for many years to come, it may be worth looking into moving house.
This is not always financially or logistically possible, but if it is, there are plenty of reasons to choose fixed rate home loan to help you with your purchase.
Your office doesn’t have to be anything grand. It should be quiet – preferably away from areas of high traffic. Paint the walls a soothing shade – green is supposed to be good for encouraging productivity. Make sure, if possible, you have plenty of natural light in the room – no one wants to feel like they are working in a cave!
Stay Productive By Taking Regular Breaks
One of the best productivity methods out there is the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a coveted productivity hack that has spawned several free apps too. What this technique does is it breaks down your work into 20-minute blocks. It’s followed up with a five-minute break in between each block of work. It is essential that you take these breaks, to keep you on task and working to your best.
The idea with this technique is to focus on one task for that 20 minutes. After that you can take a break – either physically or mentally. What I mean by this is use that time to grab some fresh air, make some coffee or tea. Or you can do some other mindless task or read a book. But right after that be ready to be back at your desk at the end of the break.
Stay Productive By Getting Comfortable
Being productive is a balance between working comfortably and over-working. You do not want to end up with an aching back, but not so comfortable that you are dozing off.
Invest in a good office chair and make sure you are sitting in an ergonomically correct position at your desk. You could also look at a standing desk. Purchasing an anti-glare monitor for your computer can also increase your comfort level and reduce eye strain.
Get Tough With Distracting People
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is convincing people that you are working. You’re not always available for them to drop in for a cup of tea or to take in their parcels. Whether it is a well-meaning but chatty neighbour, or your mother in law calling every five minutes, get firm.
Remind them that you are working and can not be interrupted unless it is an emergency between certain times. If they choose to ignore you, stop answering the phone or the door. Once they know you mean business, they will leave you alone for a while!
Get Dressed – Every Single Day!
When you never leave the house, it can be tempting to fall into your office in your pyjamas. Don’t do it! Make a point of getting dressed every day. It will make you feel more purposeful and more professional. Not to mention it lets you handle whatever that day chooses to throw your way.
By putting these tips into practice, you will start working efficiently and stay productive. This leaves you to enjoy your free time with your friends and family. That’s what working from home is all about!