7 ways to increase productivity when working from home
Whether you’re working from home or the office, keeping your mind focused on work can be challenging for anybody.
Especially with the current situation, staying productive will not only help you tick more off your to do list, it will also help you to maintain a positive outlook and stay busy.
We’ve compiled 7 simple tips to help you maintain your productivity levels, that can be applied to any environment.
1. Start the day with breakfast
There’s a reason breakfast is the most important meal of the day – it provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration throughout the day. Without it, you’ll be missing out on some of the vital ingredients for success.
If you often find your mornings passing by in a panic or a daze, taking some extra time to have a quiet breakfast can really help you get yourself ready for the day ahead.
2. Stick to a schedule
No matter what commitments you have in a day, certain elements of a schedule can make you feel more grounded.
Of course that doesn’t mean you should plan your entire days minute by minute, but trying to wake up and go to bed at a certain time, as well as designating blocks of time for exercise and well-being, will have a big impact on how you feel about your day.
Setting aside certain time for specific work tasks will also help you to get them done productively – just make sure you plan in regular 5 minute breaks so you don’t overstretch yourself.
3. Reach out to colleagues and friends
Failing to greet your colleagues each day could be giving you a bad impression that will stick for the rest of the day – especially when you’re working from home. Taking the time to send an email, pick up the phone or have a cup of tea with your team in the morning – even virtually – can help you feel up to speed with your colleagues and make the rest of the day run more smoothly.
If you’re in the position where you work as a freelancer or don’t have a close team at the end of the phone, you can apply the same principle to taking 5 minutes to check in with a friend, mentor or industry peer. Socialising with people who understand what you do can be a great way to get you in the mindset to get work done.
4. Don’t waste time clearing out your inbox
Whilst checking and replying to all your emails first thing can make you feel like you are being productive, it can actually have the opposite effect on your day. As the day goes on your energy and productivity will start to flag, so it’s important to focus on high-priority tasks first to make the most of your optimum productivity levels.
Instead of wasting energy on an overflowing inbox, quickly scan and prioritise your emails, respond to anything urgent and then schedule some time in later in the day to answer the rest.
5. Limit your distractions
Whether it’s your phone buzzing every 5 minutes or that pile of laundry in the corner of the room, working from home has its distractions. While you can’t prevent everything that might distract you, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce distractions.
A clean environment, noise cancelling headphones, setting your phone or chat status to do not disturb and putting away any electronics are all great ways of keeping yourself focused and being more productive overall.
6. Don’t start your day by multi-tasking
Multitasking is second nature to many business owners and professionals. With so much to do it can be tempting to try and do a million different things at once. But this juggling can be a waste of your energy and hurt your performance on the priority tasks, especially first thing in the morning. So try to focus on one task at a time and delegate where possible.
To make the most of your early-morning energy levels try and do the tasks that require considerable focus and concentration first.
7. Avoid negative thinking
Negativity can be a serious drain both on your own energy and that of your colleagues and staff. It can also distract you from the tasks you need to get done so, although it might be easier said than done at present, don’t let negative thoughts sabotage your day.
Try and avoid becoming bogged down in negative news and conversations, and instead try and focus on something you’re grateful for. Having your lunch in the garden can do wonders for clearing your head, and if that’s not an option try and work near an open window.
Whatever steps you can take to make yourself feel more positive will also help you to be more productive and produce better work.
What do you do in the morning to set yourself up for a successful day? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments below.