If you have the pleasure of working from home, you may love many things about your professional set-up. You may love the fact that you do not have a commute every day and that you can be closer to your family as needed while still earning a living. You may find that you are more efficient with household chores. For example, you may be able to change out a load of laundry or do the dishes while taking a break from your work activities for a few minutes. While there are many things to love about working from home, one of the most significant complaints that those who work from home have is a feeling that they are not as productive as they could be. If you share in this concern about productivity, you may consider following these tips to eliminate time wasting activities from your work day.
Make a List of "To Do" or Action Items
At the end of each work day, create a list of action items that require your attention for the following day. This can motivate you to get out of bed on time in the morning and to get your nose to the grindstone immediately. You may continue to feel motivated throughout the day by referring to your list and crossing items off as you make progress. When you make an effort to focus on this list, you will have the focus that you need to accomplish your goals for the day.
Give Yourself Scheduled Work Breaks
When you work from home, it is a true benefit to be able to throw a load of laundry into the washing machine or to run the vacuum across the floor as needed. It may be nice for you to control your work schedule enough to have a mid-morning coffee break with a friend from time to time. However, your main focus during the work day should be to actually work. You may consider scheduling specific work breaks for defined periods of time and getting your personal items done during these breaks. Then, you can go back to work focused and ready to keeping your attention focused on your tasks.
Create a Dedicated Work Area in Your Home
If you do not have a dedicated work area in your home, you may consider the benefits of creating a space of your own. Many people who work at home attempt to work on a crowded breakfast table, in a living room or in another similarly busy area of the home. However, these areas may limit your ability to fully focus your attention your work tasks. You may be distracted by your spouse, kids or roommate as they walk by. You may feel the need to clean up a messy kitchen that you can see out of the corner of your eye. When you have a dedicated work area, you will be able to create an environment that fosters productivity and that minimizes distractions.
Avoid Personal Interactions during Work Hours
Many people have personal distractions in the workplace, but it may be easier to be lured away from your work activities when you work at home and do not have a manager or boss peering over your shoulder. For example, you may get caught up texting a friend, take a personal call that goes longer than necessary or talk to a neighbor who drops by your house for a chat. You may consider avoiding opening the front door and putting your cell phone out of arm's reach while you are work. These are all things that can wait until later.
Change Scenery When Necessary
While you want to have a dedicated work space at home, there are times when you may need to change scenery in order to remain focused. For example, if your dog seems to be barking more than usual or your neighbors are playing loud music in the backyard, heading down to a local coffee shop with your laptop may be a good idea. Even heading to a quiet bedroom or another area away from the hustle and bustle of the house can help. After all, your family may roam around the house from time to time, and you may need to have some flexibility with regards to working around your home life.
When you work from home, you may be more productive at getting household chores done, and you may feel like you have greater flexibility with managing home and work life. However, you also need to ensure that your work hours are fully productive. By focusing on these tips, you can boost productivity.