There are so many benefits of working from home. More and more people are discovering that they have a better work/life balance, they're able to spend more time on the things that they want to do, they save money on their commute, and they're able to create their own office.
Work from home jobs are a fantastic option, but there is a downside. Time management is a struggle when you're not used to being responsible for your own productivity.
It's even harder if you're doing contract work because you're making your own schedule.
We're here to offer you advice so you can stay on task even when you're at your home office. Keep reading for our top working from home tips for productivity.
1. Create a Workspace
Too many people who are new to working from home make the mistake of not creating a designated workspace for themselves. They work from their couch, or worse, their bed. Then they're surprised about why they're not being as productive as they should be.
When you work from home, you have the opportunity to craft a workspace that works for your needs. You're no longer beholden to the uncomfortable offices that your employer provides.
If you have room for a separate home office, this is the best option. Set up your desk, a desktop computer, and a comfortable chair. Make sure that you have enough shelving and organization tools to allow you to pay attention to work instead of running around trying to find the tools and documents that you need.
Time management is all about making sure that everything you need for the job is nearby.
If you live in a small home or apartment without a spare room, make a nook for your office. Even in studio apartments, you should be able to create some kind of separate space for yourself.
This will make it easier for you to focus and easier to separate “work” from “home” even when they're in the same location.
2. Try Productivity Tools
There are more tools than ever for productivity both in and out of the office. Take advantage of some of these tools so you can stay on track.
If you're someone who prefers using physical tools, go to your local office supply store for a few helpful objects. You're going to want a calendar, a planner, and a bulletin board for notes.
It's helpful to get a dry-erase calendar so you can make frequent changes and updates.
If you prefer digital tools, you still have plenty of options. There is a wide variety of digital tools available to you (both free and paid).
Take advantage of productivity apps for your phone. You can use your built-in calendar or try out some specialized apps for the purpose of working from home.
We also recommend an app for your computer. There are apps that prevent you from visiting other sites while you're working, making it far easier to stay on track.
3. Take Breaks
This might seem counterproductive, but taking breaks is actually great for productivity and time management. When you take short breaks, you'll have an easier time staying focused.
Make time for short breaks every day. Remember that you still get a lunch break even when you're at home. It's tempting to work through your unofficial “breaks,” but you'll burn out more easily.
Brief five-minute breaks are perfect for getting yourself back on track. You should try to do something that takes your brain out of work mode but that also won't distract you too much.
Take a step outside for fresh air, do a few quick exercises, and stretch your body. You'll discover that it's far easier to get back to work.
4. Minimize Distractions
One of the biggest problems that comes alongside working from home is the abundance of distractions that you're going to have to deal with. In an office, you might be distracted by noisy coworkers or annoying sounds. At home, you have everything that you need to get yourself off track within reach!
Put your phone on silent unless you need it for work. If you have any games or activities that eat up your time, keep them away from your workspace. You can use them while you're on your breaks.
If possible, make sure that no one bothers you while you're working. Remember, even though you're working from home, that doesn't mean that family members and roommates have free reign to distract you.
5. Block Out Your Time
Even with the right time-management apps and tools, figuring out how to schedule your time is difficult. You don't have someone telling you what to do and when to do it.
Make time blocks for yourself. Map out how long you want to work on each activity and your goals for the end of that time period. For example, you may decide that you want to spend two hours on a specific project and your goal is to complete the first draft.
Don't forget to schedule your breaks and your stopping time. You want to leave work at work.
Manage Your Time in Work From Home Jobs
Work from home jobs require serious planning and time management skills if you want to be successful. When you follow these tips, you'll discover that staying productive is a breeze even when you're managing your own time.
Remember, make a schedule, take breaks, create a productive workspace, and minimize distractions in the office. You're on your way to a future of productive workdays!
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