Working from home is fast becoming the new normal. While 26% of people in the US now work remotely, this type of job accounts for 15% of vacancies. Working from home offers plenty of benefits, including great flexibility, productivity, and work-life balance, but it can also present some unique challenges that require creative solutions. Here are five effective working-from-home hacks to help you work smarter, not harder, so you can get the most out of your work day.
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1. Ensure your workspaces suits your needs
While some may argue that they can work effectively from bed, this could train your brain to associate bed with work rather than relaxation and sleep. A dedicated workspace establishes a clear boundary between work and your personal time, essential for a healthy work-life balance. It also helps you focus on your work and be more productive.
When choosing a dedicated work area, think about what will help stay motivated, focused, and productive. For example, if you find clutter distracting or external noise hinders concentration, find a place away from the living or kitchen area or windows facing a busy street. Once you’ve set up your workspace, try to keep your desk tidy and organized as much as possible to help reduce distractions and boost focus.
2. Avoid procrastinating
Procrastination is when you delay or postpone a task, which can mean missing important deadlines. It’s a common challenge when working from home, but there are steps you can take to avoid procrastinating and stay productive. For instance, hanging a calendar or color-coded planner near your desk with picture rail hooks can give you an easily accessible representation of tasks and deadlines, helping you prioritize your work and plan your time effectively.
It can also be helpful to break your work into more manageable, bite-sized tasks so a project doesn’t feel overwhelming. Try to eliminate distractions where possible, by turning off your phone, letting family members know not to disturb you, or keeping your home office door closed.
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3. Stick to a realistic schedule
For many people, working from home can release them from the traditional 9 to 5 that they’ve been keen to leave behind. However, it can be easy to lose track of time when working remotely. You can still have a daily routine when working from home that will help you structure your work day, save time, avoid working longer than necessary, break bad habits, and increase productivity.
Sticking to a work routine will help ensure you always take regular breaks, remain focused, and avoid burnout. You can do this by making it a habit to start and end your work at the same time every day. If you have children, this could be after you’ve taken them to school. It’s also important to have clean intentions for your time and map your day out the night before with a comprehensive to-do list.
4. Use productivity tools
Managing your workload can be challenging whether you work from a corporate office or home. Fortunately, productivity tools can help you stay focused and organized. These tools can help you manage your time, track progress, and help you to stay on top of tasks. Online communication tools such as Slack, Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Microsoft Teams allow you to chat, host, or participate in video conferences, provide updates, and exchange notes with co-workers.
Project management software and organization apps can help you stay organized. For instance, Podio, Asana, and Trello have task management tracking tools. There’s also Wunderlist and Any.do for creating to-do lists, and Calendly and Google Calendar to help you organize your work schedules.
5. Take regular breaks
While sticking to a work schedule is essential to being productive, you must also take frequent breaks. Working for long periods without rest can drain your creativity and significantly impact your output. Regular breaks will help you recharge your batteries and be more focused and productive when you resume working. Sitting for over eight hours a day is not good for your health either. It can increase stress levels and cause eye strain, back and neck pain, and weight gain.
Regular breaks enable you to move around and stretch, so be sure to include a form of exercise in your work schedule, aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Use your break time to do stretching exercises, take a short walk, or even a bath. You can also use the time to connect with others and help reduce feelings of isolation that can occur when working from home.
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Working from home can be challenging. However, incorporating these hacks can help you stay productive and make the most of your time. Creating a workspace that suits your needs, and avoiding procrastinating by eliminating distractions can help you focus on your tasks. Sticking to a realistic schedule, using productivity tools, and taking regular breaks can increase your overall job satisfaction while working from home.
Source: Cosmo Politian