Working from home is challenging, especially if you have small children in the home. However, following the work-at-home tips below and practicing self-discipline will actually help you get things done while ensuring increased productivity.
Create a Task List
Start the night before your next workday and create a task list. Make sure there are two (2) parts: difficult tasks and easy tasks.
It only takes 5 minutes or less, but it will save you much more time the next day. Most people just randomly look at what they think they should do and waste a lot of their time during the day, even when in a structured work environment.
The do-it-as-it-appears process is highly inefficient.
This may seem obvious, but many people skip eating in the morning, and most health experts agree this is counter-productive. It can be simple and fast but eat something to fuel your mind and body before you start working.
Identify Your Best Working Hours
Be sure to find those time blocks where you can focus on your work, even if it is just 1 or 2 hours at a time. If you create your task list, noted above, and focus, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in short bursts.
If necessary, Find an Accountability Partner
When you work remotely, you’re still accountable to your company. You may still have deadlines, conference calls, and client calls or similar work that must be done. Plan everything you can and use the best working hours you establish to organize your day.
If you work on your own, then you might want an accountability partner. This could be your spouse, family member, or friend. Not everyone is self-motivated, and you may need someone to push you a little to get things done.
Do Your Most Difficult Tasks First
Even in a standard office, most people start with the easiest tasks and delay the difficult ones until they have to deal with them. You need to do the opposite; start with difficult tasks as they are far more important. Get those done and then move to easier work. It is far more rewarding, and you will actually get far more done each day. Expert studies show that time, and again, this is the absolute best strategy to be highly productive.
Turn Off Distractions
Most people work more efficiently in a quiet environment. Working at home is challenging because of untold distractions, whether it is the children, the TV, or others.
If you can close yourself in a quiet room, you will get far more done. Make sure the whole family knows this is your work time, no interruptions. Those ‘emergencies’ are rarely that important. If you have a spouse, let them take responsibility for all the distractions while you work.
Not everyone can afford getting help. But, if you can afford it, then having a babysitter may help. However, during the coronavirus time, this is not a good idea. Less exposure is better for everyone.
Track Your Time
You can do this on your phone or computer, and it starts by scheduling your work times on whatever device you prefer. Simply start tracking your time. If you are starting with your difficult tasks, then the first block of time you set aside should be the longest, if possible. But track what it takes for you to get things done. You may have to adjust your schedule to optimize your productivity.
Get Some Exercise
Okay, most people avoid this one, but it is essential for your health. You don’t have to expose yourself to the dangers of the coronavirus. You can take a short walk around your neighborhood and still maintain social distancing. Of course, you can use a treadmill if you have one or do some exercise in your home. But, during these difficult times, it is a big relief to get out of your house or apartment, so you don’t feel trapped all the time.
No need to expose yourself to danger, but there are many ways to get that 15-20 minutes to walk or jog safely, and it will really help with your mental state.
Stay safe and well!