With the way things are going many more people find themselves working from home. At first this may seem like a big adjustment and it may seem hard to be as productive at home as you could be in the office. But studies have shown, and I can attest to this myself, with some small adjustments and good practices you can increase your productivity and efficiency. Obviously you can test and tweak my tips to fit your surroundings and responsibilities but these are some ideas that have helped me learn to maximize my efficiency from home and led to me loving it.
Build a workspace
First and foremost you should build a work space that is set aside for work and only work. If you have a spare room or open area you can easily and cheaply turn it into a home office with a desk, your computer and any personal touches you want. Quiet and peaceful is what is recommended. Build a place where you can feel relaxed and focused with minimal distractions. A comfortable work chair can go a long way!!
Set Real Work Hours
This should be easy. If you’re transitioning from a 9-5 you can just keep those hours. Your body is already used to that schedule so there's no reason to adjust it. However, if you have kids or emergencies you can easily move your schedule around and it's much easier to finish an hour of work in your home office later that night than having to return to the office.
Daily To-Do List
Have a daily to do list and update it every morning. As soon as you have an assignment or project or meeting enter it in your calendar or to-do list. This will make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and keep track of your priorities. Every morning you can start your day by reviewing your to-do list and get an idea of what the day holds. You can also increase productivity by setting goals and time limits for each task.
Dress for Success
This is a favorite point of business psychologists. Productivity increases tremendously when you dress in work clothes even when working from home. It gets your body and mind in the right space to be productive. Also you will be ready for any online video meetings!
Develop a Morning Routine
You probably had a routine to get ready before heading into the office. It should stay relatively the same except you save time not having to drive anywhere! Get up early, take a shower, eat breakfast, get ready just like usual. This again will get your body and mind ready to go to work.
Exercise and Stretch
Exercise boosts endorphins and that increases productivity. You may feel silly at the office stretching or doing jumping jacks but that's one of the beautiful things about your office being at home. You can do any awkward stretch or exercise with no audience. You’ll be amazed at how productive you can be while taking little exercise and stretching breaks throughout the day.