Managing Productivity In Your Home Office
The downside to working from home is that it’s often the household distractions that get in the way of work. Here’s our tips for staying productive in your home office:
Running out of supplies and dealing with broken appliances puts unnecessary pressure on you and slow down your business.
First: get supplies and equipment in order. Whether you need a new toaster, noise cancelling headphones or fast Internet connection, spend the time to go through the everything you might need to effectively work. Then refresh or replenish your supplies, even opting in for automated delivery to save time and avoid running out of printer ink exactly at the moment you need to print that important presentation.
Work To Set hours
One perk of working from home is flexibility, so while this means you might not work 9 to 5, set yourself work hours that suit you and then stick to them. You can use online management tools like Freedcamp, Evernote or if prefer a journal on your desk try the Bullet Journal, to manage your tasks and time.
A trick is to schedule everything - from appointments and meeting to blocks of time to do thinking or invoicing. For example, if you are a writer and you have an article due on Friday, you might need 3 hours of research on Monday, 3 hours of writing on Tuesday, 1 hour of revisions to make on Wednesday and then a few hours more research on Thursday. Being more specific with your time allocations will mean you’re clearer on how your time will be allocated each day and week.
Working from home can often mean your business can operate 365 days a year. Make sure you give yourself a break just like you would if you worked a full time job elsewhere. Making use of public holidays, weekends and set vacation periods will give you the chance to rest and rejuvenate.
Dress Like Your Old Boss Is Watching
While you may not have to meet with clients or leave your office on a daily basis, professionalism is an identity as much as it is an attitude. When you step out of your bedtime apparel and into clean clothes you step into a productive mindset that will focus you on your work day ahead. No need to revamp your entire wardrobe, in fact successful people have been found to wear the same thing everyday.
Wake Up, Jeff.
You may have come up with your business in your dreams, but save your mattress for sleep. When we lie down, our brains wind down, so working at a desk will keep you much more focused than working from bed will. 1 in 5 of us are currently working two to ten hours a week in bed, but we say keep your bed your sanctuary where you go to rest and rejuvenate before the next day.
Exercising will not only help you physically but has proven to increase your performance in the workplace significantly. Beginning your morning with a run, going to a gym class in the afternoon or using free apps like NikeFitness+ filled with workouts sorted by time, so you can release stress, boost your energy levels and get a rush of endorphins. The Japanese understand the benefits of exercise on workplace productivity conducting a morning ritual called “Raijo taiso” which sees employees do 10 - 15 minutes of scheduled exercise as part of their day.
Balanced diet, balanced mind.
Studies show 33% of Australians are skipping lunch during work, but luckily for you, there’s no excuse to not walk to the kitchen for a break that will boost your energy for the second half of the day. People who eat healthy lunches are 25% more likely to have higher job performance.Try keeping containers of healthy snacks at your desk and set aside time to eat so you don’t go hungry, or raid the pantry. If you’re stuck for lunch ideas, try these recipes for success.
The Internet has opened us up to a whole new world of distractions available at the click of a button. Ironically, there are plenty of apps designed to help us stay focused, here’s some to try:
- Block it out: Try Self-Control, Anti-Social, StayFocusd block websites for a specific time.
- Focus on the task: Think keeps your attention on a single application at a time.
- Take a break: Sometimes you need a break, FocusBooster or Time Out allows you to set the time you work on your task and then rest.
Perhaps at some point you will need additional hands to help your business. Hiring a freelancer will allow you to delegate tasks and focus your energy on more important objectives of your business. Using services like Freelancer, Airtasker or Upwork can virtually connect you in seconds to quality freelance workers across a range of fields.
Meet and greet.
If you work with other people or have to schedule a meeting, applications like “Doodle”, “When I Work”, and “Deputy” allow you to help schedule. When scheduling though, accommodate more than just availability and consider the impact the time of the day and week can have. Research shows Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are the best to host an effective meeting.
Productivity in the workplace is important, but a healthy mind will mean a healthy business.