If you have ever found yourself racing toward a work deadline dressed in nothing but your underwear, you are likely either 1) on a government list somewhere, 2) a lucid dreamer, or 3) allowed the luxury of working from home.
Whether you simply work from home periodically, are part of a remote team, or are self-employed, you have perhaps experienced decreased productivity from time to time without the structure of a more traditional work environment. Are you in the market for a few tips or tricks that could help you maximize your productivity, while still embracing this luxury so many covet?
If the usual “Stick to a schedule!” or “Hide the TV remote!” suggestions aren’t enough for you, here are a few other quick tips for working from home productively.
1) Set Social Media Boundaries
Of course we are all familiar with the click bait-laden world of social media. Even if you don’t use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or any other popular social media platform (and I’d have a hard time believing that to be 100% true, but okay), you are still familiar with the distracting nature of the Internet.
Of course it isn’t necessary to give up social media altogether, but perhaps you can allow yourself 10 minutes of Facebook over lunch, or a few five-minute Twitter breaks throughout the day. Set a firm but realistic goal and stick to it!
2) Prioritize Your Browser’s Bookmarks
This tip took me a while to figure out, but when I did, it was a game changer. We all tend to bookmark our most-visited websites. However, if working from a home computer, it can be tempting to see the Netflix, New York Times, or Amazon tab and wind up watching, reading or shopping instead of working. Try organizing your bookmarks so that all your work-related sites are tabbed first. This way, YouTube isn’t lingering up there screaming “Click me!” all day.
3) Set Edible Goals
Chances are you are sometimes working toward a goal or deadline. Since you’re at home with your own (hopefully healthy!) snacks nearby, try treating yourself when you meet a goal. If you finish the report by 5:00 p.m. as you’d intended, maybe you get to break out that pint of fro-yo. Or maybe you get a peanut M&M with every hourly goal met.
You know your diet, and you know your time management habits. Create a simple rewards system for yourself and give it a whirl. (And celebrate the time saved by not having to pack a lunch.)
4) Take Dance Breaks
Yes, I said dance breaks. This is perhaps the simplest tip, and it’s the most fun! It’s no secret that there are endless health benefits to dancing. It is even now proven that dancing improves brain function. While “dancing” usually indicates a public, social situation, it certainly doesn’t have to. If you work from home, why not embrace the freedom you have to take a break, crank up your favorite playlist, and jam out hard in your living room? It can only relieve stress, keep you sharper, and energize you for the rest of your work day.
The bottom line is: when working from home, you have the authority to set your own boundaries, create a flexible timetable, and reward yourself for successes in a more personalized way. If you’re taking little steps to boost your productivity and keep yourself happy, your effectiveness in your job can only increase.
Just remember to put on something besides underwear for that video conference call!
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