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Working in your pyjamas sounds great until your productivity slows to a stop. Relaxing too much can make remote work more challenging than expected, but it doesn’t have to feel that way forever.
Improve your output while working from home with these simple strategies that anyone can try.
1. Set SMART Goals
When you’re stepping into conference rooms or chatting with your boss at the coffee machine, the social pressure becomes a form of accountability. You don’t have that when you’re the only one aware of your professional to-do list.
Keep yourself accountable in this new career phase by setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based (SMART) goals. Breaking each step down into actionable work with mini-deadlines that mesh with your calendar will improve productivity by making your responsibilities less vague or daunting.
2. Change Your Lighting
Lighting can create an uncomfortable environment that makes you more distracted. Consider the light in your home workspace and how it affects your mental health.
Cool lighting creates a warm glow instead of a harsh glare like fluorescent lights. Without the visual strain, your mind becomes more alert and productive, and you feel less stressed.
3. Try Early Morning Workouts
Research shows that 50% of Americans work out before breakfast because it provides benefits like more energy. Try a quick high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout or a 10-minute jog. Even lifting weights for a few minutes will get your blood pumping and result in natural energy that might make you more productive if you’re not a morning person.
4. Give Yourself Breaks
People who work in traditional offices have breaks when they use the restroom, eat or chat with their co-workers. Those disappear when you’re alone and can carry your laptop around the house. Remember to give yourself breaks throughout the day. Your brain will get a chance to reset so you’re more focused when you get back to your computer.
5. Stick To A Routine
Consider what your day looks like when you work in an office and take a vacation. You go from a daily routine to a laid-back destination with no schedule. Your brain assumes you’re on vacation when you’re working from home without a routine because there are no deadlines or pressure. Create a plan for your work hours to hone your energy for professional projects and know when to relax later in the day.
6. Pick A Workspace
You may also need to improve your productivity when working from home because you feel unfocused. It might relate to where you’re working. Sending emails in bed is confusing for the brain. Getting under the covers is a daily signal that you can start shutting down, so pick a workspace where your mind isn’t fighting you. Consider setting up your laptop on your kitchen table or creating a corner office space in your living room if you don’t have an extra bedroom for a private office.
7. Try Productivity Apps
Download the latest apps designed to make people more productive to improve their daily work experience. You could use apps to establish timely calendar reminders, track work progress with co-workers or see how many hours you work each day. You’ll eliminate guesswork and get more guidance on your journey to improved productivity.
Your manager or boss could also benefit from a productivity app. If they’re in charge of more than one remote worker, mention the apps you find most helpful. They could implement them across the team, which helps everyone succeed.
8. Use Sound-Cancelling Headphones
Offices are typically quiet spaces. You might have someone on the phone across the hall or keyboards clicking in the background, but everyone wants to keep things quiet. Your home might be different. Pets, kids, older family members and neighbours are likely distracting.
Set aside a chunk of your day and wear sound-cancelling headphones whenever possible. You may not be able to wear them all day, but you can tackle your most challenging work while the headphones block any sounds that ruin your productivity.
Improve Your Productivity at Home
Remote work can make life much more enjoyable, but it also requires a change of pace. Use these tips to upgrade your work-from-home routine and improve your productivity overnight. You’ll feel more focused, energized and ready to thrive in your job every day after clocking in.
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