Earning money from home has gained increasing appeal for many reasons. Whether the appeal is the easy commute – commuting from bed to a computer doesn’t sound half bad – or whether you’re just looking to stay home with the kids, staying at home can be both productive and fun. However, the path to productivity and managing tasks wisely can be a little tricky. Let’s take a look at how 4 ways to boost productivity working from home can make a difference in your workday.
Designate a Specific Work Space
An important factor in being productive while working from home is to have a designated workspace. It doesn’t have to be a big space, but it does need to be your “workspace”. If you work in online education, creating a background relevant to your environment can be a tremendous productivity booster. If you use a video chat program such as Zoom, teaching classes from home can provide a unique background for students and help keep their interest.
Functionality is an important feature too. Keep supplies right by your desk or work table in containers and use accordion files for easy access to papers. You can create a space that can be multi-functional and will help you “get in the zone” when it’s time to get to work. Decorate your space with a vision board to help you stay motivated.
Decorate your space in a style that calms and inspires you. Use colors that you like, and make your space an area where you’ll want to get to work. You’ll find work becomes less draining when your space is well-organized and well-decorated. If you like lots of labels and small baskets, go for it. Love llamas? Use a llama pencil cup or other gear to brighten your workday. Keep a few things in your workspace that makes you happy.
Choose Office Hours
While one of the best perks of working from home is having some flexibility in your schedule, too much flexibility can actually put a damper on productivity. Try setting hours that take place when you have the most focus and energy. For example, a morning person may want to wake up a little earlier to get to work, or a late-night person can begin work in the evenings. Make notes of what times of the day spark your creativity, then build your routine around them.
If you have small children, try arranging your peak busy hours around their nap or quiet time. You can knock out a work project, write an article or email, or draft a design in a couple of short hours. You can also create a schedule around blocks of time. Working with fewer distractions ultimately means getting more work done. A way to accomplish this is by doing two hours of work before your kids wake up. Then during nap time, knock out two more hours of work. These are just a couple of ways you can be flexible yet stay sane while creating your work from home schedule.
Earning money from home is a self-directed process. Unfortunately for most of us, working independently doesn’t come naturally. Short-term and long-term goals can help you stay focused and ensure that you’re progressing instead of regressing. Let’s face it, we’ve all gone down a rabbit trail at some point while researching or trying to complete a task while working from home.
Here are some ways you can set goals while working from home:
- Write daily to-do lists with your top three tasks for the day at the top.
- Keep a calendar with deadlines on your desk.
- Meet weekly with another colleague for accountability.
- Have a brainstorming session once a week, and write down your ideas.
- Set a timer for how long you will work on a given task, then move on. You can come back to the previous ask later.
- Write down every step you need to make to get to your ultimate goal. Voila! You have a set of short-term goals with a longer-term goal.
- Set SMART goals. Are your goals specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound?
There are many productivity apps you can download on your smartphone, or you can just use a plain old pen and paper to track your progress. Bullet journaling is yet another way of tracking productivity that many people find works for them and is also stress-relieving. Find a method of organizing your thoughts that you can maintain over a length of time, and you’ll be able to cross work-related tasks off your list more effectively.
Learn a New Skill
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you aren’t in a traditional workplace surrounded by coworkers with whom you can exchange ideas. A great way to gain a fresh perspective is to learn a new skill by taking a course. LinkedIn and Udemy or International Open Academy provide great classes that can teach you a new skill or help you brush up on an old one. These companies offer low cost or free courses. Many community colleges also offer continuing education and personal enrichment courses for an affordable price. There is a wide range of courses available from social media marketing to learning a new language on many of these educational platforms.
Challenging yourself is also a great way to break out of a stale routine, keeping you motivated. Learning computer programs, earning new certificates, and staying up-to-date with continuing education courses are all things that can be done from home. You might just find an aspect of work you enjoy if you don’t enjoy your job already, and you can also expand your value to employers and/or clientele.
These 4 ways to boost productivity working from home are great ways to help you get more done in less time and stay focused. Designating a workspace, choosing office hours, setting goals, and learning new skills are all ways you can be more effective as you work from home. Give these 4 methods a try the next day you work from home, and you may be surprised at how much more smoothly your workday goes.
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