Many people dream of the chance to be able to skip the daily commute to the office for the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own home. Indeed, more and more people are now working from home than ever before.
Thanks to modern technology and changes in business, more companies now give their employees the option to work from home on either a part or full-time basis. There is also a substantial growth in the number of freelancers and home business owners who have decided to swap the office for the more appealing laptop lifestyle. While working from home might at first seem like a dream come true, in reality, unless you have a good system in place, your productivity and indeed your health could suffer.
The key to a more productive work-from-home experience is to create an environment and routine that allows you to focus on your daily tasks, keeps your productivity levels high while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
So, whether you are working from home for the first time or you are looking for some useful tips for creating a more productive and healthy work routine from home, here are some tips that I have found really helpful.
Morning Routine (journal, fuel, mindset)
I always recommend using a journal as part of a morning routine. Starting your day using a Journal is a great way of putting you into a positive and productive mindset while also planning out your day ahead. To begin, start by writing three things that you are grateful for! This list is endless; examples might include our health, our home and the people around us. Once you get into this daily habit of having an attitude of gratitude, you will be happier and you will also attract more things in your life to be grateful for. The Five Minute Journal is a great, easy to use journal to help get you started with this powerful habit. I have being using these simple but very effective journals for many years with great effect.
To help keep your mind focused and also give you the energy that you need to work at an optimum level, you need to stop skipping breakfast. The modern day habit of grabbing our favorite coffee beverage instead of having the most important meal of the day has lead to that all too familiar mid day slump. Simply having a bowl of cereal or a delicious smoothie will control your blood sugar levels and give you the energy you will need to perform your daily tasks at a higher level. Remember to also drink plenty of water throughout the day to help you stay hydrated and focused.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Just because you are not working at the office, doesn’t mean you can’t have a dedicated office space at home. This could mean having a table and chair or simply a place on the couch and a coffee table. Having a work space that has plenty of fresh air, natural light and is comfortable are key for an more productive work from home lifestyle.
Take Breaks And Move
Give yourself enough time throughout the day to take a break away from your work space. Brendon Buchard, the author of the best selling book, High Performance Habits recommends that you take at least one standing break per hour when working or during times when you are sitting? Brendon recommends taking a few minutes every hour to walk around or do some light stretching. Research has also shown that taking short breaks can actually increase productivity and creativity levels.
While you don’t need to shut yourself off completely from everyone at home, limiting the number of distractions that you have is important if you want to be more productive. Having a dedicated internet browser for work is a simple, yet good idea. By only displaying job-related bookmarks will help to keep you more focused and productive. I like having some music in the background, while some people highly recommend using noise cancelling earphones. These can help keep out the sounds of a television in another room, kids playing, the door bell ringing and other noises that might distract you.
Create A Daily To-Do List
Write down what needs to be done for the day ahead, then number each task in order of priority. When your day is done, transfer anything that you didn’t accomplish to the next day’s list to ensure that all of your tasks get completed. When making your daily to do list, you can use simply use a blank sheet of paper, a notebook or one of the many productivity Apps available. I recommend the popular and very easy to use Trello App.
Set Work Hours
Depending on the type of work that you do at home. You should try to keep to a set routine. You should also plan for breaks and meals during the day. Taking regular breaks from work to eat and switch off are integral parts of keeping you productive. I have a small morning break and then an hour afternoon break. I use this time to go to another room, eat, check my personal emails, browse the internet and perhaps use social media. Over time you will know when you are most productive, try to build your work schedule around your peak productivity periods. Remember, work-life balance is key to a more productive and enjoyable work from home routine.
Leave The House
Leaving your house on a regular basis is good for your health and will also help boost your creativity and productivity. Simply taking a 10-minute walk around the block during the day is a great way to freshen up and encourage the flow of new ideas. In the evening after I have finished work, I like to go for a brisk walk in the local park. This helps me to clear my head and improve my fitness.
Working from home can be a major adjustment and it can certainly be difficult if you are not prepared for its challenges. The tips above have helped me be more productive while working at home and I am sure that they will help you too.