A recent report in Forbes exposed the truth about why working remotely is so attractive to workers. The study says workers feel they can be more productive while working from home, a co-working space, or a coffee shop. Why? “Fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues,” answered 76 percent of the respondents.
If you want to make the switch to telecommute, you need to learn how to stay focused while on the clock. Here are some essential productivity tips for working from home:
Upgrade Your Workspace
If you’re worried about how to stay focused while working from home, banish boredom by creating a workspace you’ll love. Ditch the corner table that’s been serving as a cluttered, catch-all desk throughout the years. Upgrade to a functional, stylish option like the Wildon Home Adjustable Standing Desk, Wayfair’s highest customer-rated choice. With three built-in USB ports and a dry-erase glass desktop, you’ll never have to stop what you’re doing to charge a device or doodle a brainstorming session again. Experts at Cornell University say alternating between a sitting and standing position throughout the workday increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, directly impacting your mental capacity for productivity.
Change Your Mindset
The best productivity tips have measurable results. And for measurable results, you need specific, concrete goals. So think—what would a “successful” remote workday look like to you? Be realistic. Maybe instead of tackling your entire to-do list, you can plan to focus on the four most important items. You can also try executing a new professional development habit or a relationship-building activity with colleagues and clients. As you plan, remember that specificity is the only way to measure success when working from home.
Strategize and Communicate
Next, form a strategy and let your team know what to expect. Take a tip from productivity experts at MindTools.com and employ the Pomodoro Technique®, a famous method of working that involves alternating bursts of focused, deep, singular work and deliberately unproductive breaks. Simply schedule 25 minutes of one (and only one) task, followed by five minutes of stretching, social media, deep breathing, or cat videos. Repeat the pattern throughout your morning and afternoon work blocks, and share your calendar with your coworkers online.
No, you probably won’t need tons of new gear to produce quality work at home. You do, however, need a few tech tools to implement the productivity tips above.
Goal-setting app (Productive is among the best-rated)
Calendar-syncing program (Calendly is one of the fastest growing in popularity)
Collaboration app (Trello is great for team effort projects and corporate lists)
Time-tracking app for the Pomodoro Technique® (Be Focused works wonders)
A deep-focus playlist (Guided Meditation For Everbody on Spotify is perfect for this)
When it’s time to stop for lunch, consider getting out of the house. Moving your body and thoughts away from the computer screen is a great way to recharge. It’s also the ideal time to group together any errands you have to run, which ensures you’re still knocking out that to-do list.
Use online and mobile tools available to streamline every stop. For example, before you leave your desk, order necessary office supplies from Office Depot to be picked up within an hour. Use the interactive Walgreens store locator to find the nearest pharmacy that has your choice of a drive-thru, FedEx pick up/drop off, or medication disposal. And, as you slip on your shoes, open up your Subway mobile app and order your favorite sandwich to be ready when you swing by.
Working from home won’t necessarily diminish distractions. Instead, interruptions are of a different nature. With these productivity tips, you can plan ahead, communicate, and execute for the most productive day possible.