Tips for Staying Productive While Working From Home
These are unprecedented times and while the world is slowly returning to work, a lot of people are still working from home. In fact our entire team is currently working from home and we have had one of our biggest years yet! So, how do you work from home and still manage to stay productive?
We have a few tips to share that you might find useful if you are personally working from home or if you are managing a team of work-from-home staff. Share them with your staff and see if production increases!
//1. Designate an Office Space
Okay, so it isn’t the same as looking to your left and seeing your co-workers at their desks or peering over a cubicle to briefly chat with your work bestie. But our number one tip for at-home productivity is to set yourself up with an office space where you can work distraction free.
Maybe you already have something like this or perhaps you have to create a temporary make-shift workspace. In any case, establish a space that is for work and make it known to other people in the house so they do not disturb you when you’re in there. Ideally this is a room with a door you can close for ultimate focus, but if not then at least something located off the main cross-roads of the house. Even a small desk, a desk lamp and a laptop set up in your bedroom can act as an office if space is limited.
//2. Set an Alarm!
Just because you’re working from home and don’t have to head into the office doesn’t mean everyday is now Sunday morning! Set an alarm and get up just as you normally would if you were heading into the office. No sleeping in! Take a shower, put on your make-up or shave, etc. Making yourself presentable for work can be a very useful discipline in actually “arriving at work” and getting down to it.
//3. Write a Plan for the Week
Start your “work day” off by writing down the various tasks you need to get done that day. This is your daily checklist for production. Don’t just write random things you would like to see done or set unrealistic targets for yourself, but actually take a look at your whole week and what you have set out to achieve.
Your weekly plan of action should embrace targets you need to attain in order to forward the overall goals of your business or company, while your daily checklist breaks it down into realistic daily tasks. For example, your weekly plan may include signing up 4 new clients/customers and your daily checklist would include things like “Call Bob Jones at ABC Fashion” or “Send out introductory emails to all new leads”. You get the idea.
//4. “Work Before Play Brings the Pay”
Working from home can present all manner of distractions – that pile of laundry you’ve been meaning to fold, that TV show you’ve been wanting to check out, your phone keeps sending your alerts from your favourite social media and your roommate or spouse or kids just want to chat. The temptation to deviate from your weekly plan and daily targets may be strong, but remember “work before play brings the pay”.
By all means enjoy life and reward yourself when you’ve finished work for the day, but the best way to do work is to just do it now! Retreat to your “office” first thing and get your work done. You can even give yourself a rewards system for motivation- “I can take a break once I reach X Sales calls” or “if I close X many deals I can end off work early”. Life is a game so play it that way!
//5. Mix Work and Home
You’ve had a long day of Zoom meetings and have likely been staring at a computer screen all day or making cold sales calls or dealing with clients. You’re possibly feeling tired and maybe irritable. Today’s zoom meeting left you feeling annoyed and that encounter with that one client or fellow staff member didn’t go so well. Then your roommate, or spouse or kid comes into your “office” at the end of the day wanting your attention and you just feel tapped out.
Well, before you accidentally take it out on them, get up and go for a walk! A simple stretching of the limbs while getting some fresh air and directing your attention outward can do wonders!
//6. Daily Virtual Meetings
Increase coordination meetings with your fellow team members. This does not have to be long, but going a whole day without coordination can create problems. So we do it every morning and then again midday. And whatever platform you use – Zoom, GoogleMeet, Jitsi, etc. turn on your camera! This helps create a sense of teamwork and like you’re not just working alone or talking to a black screen.
So there you have it. If you’re already doing one or more of the above that’s great! You’re ahead of the game! It takes a lot of discipline and self-motivation to work from home so give yourself a giant pat on the back and then keep moving upwards!
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