1. Have a designated space + make it your own
2. Maintain your regular hours
3. Know what motivates you
4. Set timers to get things done
Sometimes it seems impossible to be motivated to get certain things done. You know...the thing you dread all week? Timers are now your new best friend. Try setting a timer for any short increment of time. We suggest anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Then set small and simple goals. 10 minutes to write a proposal outline. Then 30 minutes to delve deeper into work and brainstorm ideas. Follow that with a 5 minute break to get up, stretch, and have a snack. Then repeat! Having dedicated times for small, incremental goals helps you continue to work and get things done while allowing yourself the breaks you need. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done!
5. Get dressed
You’ve heard it before - getting dressed and ready for the day puts you in the right mindset to get work done. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you have to put on a full face of makeup and a pencil skirt. We get that you want to feel comfortable in your at-home work environment; however, getting ready for the day not only helps you feel ready to work, but also allows you to stick to your schedule. If you wake up late and don’t have time to get ready, then your lunch break turns into your makeup + hair time and you’re not getting the time you need to relax and recuperate. So think of it this way, getting ready first thing in the morning is giving yourself well-needed time later in the day!
6. Take intentional breaks
Taking breaks is essential to increasing productivity, especially if they're intentional. Plan small breaks from screen time to stretch time, and even time for chatting with coworkers. Even these small things make a big difference in getting your mind off of work for a minute. That way, you're able to achieve all you can throughout the day. So, Instead of immediately checking Instagram, getting up and walking around, use these breaks for things that will help you hit the refresh button.
7. Put your phone in the next room
The most tempting distraction working from home is your phone. Most of the time people don’t actually need their phones because all of their work can be done on their own desktop. Resolve to keeping your phone in the next room and only check it during breaks. Having it completely separated from yourself helps break the habit of reaching for it every few minutes. Focusing and avoiding this particular distraction will keep you honest with your work and save you a lot more time than you realize.
When you’re not sharing a workspace with people like you’re used to, communication is even more important than before. Determine which forms of communication work best for each of you, whether it’s emails, daily calls, or a group chat. But that’s not all! Don’t forget to engage in personal communication and keep in touch with each other. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolating! It’s absolutely necessary to stay in touch with your employees. So don’t forget to make the effort daily to reach out about their life happenings, ask how they’re doing, and offer some humor to their day.
9. Get some fresh air
Try opening the windows or taking a walk during your lunch break. Fresh air helps you feel rejuvenated, especially when you’re typically inside all day. If you can, let in natural light to your workspace and try brightening things up with these tricks for bringing sunshine indoors. Try working from your porch. Anything that allows you to get outside and switch up your environment will help you to get you out of a rut.
10. Block out the noise
Blocking out the noise is the best way to get us in the zone. Try using noise canceling headphones or earplugs to block out the dog barks and chatter. If you’re in need of a pick me up, music is the next best thing! If music is too distracting, try playing white noise or rain sounds that will help block out everything else.
11. Time your social media breaks
Two minutes soon turns into ten, and ten minutes soon turns into twenty. It’s hard to know how much time passes while we’re on social media, so most of us could use a little help. If you just can’t resist that Instagram scrolling break, it only takes two seconds to set a timer. Setting a specific amount of time for social media will keep you honest in your working hours and intentional in what you’re consuming on social media.
12. Make a plan for the day + the week
Planners and lists are in! Start by making a basic plan for the week and setting realistic goals. Then, start each day with a plan! It helps to block in the times, having something new to work on every 30 minutes to 1 hour, in order to keep you on task. Our best tip? When working from home, communicate your plan to your coworkers or your supervisor so that you’re accountable to someone else.
13. Learn your peak productivity periods
Peak productivity periods are the times when your brain is the most awake and motivated. For most, these hours are in the morning, after a full night’s rest and feeling reset for the new day. For others, it could be the late hours of the night. Identifying your own peak productivity times might take some time. Start by noticing your work habits. Take note of when you feel most creative and on top of things and take advantage of those times! Those hours are when you should schedule in your hardest tasks.
14. Don’t be afraid to video chat
Sometimes the answer to work problems is as simple as hopping on a call. If it’s too complicated to text or email, don’t be afraid to video chat! It keeps things personable and will often answer a question in much less time and with much more clarity than in writing.