Working from a home office has a ton of advantages including eliminating that frustrating daily commute to the office. But working from a home office has its drawbacks too and one of them is complacency. With no office mates to interrupt you, no more back to back meetings all day long, you may be looking forward to getting a ton of work done from your home office.
But if you’ve worked from home for any length of time, you’ve realized that this isn’t always how it works. Complacency can really impact your home office productivity. Family members and friends who now know you’re home all day can mean constant phone calls or unannounced visitors.
So how do you get the best of both worlds? How do you maintain productivity when you work from a home office?
We’ve put together some tips to help you ramp up the productivity of your home office below:
1. Create a Dedicated Work Space
Believe it or not, having a dedicated workspace can really ramp up your productivity. The main reason for this is that your brain is conditioned to focus when you are “at work”. By having a dedicated workspace, your brain knows when it’s time to work and when it’s time for play.
Your dedicated workspace doesn’t have to be an entire room, it can be a desk or a specific table you work from every time. Having a dedicated workspace also tells family members that you’re working and helps prevent distractions.
2. Ditch the Pajamas
One of the most talked about bonuses to working from a home office is the ability to forgo the work wardrobe and work in your pajamas. But one of the biggest drags on your productivity can be not getting dressed for work daily. Again, it has to do with fooling your brain into focusing on work.
Wearing pajamas or clothing that is too “comfy” signals your brain that you’re in the mood for sleeping not working. So, another big tactic to help increase home office productivity is to dress for success. Get up each morning, shower, and get dressed. You don’t have to wear a suit, but you should at least change out of your pajamas.
3. Eliminate Distractions
One downside to working from home is that there is no one but yourself to hold you accountable for getting things done. It’s pretty easy to get lost in distractions including email, phone calls, and drop by visitors, your favorite television show, or social media. The best way to boost home office productivity is to eliminate these distractions so the temptation is gone.
- Get an app that prevents you from visiting social media during specific times of day.
- Check email at lunch and end of day instead of first thing in the morning.
- Set boundaries with family and friends that discourage drop by visits during work hours.
- Let the phone go to voicemail and pick up messages periodically.
- Use your favorite TV show as a reward for getting your to do list done.
- Stop multitasking. Studies have proven that this isn’t as productive as it feels and that most people just aren’t that good at it.
4. Organize & Declutter
You’d be surprised at how much time can be lost during the day searching for a file, that quote you printed out for a client, or even trying to locate your notebook. Decluttering your workspace so it contains only the things you need to do your work is one way to boost home office productivity.
Make sure your work materials and supplies are organized so that you can quickly put your hands-on items you need to keep working. It also helps to tidy up the rest of the house the night before, so your mind isn’t thinking about that sink full of dishes or other items on your home to do list.
5. Take Time to Recharge
It’s important to take time out to recharge yourself to maintain home office productivity. Reduce eye strain if you spend a lot of time on the computer by giving your eyes a break every 20 minutes or so throughout the day. Stand up, stretch, and move around a bit every hour or so. Set aside time daily to recharge either through exercise or some other activity that you enjoy. Those that don’t do this regularly will find that they spend full days at their desk but never seem to accomplish much at all.
What’s your favorite way of boosting home office productivity?
About the Author:
This article has been written by Elizabeth Plumb from The Home Makers Journal. She is a stay at home mom blogger and writes about parenting, decoration, productivity, recipes etc. on her blog. She loves to explore the world and gardening is her hobby.