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5 Tips on How to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Being able to work from the comforts of your home can have a lot of benefits—no need for a long drive or commute, working in comfy clothes, more flexibility, and hot home-cooked meals for lunch. However, bringing your work into your home also has its downsides in your work and personal life.

Some people who work from home tend to have decreased work-life balance, longer working hours and decreased productivity. With the global coronavirus pandemic happening right now, more people are forced to work from home; not just those who are employed in work-from-home companies or have careers that have them working from home all the time.

So, learning how to be more productive in a work-from-home set-up has become more relevant these days. It’s not just about having that Pinterest-worthy home office, you also need to set rules and boundaries.

Staying focused and productive can be a challenge when working from home

Set clear household rules

According to productivity expert Maura Thomas, working parents shouldn’t think that they don’t need to hire a babysitter for their young tots just because they’re working from home. For older kids, setting up a do-not-disturb signal while you’re still working could be enough. This also works for adults whom you live with.

Organizing expert Julie Morgenstern suggests leaving a chalkboard or anything to write on outside your door so that your kids or housemates could jot down what they need to talk about. That way, you won’t be blindsided when you finally “clock out” or take a break.

If you’re a pet parent, try to schedule your walks so you won’t have to struggle with the urge to play with them while you’re still working. You can squeeze it in as breaks so you both can stretch your legs every three hours. If your pet can sit quietly around you, then a work-from-home buddy is always welcome.

The constant urge to play with your pet in the middle of working can affect your productivity

Don’t work from the couch (or the bed)

Thanks to your Wi-Fi, you don’t have to stay tethered to a cable to access the Internet. That being said, you can practically work anywhere (as far as the router signal can take you, though) even your couch or bed. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.

For Morgenstern, one should designate a specific spot in their home to work in so there will be a mental boundary between working and relaxing. You don’t need to have a home office, just enough working space that is conducive to working long hours is enough; even the dining table. But make sure to clean up afterward so work wouldn’t interfere with your family time, according to Morgenstern.

Work in a spot where you feel energized

Texas-based career expert Holly Reisem Hanna believes that this is typically the room with the most natural light and the nicest view. She, herself, opts to work in her kitchen for that reason. Some areas may make you feel stagnant, so Hanna recommends finding a space where positive energy flows.

Choose a space where you feel most energized

Keep it clean and organized

Once you finally have the perfect workspace, make an effort to maintain its tidiness. A cluttered area can cause cluttered thoughts (especially that there are tons of distractions at home), so limit the stuff that you put on your desk.

Keep away those annoying stacks of paper and replace it with some things that inspire you and liven up the space. Morgenstern says that your workspace should energize you, not drain your spirits.

Make a schedule and limit your working hours

One of the tendencies of working from home is that you end up working too much. Avoid this pitfall by creating a set schedule of your workday and following it.

According to Morgenstern, having a structured workday makes you more efficient. When you start working and take breaks can be flexible, but you should always wrap up at your designated time. Without a set cutoff time, you may find yourself struggling to step away from your work.

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