Finding your stride outside of a structured office environment doesn’t always come easily. With distractions aplenty (nothing kills productivity like throwing in a load of laundry), a tendency to work haphazardly and limited social interactions, it actually requires a lot of discipline to stay on top of your game when you’re out of the office.
So if you’re struggling to remain focused whilst working from home, here are our top productivity hacks that will keep you motivated all day.
Dress for success
It’s a slightly controversial view, but dressing for work can help focus your mind and keep you in work mode. Casual and comfortable attire is fine - but PJs and loungewear? It’s a big no-no.
One of the challenges facing those who regularly work from home is the blurring of lines between their personal and professional lives. Our advice is to lose the PJs, trade in your comfies and get dressed for work. Use your clothes as a form of physical and visual distinction. What you wear can help you differentiate between work-mode and relaxation-mode, and can also create boundaries.
Heard the term ‘dress for success’? It could be your new productivity mantra.
Set your hours
When you’re based remotely, it’s particularly important that you’re disciplined about your working hours. Identify the core hours that you’re at your most productive and use this peak productivity time to focus on big projects and more complex tasks.
Make sure you schedule a proper lunch break and save the times that you’re less productive for admin tasks and responding to emails.
It’s also important that you’re clear with your colleagues and managers about the hours you work. Update shared calendars and set up specific times for check-in and collaboration. They need to know how you’re structuring your time so they know when they can contact you.
Create your own commute
One of the bragging rights of working from home is the lack of a commute - but the alternative is a more sedentary lifestyle, something that comes with the territory if your office space is a mere hop, skip and jump from your bedroom door.
For many, the time spent walking, in the car or on the train helps them transition from home to work. So if you’re finding it tough to get going in the morning, create your own commute: take a short walk, grab a coffee and be at your desk ready to start your working day with a focused mindset.
Even if you don’t plan to leave the house before starting work, try to be proactive about getting up at least every hour. Leave the room and do some stretches - you might be surprised at how this useful this is in refocusing the mind.
Find the right workspace
Dedicating a space to your work will help you create clear boundaries between your work and home life. For some people, this will be a designated desk or home office. For others, it’s the kitchen table.
Whatever works for you (and it’s certainly down to personal preference), make sure that you have everything at hand that you need to do your job effectively. Clear away potential distractions, limit noise disturbances and aim for natural light. Always avoid working in spaces which you associate with rest or leisure time - meaning the sofa needs to stay strictly off-limits during the working day.
Of course, as a remote worker, you’re not restricted to your desk in the traditional sense. One way in which to break the monotony and counterbalance the deafening silence of an empty house is to change your scenery, whether that's in a co-working space, coffee shop or local park.
Follow the rule of three
As productivity hacks go, this one is fairly simple - but it’s also pretty effective.
At the end of each working day, write down three meaningful things that you want to accomplish the next working day. Limit your to-do list to these three things - and make sure you do them before taking on reactive tasks, such as checking emails.
Writing it down keeps you organised, focuses the mind and means you start each working day with an up-to-date, prioritised list of tasks to tackle. Good luck!
Flexology are flexible working recruitment specialists. We place talented candidates into professional and managerial-level roles offering flexible, remote and agile working patterns.
You can register your CV at www.flexology.co.uk/register or contact us on 0117 214 1224.