How can you maximize productivity when working from home?
Great question. I work from home and most of my contractors do as well. I think the answer would change, person to person, based on their unique habits. However, there are a few basic tips that I think apply, no matter what your habits are. Those tips would be the following:
1. Try to create a dedicated work space. Even if it can’t be a room with a desk, it could be the dining room table during certain hours, etc. but try to not make it your bed. I admit, I do work from my bed. But I try not to make my sleep space my work space so that I don’t effect my sleeping habits. Our brains tend to connect this space to being tired and sleeping allowing us to fall asleep faster and easier. If we work or watch TV from bed, the brain can rewire and think of this space as a lively awake space and keep us up and not able to fall asleep with ease.
2. If you do not live alone, get the buy in from the other members of the house. Meaning make sure everyone is on board to leave you alone, no matter what you do, while you are working in that space. If it is a room, close the door or post a sign to remind people not to knock unless it is really necessary.
3. Have dedicated hours. Yes one of the imagined benefits from working from home is the lack of having to be “on the clock” and watched all the time. But the work day is still the work day. I have the benefit of working whenever I want, but due to our society and everyone else’s typical availability and my child’s school schedule, I am still pretty much stuck working M-F between 10am and 4pm.
4. Plan Plan Plan. If you are not super organized already and you do not time block or use a calendar or set your day up the night before, I would highly suggest you do this. Know what your day will look like the night before. Have a target to complete for that day. If you work by ToDo List for the week, break it down and note exactly what you will be doing M,T, W, TH, F or whatever days you are working.
To customize your home working habits, simply ask yourself, What if anything creates obstacles to my productivity? If you are not 100% sure, compare your office version to your home version. What is different, not just they physical differences, but the social, psychological differences too. Are you used to taking cooler breaks and getting that mental break every so often, are you used to having someone look over your should, creating a higher level of accountability, etc.?
Then create a plan to remedy the obstacles.
I hope that is of some help.