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The 4 Keys to Finding Productivity Success at Home

by Olufisayo
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Productivity Success at Home

More than ever before, the global pandemic has made it clear that the future of work is remote. More and more employees are transitioning from the office to working from home – permanently.

But that is not the only permanent change they are making. Workers are also moving from crowded cities to remote-friendly, but underrated cities across the U.S. with high-speed internet options and lower real estate prices.

Cities like Denver, Colorado,  Knoxville, Tennessee, Fort Worth, Texas, or Columbus, Ohio are just some of the cities that are expected to witness a boom of remote workers and freelancers in the coming years.

Working from home is the dream, and according to most studies on the matter, employees are actually more productive this way, compared to their performance at the office. But for all its advantages, some actually find achieving productivity at home a real struggle. As such, they may benefit from some guidance.

Here are some tips for increasing productivity while working from home.

1. Separate Work & Home Physically and Mentally

The aspect most people struggle with is the inability to separate work from their home life. Since your home is your place of relaxation, that can severely clash with your need for work productivity. 

A separation is not only recommended but necessary – both physically and mentally. That way, you can create a certain mentality for work and for your free time.

  • Creating a designated workspace is the most important step in this process. Not everyone will have a separate room in their home to turn into an office, but even something as simple as a place at a table is enough to make both the mental and the physical separation between work and home.
  • Keeping consistent hours can also help with switching “on” and “off” from work. Even if you are not maintaining the same 9 to 5 schedule as you did at the office, maintaining a certain routine contributes to this necessary adjustment.

2. Introduce Structure & a Schedule

It is equally important to introduce some structure into your day and everyday life. With no inherent structure to your day mandated by your supervisors or your co-workers, the day is completely open. This is how procrastination sets in and before you know it, the day gets away from you.

  • What helps not only beat but prevent procrastinating behavior, is setting a schedule and a clear task list. Set tasks and expected time frames for every moment of your day.

You can write this down at the end of the previous day or first thing in the morning and then place it somewhere visible. That way, you create an expectation for productivity and clear, specific goals to achieve throughout your day that works as external motivation.

3. Take Advantage of Your Peak Productivity Periods

The mid-afternoon slump most people experience is to blame for many an unproductive afternoon, but that is not the only time of day that may make it difficult to stay motivated. A lot of time spent being unproductive may be caused by this mismatch of personal peak productivity time and regular working hours.

  • A solution to this is to try to work during personal peak times, if possible. Working from home typically allows for more flexibility, so any independent work can be done as early or as late as you want if that is when you are your most productive.
  • Being strategic about work and handling specific tasks at specific times is also a way to boost productivity. For example, if you find that you focus best during the first couple of hours after you wake up, then schedule this time for intensive work. On the other hand, Friday afternoon is often wasted for most, so try to assign tasks that do not require a lot of brainpower, such as admin or emails.

4. Do Not Forget about Breaks

Even the most motivated, most committed person in the world may find that after working for a few hours continuously, they start to lose focus and interest. The brain can only concentrate on one thing for so long, and then it usually loses track.

  •  Surprisingly, the solution is not to try to focus harder or for longer, but to take a break. Taking some time away is actually essential to work productivity because it allows the brain to rest and reset your interest for the task at hand.
  • A good strategy is to implement the 20/20/20 rule and set a timer every 20 minutes or so in order to remind yourself to take a short break. This is also necessary for your eye health and physical health. Slumping in your seat for 8 hours a day is neither conducive to productivity nor to long-term physical health.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Working from home can either be extremely productive or frustratingly inefficient. It is not always easy to find that sweet spot with remote working, but it is definitely possible. The key is to go about it in a strategic way, with a plan.

Separating your workspace, having a schedule that works for you, and remembering to take breaks can transform the way you work and help your productivity soar. 

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