How many times have you heard someone state they get “far more done” when working from home? It’s easy to relate to this statement, as you’ve not got any of the distractions associated with an office based environment. However now that working from home is seemingly the new norm, how do you ensure you really are being more productive when working where you live? A few years ago now I wrote my Top 10 tips on successfully working from home (go read it, it’s good! ) But as a follow up, here are some more handy tips…
Plan your day/week in advance
This can be hard and may not apply to all types of employment but will help productivity if you are able to achieve a workable plan for the week. Diary all online meetings and create an agenda so each meeting has a purpose and end result or goal.
Get faster internet
You would be surprised how much of the working week is lost waiting for web pages to load. If your job relies on a high amount of internet usage/web browsing then it makes absolute sense to get the fastest download speed possible for your local area. You can discover the latest broadband deals by conducting research online, where you can also find out which provider has the fastest speeds.
Don’t live in your inbox
We all do it – you get an email notification and you immediately want to see what it is about. Whilst staying on top of your inbox is a natural urge, in reality, it can become a distraction if you repeatedly abandon what you were doing previously. Far better than jumping in and out of your inbox is to complete a task and then designate a set amount of time to deal with emails.
Create one master list (not 50 post it notes stuck to the monitor)
Unless you have the memory of an elephant you will benefit from having one master list of all your tasks, listed in priority. Methodically work through each time and take pleasure each time you double strike through a completed task with your blue biro.
Make your time bookable
Your time should be precious, meaning if other people want to use it they should book in advance. Caustic as that sounds, really it’s the best way to organise a working week as it allows you to speak to people at a convenient time. No one wants an unsolicited 45 minute phone call on a Monday morning at 9am.
Utilise online tools
There are tools for just about anything these days, accounting, project management, resource planning, timesheets. If any of these tools make your day more efficient then it is probably worth investing in them.
Eat a proper breakfast
Breakfast is your body’s fuel for the day, so make sure you have something to eat in the morning before starting work, ideally something healthy. Skipping breakfast to jump straight into the working day is a false economy as you will no doubt get hunger pains about 11am and then be more liable to eat something unhealthy as a consequence. You may then have less energy as a consequence and actually end up being less productive.
There are even more tips in this Guardian article on staying productive when working from home.