Tips To Work From Home Efficiently
May 19, 2021
It’s called “work from home” not “work forever”. Learning to make efficient use of your time while in a work from home set up can make the difference between working your intended times, vs working extended hours. Being able to separate your work life and your personal life is a key factor in being effective while working from your own home.
Designate An Official Workspace
It is critical that you establish a specific area for work in order to stay focused. If you can choose a place with a door that would be a good room to work in. Being able to open the door at the start of work and sit down at a desk or a table and then exit the room and close the door at the end of your shift subliminally tells you that you’re starting work and ending it. This barrier is important as it sets up a clear line between your work and your personal life.
It is also important to not work in bed. In order to be productive, you need to separate your work and personal life. Your bed is where you sleep and your body will be accustomed to getting rest in it. The chance that you get fatigued and fall asleep while working in bed is high. Separate yourself from distractions by choosing a workspace that helps you focus.
Set Goals For Yourself
Creating measurable goals for the week and even daily goals helps you measure your performance at home. Working by yourself has certain drawbacks like not having instant feedback. By setting your own goals, you can measure your progress without having to wait or rely on anyone else.
Setting goals and keeping focused also also stops your mind from wandering as well as keeping you from general distractions. By keeping your eyes on the prize you’re able to prevent yourself from picking up your phone and watching videos on Netflix, YouTube, or any other social media. Goals will also stop you from goofing off with any surrounding distractions at home. Friends and family should be told that from a certain time to a certain time, you are working and should not be disturbed. You’re trying to keep your work life from bleeding into your personal life, if the reverse was to happen, it would cause a whole new set of problems.
Being clear on what you’re going to be doing for the day and setting any time you’re going to work uninterrupted is important while on a team and working from home. If you set aside 1 hour a day where you won’t look at company chat channels, make it clear to everyone that you are working and don’t want to be disturbed. Same if you have a meeting some of your team members aren’t invited to. Be transparent with your schedule and goals so that the team knows if and how to adjust accordingly.
Getting In The Right Mindset
If you’re transitioning from an office job to a work from home environment, the switch that tells your brain that you should be working might not be flipped. It is essential to get into the mindset that you are working and you need to be productive or else you could fall into the loop of working more hours to catch up with work and never actually delivering.
As tempting as working in your sleepwear or shirtless (maybe even pantsless) sounds, you should get into the routine of getting dressed for work. Keeping some parts of your routine from when you worked in the office helps to get you in the working mindset.
Create A Pre/Post Work Routine
As mentioned above, keeping a routine is very important. In line with having an office with a door you can open and shut, having a routine both before and after work has the same effect. In the mornings you can do the usual routine before, make your coffee, eat breakfast, get dressed, etc. After office hours you should also have a routine. If you got dressed for work, being able to change out of work clothes and get into something more comfortable is a big deal. Think of it as a mental marker that work has stopped and you can relax. No matter what it is, make it a habit and the line between working from home and your personal life will be clear to you.
Collaboration And Communication
The socialization aspect of the workplace makes people feel like a part of a team. Being able to turn to your left or right and express an idea or opinion to a colleague has become a luxury due to the pandemic. While in a work from home setting your communication is done virtually and ensuring that someone has seen a message generally involves them stating that they got the message or by using some sort of a react emoji.
Prevent The Feeling Of Isolation
By communicating with your team, even from home, you eliminate the isolated feeling you may inevitably have. Even chiming in to say hello or goodbye could start a conversation which will lead to more engagement within the team. Other than being able to work productively, socializing with your team via online channels stops you from feeling disconnected from your team, all chats could potentially boost morale and even encourage you to perform better.
Designate Specific Times For Tasks
Chopping your day up into different blocks is a great way to keep your work and personal life separate with the added bonus of being organized. You know what your intended work hours are and you should know what your tasks for that day are, by breaking up the day for specific tasks you’re able to plan the day out accordingly. This method also eliminates slacking off as you’d be on a tight schedule and can’t afford to have wasted time. It is important to stick to the time you set. It might be difficult at first, but once it becomes a habit, you’ll clock in, get to work, then when your shift ends, your brain can relax in peace.
In line with setting specific times for your tasks, it is important to set scheduled breaks and stick to them. You will be working from home, the place you used to go back to after work, the line between work and play are a little blurred while at home. By setting specific times for you to relax and get away from your computer, are you conditioning yourself to work while at the computer and relax while away from it. It is important to note that you should take breaks in a different room than the one you’re working in. Take your breaks at the allotted times and make sure you use all of the time. Like setting blocks of time to work, cheating yourself on the time for breaks is counter productive when trying to set up a work/life balance.
Consistency is key
In order to be as productive during your work hours and still be able to have a life after you officially clock out, it is important to be consistent. Set a routine, set goals, set a schedule, and make sure you follow it. Don’t trick yourself into believing that an extra hour of work is good for you if you can finish the task, this will eventually lead to burning out and the number of mistakes will increase, making your work actually harder than it was before. Stay consistent with your schedule and you’ll hit your ideal workflow while working at home.