How to Stay Productive Working From Home

Renee Cottrell

Renee Cottrell

June 24, 2022

How to Stay Productive Working From Home

Working from home is pretty great, being in a familiar setting, with your own desk decor and fuzzy socks to keep you company. Plus, saving on commuting, coffee, and quick lunches can all seem like added benefits to your work-life balance. Not getting chatted to endlessly at the water cooler? Even better. Yet, working from home presents its own challenges, tribulations, and, most detrimentally, distractions. Being productive while working from home can be a struggle when faced with piles of laundry, sick pets, or kids coming home from school. You want to do it all, but you also want to do your job! Luckily, there are ways to hack your brain into keeping productive while at work and get things done while leaving time for your personal life. 

1. Get Quality Sleep 

A good day is proven to start with good sleep. Sure, you brag you got eight full hours last night but was it a good eight hours? Sleep quality is better than sleep quantity when it comes to feeling rested and ready for the day ahead. Quality sleep primarily starts with less blue light before bed and upon waking up, so putting down work at an appropriate time is key. Finding a dark, quiet space also greatly affects how much time you spend in a deep sleep each night, so maybe it is time to splurge on some blackout curtains. 


2. Create a Daily Plan 

Tasks at work can sometimes seem overwhelming and sometimes not enough, leaving us with an unhealthy balance of stress versus relaxation. You may feel like you are the type who “works better under stress,” which may be true when it comes to true emergency productivity. However, laying out tasks helps you realize which areas need immediate attention and which are best kept for later. Taking twenty minutes at the beginning of your day to create a running document outlining your daily tasks can help chart the course and save your mental place when you get pulled from your desk by life (or your cat gets tangled in your blinds). 


3. Take Breaks 

Taking a break may seem counterintuitive when it comes to being productive, but taking well-timed trips away from your screen can improve clarity on the tasks at hand. Scheduling quick breaks into your day can help your mind focus by getting your body moving with a quick stretch or outdoor walk. A break can also help scratch the itch to do housework, as you can throw in a load of laundry or prep a lunch. Keeping your breaks regular daily will also assist your brain in adopting a routine that you can harness for daily planning, giving you something to work towards as a mini finish line for tasks. 


4. Be an Early Bird

Being early doesn’t always mean waking up at the crack of dawn, but it can mean a few extra minutes in the morning to set a routine, exercise, or cook a healthy breakfast. Being early is also a mindset that encourages productivity. If you turn in projects before they are due, you reduce the stress and scramble of adapting your schedule to day-of deadlines. Thus, more room for new work and more productive outcomes. Being five minutes early to online meetings is also a good way to feel prepared to present and ensure that you are in a meeting mindset the minute others jump in. 


5. Design Your Own Work Style 

Are you the silent type who prefers things muted, or do you prefer a podcast in the background? Our environment is a crucial part of our comfort while working, so designing a work style that motivates you to get things done can tell your brain that work is something you enjoy. It could be a physical space adjustment, like moving your desk by a window, or a psychological one like rewarding yourself with a snack when you complete things. Either way, working from home is your oyster! 


Above all, productivity is bringing your best brain to work. Each of us has the skills to train for optimal performance, but these mental aerobics take time to peak, so make sure there are smart goals in

place. In addition, if you own your own business and work from home, automation is your best friend, starting with a virtual address to manage your mail. Happy working, everyone! 


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