How to Be Productive When Working from Home

Considering the current state of the world, many of us are being forced to work from home for the first time ever or for longer periods of time, such as weeks/months instead of days. If so, you may be feeling a little restless trying to determine how to best navigate around the distractions of being home and not quite certain as to how to be as productive as possible with your professional responsibilities. We have been getting a lot of questions around this matter, so we put together a list of 10 tips on how to be productive when working from home.

1. Designate a Quiet Working Space
Select a space that will serve as your home office. Keep your work essentials nearby, including your computer/laptop, phone, chargers, pen, paper/notebook, etc. Remember to always keep a glass or canteen of water nearby to hydrate throughout the day.

2. Zen Your Workspace
If you want to take your space to the next level, create an ambiance in your work space that allows for both productivity and comfort. Declutter the space and add plants, crystals, candles—anything that makes you feel relaxed and cozy.

3. Schedule Self-Care Time Before Logging On
Do not get in the habit of rolling out of bed and heading straight to your computer. Before you log on for the day, be sure to schedule self-care time for about 5-10 minutes each morning. Ideas include:

• Focus on being in the present moment as you enjoy your breakfast/coffee/tea, etc.
• Spend 2-3 minutes silently giving thanks for all that you are grateful for
• Listen to a 5-minute guided meditation
• Read a daily passage or chapter from a book
• If you have a lot of energy when you first wake-up, schedule a 5-minute workout, i.e. yoga/stretching or a circuit of 20 jumping jacks, 20 sit ups, 20 pushups, etc.

4. Stick to a Schedule
Create a routine by starting and ending each day at the same time. Make sure you get out of your pajamas and dressed at the same time each day. Schedule two 10-minute breaks and one 30-minute lunch break each day, either by designating specific times or taking them as your schedule permits. Try to avoid eating lunch at your desk and instead enjoy your lunch while sitting outside, with a family member, or as you read a magazine. Give your mind a much-needed break from work.

5. Stay Focused
To optimize productivity at home, try to avoid multi-tasking by doing laundry or preparing dinner in the middle of projects. It’s difficult to concentrate or give projects your full attention if you are constantly juggling one task after another. It is important to stay focused on your work and only schedule personal chores before/after work or during your breaks.

6. Avoid Social Media and Non-Essential Online Time
To avoid distraction, limit checking your social media accounts and the time you spend online for non work-related items. Stick with doing it on your breaks or after you log off for the day.

7. Stay in Touch with Your Coworkers
Check in with your colleagues frequently to avoid missing out on internal communications. Keep your managers up to date on your projects and where you’re at with them. Easy ways to manage this is to schedule daily/weekly calls with your team and set up instant messaging chat capabilities.

8. Make Plans and Lists
Each Monday start your day by writing down exactly what you need to accomplish and by when. If your list is extensive, break it down further by identifying and writing down 3-5 things to complete daily. Each morning start by working on the most difficult or time-consuming project, in hopes of getting that done during the first part of the day so that you can focus on completing the other 2-4 items by the end of the day.

9. Get Outside
Take at least a 10-minute break twice a day to get outdoors, even if it’s just to walk around the block or stand out on your patio.

10. Log Off and Unwind
Finish your workday at the same time every day. After logging off, do something to help you unwind before you transition into parent/partner/domestic mode. Go for a walk, workout, take a relaxing shower, etc. The goal is to leave your work behind and focus on being present and relaxed at home.

We hope you find these tips helpful.

Stay safe!
Jen and Natasha