There had been a trend the last few years of people moving towards working remotely. With all that’s happening in the world, there has been an absolute explosion in people working remotely. Companies are telling their employees to work from home. And people getting laid off from their jobs are starting their own business from their home office to keep the paychecks coming.
Working from home can be great for many people, but the biggest hurdle to overcome is low productivity. If you’ve never worked from home before, it can be difficult to get the work done efficiently. Luckily, there are several methods to improve productivity even as a remote worker. In this article, I will go over some of the things you can do to stay productive when you are working from home.
Track Your Time
Whether you work for a company remotely or are a freelancer doing client work, knowing how much time you spend doing certain tasks is crucial to getting paid correctly. Not only that, but you can easily see where your work bottlenecks are happening. Using a timesheet app is an easy way to do this right from your phone or computer. These apps do more than just track your time, however. They help you submit your timesheet to your employer and can help track expenses and even submit expense reports.
When you can do all of these things from one platform, it saves loads of time. Then, you can look at the data and see what tasks are taking the most time and where some of the tasks overlap which causes you to waste time. Looking at the data can help you see the big picture of how your workflow is going.
Block Digital Distractions
When you don’t have coworkers to consider, you can end up doing some bad habits that wouldn’t fly at work. In a cubicle, you can’t have your notifications going crazy on your smartphone as it would bother your neighbor. At home, you can use Facebook, watch YouTube and chat on your phone as often as you like. But, you really shouldn’t.
To be productive you have to make sure that you are blocking out all of those digital distractions and stay focused on your work. When you design your home office, be sure to effectively block digital distractions. You can do things like put your phone to silent and use a website blocking app to not allow you to check sites that often vie for your attention.
Use Productivity Techniques
There are some techniques you can do that will help keep you on track during your working day. The most popular is the “Pomodoro Technique”. This system uses a timer to help you stay focused. For instance, you can set the time for 45 minutes, in which time you will focus on whatever task you have scheduled for yourself. Then when the timer beeps, you have 15 minutes to step away from your computer.
In those 15 minutes you can make yourself a cup of coffee or have a snack as a reward for not being distracted. Some people will go for a short walk around their house or do some stretching to keep the blood flowing. Others will use the time to make some important phone calls or even do another task for work that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a monitor. Then, you set the timer for 45 minutes again and continue the task you were still doing or set a new one and repeat the process.
Make sure that you aren’t working in a vacuum and that you are not totally isolated from your colleagues. Use apps like Slack or a Discord channel to keep the lines of communication open. You don’t want to spend idle time chatting away about non essential things, but you can keep these apps running in the background while you work. If you have a quick question, then you can ask quickly and get a quick response and get back to work. This way you feel like you are collaborating with others and there are people there to hold you accountable.
Know When To Stop Working
It is difficult to not overwork when you work from home. In an office setting there are many cues when it’s time for lunch or time to go home. When you are working alone at home, it is easy to just keep working without realizing it is time to take a break or stop for the day.
But, the more you work, the less productive you end up at the end of the day. The top tips help you stay focused and increase productivity. If you are using these productivity techniques, then you can get more done in a normal schedule and stop before you start seeing diminishing returns on your efforts.