According a study, 42 percent of the U.S. labor force are now working from home full-time. Working at home could mean a big change for you. You might struggle to adapt. Working at home could also mean little or no supervision for you. You have to work on your own and produce results. Get the work done. The how is up to you. Hence it is important to devise means to get the job done. After going through the troubles that comes with working from home, I decided to pen down these strategies, I hope you find them helpful.
Here are some strategies that would help you adapt and be more productive.
1. Setup your workplace
To get started, it is important to dedicate a specific part of your home as your workplace. Don’t assume that you can get enough work done without a proper work place. Do not work from your bedroom. Your bedroom is already associated with rest or sleep. It will be hard trying to do any work from there and you might end up getting frustrated. Let your workplace be associated with work only. You can convert an empty room. Use office style table and chair. This helps condition your mind to believe that you are at work.
2. Organize your workplace
The condition of your workplace can affect your productivity. A well organized workplace can enable you to be more effective. Arrange your workspace to look like your traditional office. Do not litter your workplace. Keep it tidy. It would be hard for you to work in a disorganized workplace.
3. Plan ahead
Map up your to do list for work. Lets face it. You need to map out a plan. Without a plan there is no direction. And to be honest, you do not want to be direction-less. Have your work plan clearly spelt out on a paper. Don’t just think or a plan in your head, write it down. Research shows that those who write down their plans achieve more than those who do not. Think on paper. Write down all you want to achieve during your work hours.
4. Follow your work hours
Set a particular time for start of work each day. Do not gamble with your work. Set work hours and stick to them, you have the luxury of choosing your most productive hours. Choose wisely. Make sure you do not do any personal work during your work hours. Separate family time from work time.
5. Keep track
You need to keep track of your daily activities. This will help you know what you are spending your time on. What you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. What to stop doing and what to improve on. Being active is not the same as being productive. It is important to know the difference between the two. Your boss would want to know if you are getting the work done. He could check up on you once in a while to monitor your progress.
6. Don’t multitask
When you have so much to do, you might feel like the fastest way to getting it all done is by multitasking. Don’t. It’s a trap. More like shooting yourself in the leg. You would be slowing yourself down while thinking you are making progress. A study shows that multitasking takes a negative toll on your productivity by reducing it by as much as 40%. Multitasking makes you lose focus. Therefore, it is better to attend to a particular task at a time. Instead of multitasking, focus on the most important task. Get it done as soon as possible and move on to the next task. Know how much time you are spending on each task.
7. Minimize distractions
It is very easy to get distracted especially if you are married or have kids. Seeing you at home could mean more play time to them, they might not give you any breathing space. You should be able to separate your family time from your work time. You might not be able to completely eliminate all forms of distraction but you can minimize them. Another common source of distraction is in the form of emails and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. It is advisable that you turn off your phone during working hours. Only your work line should be accessible. You might be tempted to check out your favorite TV show or the game that is showing on TV. Resist this urge.
8. Set deadlines
Deadlines are important. It helps to keep you focused. Set deadlines for each task. This helps you stay focused on a task at a time and avoid distractions. Let your deadlines be your supervisor. Set deadlines for different activities. Have lunch time, phone time, email time, etc. Take short breaks. Reinforce. Deadlines will help you achieve more.
In summary, a shift from normal can be difficult, however, it is important that you adapt to this trend as it might not be ending anytime soon. Working at home does not have to be daunting. Rather it should an exciting experience. Follow these strategies and get going.
Did you find these strategies helpful? What is your biggest problem with working from home? Drop your comment below.