If you work from home, you’re well aware that it has many substantial benefits. Working from home allows you to enjoy more time with your family and helps you to strike a better balance between work and the rest of your life. It also means that you don’t have to experience the unpleasantness of a lengthy daily commute. In fact, you may not even need to live near your employer at all.
Working from home, however, has one drawback. Unless you’re a very motivated individual, you may find it difficult to stay on task and maintain maximum productivity since there’s no one looking over your shoulder. If that’s the case for you, you’re probably the type of person who types a few words at a time before flipping over to your web browser and checking sports scores or social media feeds – anything to avoid the drudgery of work.
So, do you find that you’re not as productive as you’d like to be when working from home? In this article, we’ll share some simple productivity hacks that can help you get back on track. Pick something that works for you and stick with it. Almost immediately, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your output. You might even finish your tasks sooner, which means that you’ll have more time left over for the things you really want to do.
Stop Taking Smoke Breaks
If you’re a smoker, you hopefully never smoke cigarettes inside your home. Smoking in your home isn’t just bad for the health of those around you – it also decreases the value of the most important thing you own. Your home is quite possibly the largest and most important monetary investment you’ll ever make – and according to a survey of realtors, a house that smells like smoke may sell for as much as 29 percent less than one in which the owner hasn’t smoked. Depending on the value of your home, that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Stepping outside when you want to smoke a cigarette, however, has one major drawback if you’re working at home. If you’re smoking, you’re not working – and since stepping outside for a cigarette is an easy way to escape your boredom, it’s likely that you spend a good amount of time outside. If you’re a smoker and want to be more productive when working at home, the best thing that you can do is switch to vaping. A good vape shop like Cloud City offers an ample supply of disposable vapes and other beginner-friendly devices in a wide variety of different flavors. Buy one and use it when you feel a craving to smoke. Before long, maybe you’ll even quit smoking entirely.
Prevent Yourself from Visiting Distracting Websites
If you’re not a smoker, there’s a good chance that your web browser is your biggest distraction when you’re working at home. You’re on your computer anyway, and it only takes a moment to switch windows and refresh a page. Before you know it, though, you’ll look at the clock and realize that you’ve just spent the last half hour reading sports analysis or catching up with your friends. There will be plenty of time for those things when your work is done – the trick is to figure out a way to avoid distracting websites when you should be working.
Exercising a bit of self-restraint is the easiest way to stop yourself from flipping over to your web browser when you’re supposed to be working. That, however, isn’t easy for anyone. The next best option is to tinker with the settings in your home router. When you log into your router, you’ll see a menu with a label such as “Parental Settings.” The purpose of this menu is to prevent children from visiting websites that they shouldn’t visit – but you can also use the parental options in your router to manage your own browsing habits. Every time you visit a distracting website when you should be working, add it to the list of blocked sites in your router. When your work is done, you can turn the filters off.
Don’t forget that your computer’s browser isn’t the only potential source of distraction when you’re working from home – your phone can potentially be just as bad. Unless your phone is required for work, put it in another room.
Measure Your Time in Smaller Blocks
One of the biggest reasons why people have trouble staying productive at work – either in the office or at home – is because the day often seems to drag on endlessly. You spend the first half of the day waiting for your lunch break, and you spend the second half of the day waiting until it’s time to go home. In between, you have two huge blocks of time that feel like they’re never going to end.
So, how do you make your time at work feel like it’s not quite so long? The answer is that you need to break the day up into shorter and more manageable segments. You can do this however you like, but one well-known method is called the Pomodoro Technique. Using this technique is very simple – all that you need is a timer. Using the timer, you’ll designate a certain amount of time for working and a shorter amount of time for taking breaks. Most commonly, people work for about 25 minutes at a time and take breaks for five minutes between blocks.
The way to make the Pomodoro Technique work for you is by ensuring that during work blocks, you don’t do anything but work – you can’t allow any distractions at all until the timer is finished. Between work blocks, you can do whatever you like. After completing four blocks of works, take a longer break of about 20-25 minutes before resuming.
Organize Your Tasks More Efficiently
If you’re not as productive as you’d like to be when working from home, it’s possible that the problem doesn’t involve staying on task and avoiding distractions. Perhaps the real problem is that you’re not always sure what you should be doing – you might have a lot of downtime between tasks while you try to figure out what you should do next.
Do you have difficulty remaining productive because you’re not always sure what you should be doing? If so, you need a better way to organize your tasks. Try treating your email as an inbox for your tasks. Each time you receive a new task, record it on a sticky note. To ensure that you won’t feel overwhelmed, divide larger projects into simpler and more manageable milestones. You can also save your tasks as folders or text files on your computer. When you complete a task, throw the note for that task away and refer to the remaining notes to determine what you should do next.