How to stay productive working from home

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Working from home can be a blessing, but sometimes it can be hard to stay on task with so many distractions.  I have been working 100% remotely for almost a year and have found some tips to help stay on track, but while also not getting burned out.

    1. Get ready for the day: 
      • Sure, you may be at home all day and it would be so nice to stay in sweatpants, but you will feel better if you still get ready like you are going into the office.  If you are going to be participating in video calls, you will want to look presentable. I would encourage you to still put on professional clothing so you feel like you are actually going to work.
    2. Work in isolation: 
      • Find a location where there will be less distractions.  If you have kids at home, make arrangements for someone to watch them so you can fully focus on your work.  Also leverage things like baby cameras if your kids are of an age to play alone – that way you can check on them to make sure they are behaving but they are distanced enough to allow you to focus on your work.
      • Use a desk space rather than working from your bed or couch. 
    3. Don’t turn on TV: 
      • It may be so tempting to turn the TV on while you work because you can, but it only leads to you being distracted.  If you are distracted, there is more room for you to make mistakes in your work. Save the TV for after you have logged off for the day.
    4. Set work hours: 
      • Set the same working hours that you normally would if you were going into the office.  Personally, even though I am just walking down the hallway to my office when I work for the day I will call it my “commute” and treat it like I am going into work.

 

  • Communicate with your team:

 

    • Having meetings scheduled throughout the day helps to hold you accountable to a schedule.  Schedule meetings with people you know you will need to collaborate with to keep conversations happening throughout the day.
    • Leverage collaboration tools: chats, instant messengers, video calls, etc.  This keeps you connected with your team throughout the day and more accountable to keep on task.

  1. Carve out time for breaks: 
    • On the flip side, you want to make sure you are taking time for breaks and to eat lunch.  You will be much less likely to get distracted on other things if you are regularly stepping away for a minute to stretch your legs and take your eyes off of the computer screen for a few minutes.  

What things work for you to keep you on task when you are working from home? I would love to hear in the comments!

Lisa Hamm

Lisa Hamm

Lisa is an IT project manager by day and manages IT security, infrastructure, and collaboration tool projects. In Lisa’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and also spoiling her two dogs, Lucy and Riker. Lisa also enjoys listening to BTS, the South Korean music group and she enjoys rooting for the Chicago Cubs.

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