Anyone who works from home will tell you there is nothing better; it makes you happier and allows you to have a relaxed and healthier lifestyle. You are basically free of all the pressure you feel at a workplace. And not to forget the biggest advantage, working from home allows you to set up your own working hours and be your own boss.
However, one of the toughest challenges you face while working from home is to maintain the level of professionalism that is required to get effective results. The relaxed environment, easy hours and no supervision can have an adverse impact on your productivity and outcome. It can make you miss deadlines and affect your skills.
The best solution is to devise a working strategy that keeps you on track. Here are a few important tips that you can follow to improve your productivity.
Get a workspace
Working from home is relaxing yes, but you still need to have space where you can keep all your work-related files and other items. It is ideal to set up a home office, if you cannot afford to have that kind of space, you can just create a work corner; the objective is to have a work space.
Decorate your workspace the way you would decorate your cabin or a desk at work. This assigned space should be separate from the rest of your home; kids should not be allowed to use it as a play area; you should not use it for any of your chores. The idea is to have a small space that is your office.
Get ready for your day
If you work in the morning then make sure you eat your breakfast and do other routine tasks before you sit down to work; if you work at night then eat your meals before you sit down. This will stop you from taking small and time-wasting breaks for munching and snacking.
Create a routine
Yes, it is great to be able to work whenever you want to but it is best to have a routine. If you cannot get up and work 10 am to 3 pm every day that is ok; the other option is to decide how many hours you want to work. If you decide to work for four hours every day then make sure you get those four hours done; doesn’t matter whether you sit down for four hours straight or you take an entire day; work for four hours.
Get a work email ID
Keep your personal and work email IDs separate. This will allow you to keep a record of all your communication and make it easier for you to find emails and other important records.
Don’t mix pleasure with work
When you sit down to work then avoid all distractions. Do not use your gadgets for social media or talking to your friends and family; stay focused. If you have kids, make sure you find them something creative or constructive to do before you sit down at your desk. Whether you work from home or an office, you need to concentrate to get a job done. Your work time is not for friends and family.
Be your own secretary and prioritize
You must make a list of all your tasks, deadlines and goals. Write everything down, make a schedule and then follow it. You must also prioritize your tasks so you can assess at the end of the day how much work did you get done and update your daily goals.
Do not miss deadlines
This is very important; when you set a deadline, you have to commit to it. Missing deadlines increases workload, which can easily disrupt your entire schedule. And once you miss a deadline, it can very easily become a habit and with no supervision, your productivity and outcome can suffer. Since you are your own boss then command yourself to meet every deadline.
Keep your work-related communication professional
When we work from home, we usually think it is alright to communicate with clients in a casual tone; do not let this happen. All your emails and other modes of communication with the client should be done is a very professional manner. This will allow you to stay focused on your work and dedicated to your deadlines.
Keep your coffee and water nearby
Since you are at home, it is very easy to get distracted when you go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee or glass of water. It is quite possible that you may see this break as a perfect opportunity to get a few other chores done. The best solution is to keep your snacks and fluids nearby so you do not have to get up after every thirty minutes.
Remember, the only way you can be productive at home is to maintain a certain level of professionalism. It will help you to avoid distractions and activities that can waste time and shift your focus.