Tips for being extra productive when working from homeWednesday, May 4, 2016
I'm lucky enough to have a pretty flexible work schedule, meaning that I'm able to spend a few days a week working from home. This is great in terms of eliminating time wasted commuting and not needing to dress up, but working from the comfort of your own abode can be detrimental to your productivity levels if you become too comfortable. Below I've collected a few of my favourite ways to keep myself on track when I'm lucky enough to roll out of bed at 9.29 and be ready to work by 9.30.
1. Create another user on your computer
I'm not going to lie to you, this is by far the most useful tip of this post, hands down. When you create a new user on a computer it's set up like a new computer, meaning that you don't have access to any of your files on your personal account, including your Buzzfeed-plagued bookmarks, cheesy music library, all 6 seasons of GoT and your Twitter app. What's more, your browser is completely clean so you aren't logged in to any of your time-sucking accounts like Pinterest, YouTube or Bloglovin'. Creating a new user is great because you can switch between users according to your schedule (which I'll talk about next) which has been great in helping me keep on track - I log into my work account in the morning and don't switch back to my personal account until my lunch break, and the same again after lunch. Separate users are also really useful for file management because your work documents are on your work account, so when it's time to log out and call it a day, you won't be tempted to go back to something once your account has been switched! It works both ways people, it works both ways.
2. Stick to a schedule that works for you
Different schedules work for different people so the key is finding out when you work best and when you might as well be dead to the world. Personally, I'm usually a powerhouse from 9.30ish until about 2, at which point I take a break for my lunch and then usually hit my mid-afternoon slump and am next to useless. Instead of forcing myself to work when I know I won't be productive, I use this time to run other errands that need to be done and come back to finish off a few more hours of work once my brain is switched on again, which is usually after dinner. Once you know how your body clock functions, you can start to use that knowledge to your advantage and optimise your work day.
4. Get yourself a 'uniform' and refrain from sitting in your bed
At one point, many of us that work from home have fallen into the unhealthy and extremely unproductive habit of working in our pyjamas under the duvet all day. There's a time and place for this kind of behaviour, like when you're feeling sick but still have work to do or perhaps a rainy Sunday morning, but on a day-to-day basis, it's just not going to cut it. I don't know about you, but if I get in bed when I'm trying to work I'm guaranteed to be fast asleep within the hour and if I go for more than 2 days without changing out of my pyjamas then I start to feel low and just a bit 'meh'. The great thing about working from home is that you don't have to get all dressed up, so I have a set of clothes that I consider to be lounge-worthy that I like to wear when I'm working from home; they're comfortable so I don't feel restricted, but they're presentable enough that I can pop to the shops without feeling self-conscious and, most importantly, they never get worn to bed. Your uniform can be as simple as some plain tracksuit bottoms and a jersey top, but there needs to be a distinction made between these comfy lounge/work clothes and your pyjamas so that you don't snuggle into bed at the first chance you get and you focus on getting things done instead.
So there we have it! Remember that these work well for when you need to revise for exams which I know are coming up for a lot of you. What do you guys think of these tips for working at home? Do you have any other useful tricks for keeping you productive? Share your thoughts below.