There are many benefits to working from home. Many people would jump at the chance to get out of their cubicle for a more comfortable work environment. Global Workplace Analytics—an organization that reports on work and business patterns—notes this increasingly popular trend, as seen in 2014 statistics, revealing that approximately 3.7 million people work from home part of the time.
However, although working from home has its advantages, some people find it difficult to block out all of the distractions that come along with this arrangement, especially if they have kids.
Still, there are plenty of work from home hacks that can help you be more productive during your day.
1. Plan and review the week
A major advantage of working remotely is the flexibility. You are able to work on your own time. When you want. For as long as you want. However, this may also pose as a challenge for some people. One of the most important work from home hacks is to actually sit down and create a schedule. And since many parents who work from home have hectic lives as it is, running from soccer games to school plays to spelling bees, writing down a weekly schedule can help organize your time.
Evaluate all of your unfinished tasks and place them in order of importance. Then make a to-do list for each day you work, so you know what needs to get done and when. This way, you know that from 11am to 3pm on Tuesday, you have to finish X, Y and Z before heading over to your daughter’s basketball game. It might be a good idea to invest in a dry-erase board in order to keep track of all your to-dos as well.
2. Don’t procrastinate
Having the ability to plan your work week is what makes working from home ideal for many people, especially parents. However, don’t use this freedom as an excuse to procrastinate. When you make your weekly schedule and daily goals, stick to them. It will make all the difference. However, if you run behind schedule, don’t drive yourself crazy stressing out about it because it happens to everyone at one point or another. Just get yourself back on track.
3. Go for a walk
Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any breaks. You might be tempted to work through the entire day, but you are allowed to step away from your computer. Go for short walks in order to clear your head and recharge. Whenever you work for a long period of time without a break, your mind tends to wander, making you lose focus. Sometimes stepping away from a problem allows you to figure out a solution.
4. Create your own work space
Although some people can get work done on the couch in front of the television, it’s safe to say that they probably aren’t being as productive as they could be. That’s why another work from home tactic is to have a designated work space in your home. It doesn’t even have to be an entire room, though that would be ideal, but just a section of a room. As long as you have a place for a desk where you can keep all of your work-related documents and complete your to-dos, you’re good to go.
This is also a great way to stay organized because you know that everything that pertains to your job will be in this one area, so there’s less of a chance that you’ll find a client’s cost savings solution report on your bed or hidden behind couch pillows. Plus, having your own work space can make you feel as if you are in an actual office.
5. Stand up
If your legs start to get restless, stand up. Make phone calls. Look over reports. One of the benefits of working from home is that you aren’t stuck at a cubicle all day long—utilize this luxury. The simple change from sitting down to standing up can help you stay alert. Further, as reported in a 2011 study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sitting for long periods of time is not good for your health. Stand up desks are also available and allow you to stand while not losing the ability to use your desk or computer, which ensures that you won’t lose focus.
People who find legit, work-from-home jobs are at an advantage for a number of reasons. They don’t have to commute every day. They can stay home with their kids and still earn a living. The perks are endless. Nevertheless, finding ways to be productive may prove to be demanding. Uncovering work from home hacks to help make each day just as productive, or even more so, than in an office is key.