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How to improve productivity when working from home

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Productivity. We hear that word so often. It’s one of the most common problems or queries that homeworkers bring up: “How can I improve my productivity when working from home?”

It’s not just as simple as how to get more done. Productivity is about how to get more done more efficiently and effectively. 

It’s about maximising the time you have and prioritising your workload because being more productive means getting the most bang for your buck with your time.

If you ever get to the end of the day thinking you’ve been busy but don’t seem to have achieved very much, these tips will help.

An effective to-do list

Most people will start with a to-do list and it can be a really good way of reducing your cognitive load by getting everything on to paper. But how you write that to do list can mean the difference between having achieved a little and a lot.
Consider the following when creating your list:

  • The language of your to-do list – how you write it.
  • The order of your to-do list – what you put first
  • The reasons behind your tasks – do they take you to where you need to go?

he homeworker magazine, productivity tips, organising workspace, working from home tips

Read how to write a really effective to-do list and prioritise your time in the in-depth article on productivity when working from home in issue two of The Homeworker magazine and in the first print edition available here.

Good Sleep Hygiene

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is good for your brain and your body. It’s a way to be more productive and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

It’s recommended that adults get between 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night and in the Creativity issue 4 of The Homeworker magazine we explore the rules of getting a good night’s sleep.

A good night’s sleep improves mental alertness and we’re often not aware of how much better we can feel with improved quality sleep.

Feeling rested and refreshed means we make better decisions, have better stamina and will be less prone to lying-in “just a little longer.”

Time Blocking

Drifting from one task to another, never completing a job properly and feeling as if you’re spinning a dozen plates? Time blocking is an effective tool to be more productive when working from home.

This time management technique is the art of splitting your day into ‘blocks’ of time and allocating just one task to each block.

This helps you to keep your focus and know exactly what you need to be doing when.

Get your full guide to time blocking inside Volume 3 of The Homeworker print magazine.

An organised home workspace

An organised space helps you keep an organised mind.

With the way the Kon Mari method swept across the globe with her organisation methods, it’s clear there are results from decluttering.

Be more productive by keeping your home workspace tidy and inspiring. Consider the lighting, airflow, and temperature as well.

If you often feel overwhelmed by paper clutter then the useful system in Issue Two of the magazine and the printed Homeworker guide is a must-read.

Watch the webinar replay on digital decluttering with professional organiser Jessica Barclay. A session packed with systems and simple ideas to keep your digital life in order.

Your work from home wardrobe

I love the fact I don’t have to get dressed up for working from home. But there is a distinction between ‘getting dressed up’ and ‘getting dressed’.

What you wear can impact your mindset and therefore your productivity when working from home. It can also impact your own feelings of professionalism and the opportunities open to you.

If you’re tempted to stay in pyjamas, read this on why you might want to rethink your wardrobe choices. WHat you wear could result in you having a more productive day.

Reduce the procrastination temptation

There’s always some task we don’t like because it’s boring, fills us with dread, or just takes us too long.
There are so many ways we can procrastinate at home so avoiding or reducing these temptations is key.

  • Eat The Frog means do your worst job first. Get it out of the way. Make it your first item on the to-do list if necessary and you’ll feel lighter and have a feeling of productivity from the start.
  • Housework is a procrastination trap. They say to avoid the housework during the working day as you would not do it if you were in an office. I’d suggest doing the bare minimum so that you aren’t distracted by a visibly cluttered house or work area.
  • Be disciplined around social media. Think about how it is affecting your mental wellbeing as well as your overall productivity.

The One Tab Rule

We’re bombarded by distractions and notifications every day. They can drain you at best and completely distract you and waste hours of your time at worst.

An often overlooked point that can do wonders for your productivity when working from home is limiting the tabs.

One tab. One browser window. One task at a time.

The Homeworker digital resources

For a constant supply of expert insights on productivity, subscribe to The Homeworker magazine.

You’ll get a quarterly dose of productivity, time management and procrastination-boosting strategies as well as inspiration for your workspace, mindset and wellbeing.

About the author

Louise is an award-winning journalist and speaker who focuses on working from home, remote work and wellbeing. She is the founder of  The Homeworker, which is dedicated to helping you thrive when you work from home. The Homeworker publishes articles that are designed to keep you healthy, happy, fulfilled, and more productive in work and life.


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