5 ways to stay productive in your home office

Working from home sounds like the dream job for most office workers. Imagine working from the comfort of your own home. Except, it’s not always for everyone. Compared to work, there are considerably more distractions. Especially so if you’re a parent. For those that have made the leap and now get work done from their humble abode, or chaotic dungeon, there are tips to make your work day more productive.

1. Create a Routine

The moment you stepped foot in to your old office you probably got coffee, checked emails, then started on your tasks for the day. Maybe not that exactly, but a routine eventually fell in to place that  made sense. The same rules apply when working from home. Get in the habit of treating your home like an office. The key here is to have a routine that reminds you, “Hey, I’m at work.”

It’s crucial you separate the comfort of home and the not always pleasant realization you’re at work. A
routine that imitates office life will help you transition your mindset to work mode. There’s less urge to
sit on the couch and instead get work done.

2. One Task at a Time

Catch yourself checking emails and making a grocery list between each email? Well, don’t. Take your time to focus on one task at a time. The time you spend working is important since everything in your home is a distraction. TVs are probably on, the neighbor is cutting their grass, mail being is delivered, and so on. Instead, focus on one task till it’s completed.

Easier said than done for sure, but that leads in to number three.

3. Block Schedule

If you are the type of person that loves scheduling than you will love this tip. Block schedule. The day before, or even week, plan your next day. Schedule every task making sure to complete within that time frame. Lunch, checking emails, phone calls. Have time set aside for clients in increments. Let them know that they have allotted time that’s dedicated to them and them only. They’ll appreciate it.

You have the benefit of having all your energy going in to one task at a time. See what I did there? Tie-in. Blocking your schedule keeps your sanity. Instead of being pulled every which way, you now have direction and always know what task is at hand with undivided attention.

4. Take breaks

Take breaks. Simple enough. You are your own boss here. No one is going to judge you for taking a break. You’re wearing many hats working from home, and it can be taxing (mentally and physically) at times. That’s why it’s important to schedule breaks.

Go outside or run an errand if you have the time. Just don’t let a fifteen-minute break turn in to a half day. Self-control is crucial here. You may not have a boss at your home waiting for your return, but an irate client may be on the other end your phone because you forgot to call back. Take breaks, but don’t let them distract you from what’s important.

5. Music

This last tip is subjective. Not everyone can work with music. Some can. So, this tip is for them. The right music can change the mood you’re in and possibly lead to a more productive day. There are plenty of apps out there that promise “brain power music.” Whether they work or not is up for debate. Brain.fm is a subscription-based app that has different moods to choose from, like working to relaxation.

A free alternative is YouTube. Plenty of free music on there, except you must find it yourself compared to it being handed to you. Give music a try if you haven’t already.