“The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” –Stephen Covey
Today, with more and more freelancing careers and jobs available, more and more individuals have elected to work from home.
While it is true that a home office does not exactly afford you the conveniences of a conventional office, it allows you the unique leverage of being flexible with your own time. Unfortunately, this can be both bane and boon. After all, imagine working in a place where the bedroom is pretty much accessible all the time and where you might potentially get distracted from time to time. As a result, most individuals who work from home have faced the distinctive predicament of balancing their work productivity and their home life. It is precisely this dilemma that prevents some individuals from either, producing quality work or finishing all their tasks on time. With this in consideration, it is best to reconcile your work priorities (in conjunction with fixing your schedule) with your daily routine at home.
Indeed, working from home sounds like a dream, but it is not as easy as some think it to be. If you have ever decided on installing a home office—whether that may be in an empire east condo or elsewhere, here are some of the things you ought to keep in mind in staying productive:
1.) Keep your workspace and personal space separate
It has always been a well-regarded fact that you should separate your work life from your personal one. In the same regard, your workspace should not encroach your personal space and vice versa. Doing so will create a vicious cycle wherein you cannot distinguish one from the other which would be counterintuitive to your productivity endeavor. Watching Netflix while you are working is an easy avenue for distraction and your efficiency would suffer as a result. Allocating time to one or the other would be more difficult. With this in mind, ensure that you create an environment that has a boundary (either mentally or physically). Designate it for work and only allow items required for the completion of such to be there. This means you should probably not put a TV in and block all the streaming websites from your computer when it is work hours.
2.) Organize the clutter
Some people have found that they can work better amidst the clutter. In fact, it seems as if they have formed a unique affinity to it that they could not function without a semblance of disarray on their desks. However, even if you do love clutter, you should still consider organizing it. Apart from creating a more conducive work environment, it helps you locate your work essentials better. Purge your desk from all the things you do not need—this includes papers and documents that need recycling. Find homes for your pencils and pens and while we are at that, organize the files in your desktop as well.
3.) Get dressed for success
Even while you are working from home and not entertaining any clients otherwise, it would still be best if you got up and got dressed for success. Why? It puts you in the right mindset. If you persistently work from home wearing the clothes you slept in, then you are definitely doing it wrong. Make it a habit of waking up early and getting dressed as if you were heading to a meeting or working in an office. It helps you get your mind on track and have your gears set and ready for the day. After all, an integral aspect of ensuring that things get done is having the appropriate mindset for it.
4.) Designate working hours
To legitimately feel like you are working, designate working hours and do not just designate them for show, dedicate them to work tasks solely. In the time frame, you allow yourself to work, do not allow yourself to get waylaid by distractions and focus on the task at hand. Much like how an office sets working hours for their employees, so should you for yourself. If you are living with your spouse or children with you, ask them not to disturb you (save for emergencies) during your designated working hours. Lastly, do not cut time—especially if you are not yet done. Only allow yourself an early work dismissal if you are already done with everything you are supposed to do. Until then, work and focus.
5.) Ditch your phone
On designated working hours, put your phone away to minimize distractions. Having your phone with you means you welcome distractions—whether that may be from a call from an old friend or sending a Youtube video to your wife. In this regard, you do not have to work very hard not to be tempted. Moreover, having your phone with you means you can easily access social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook—a counterintuitive measure when it comes to productivity. Sure, you might argue that you can multitask, but you are only deluding yourself. You might be doing a myriad of things at once, but your mind can only ever focus on one thing. Furthermore, if you wish to produce quality work, it is better not to divide your attention and concentration.
Indeed, while working at home is akin to opening yourself up to a myriad of distractions, it is nonetheless possible. You can still be productive even when you are working from a makeshift office. However, it requires a little more commitment, discipline, and determination on your part. After all, as according to Robin S. Sharma, productivity is actually less about what you do with your time. But rather, more about how you run your mind. Integrate the tips above into your daily work routine, and you will see a significant improvement in your productivity. After all, you might just be working from home in a makeshift office, but that does not make the work required (and produced) any less real.