How to Stay Productive while Working from Home


Working at home offers several distinct advantages. For one, you get to manage your time, work from the comforts of your favorite chair, and still ideally produce the same amount and quality of work that your job demands.

However, there are also great risks when you choose to follow this set-up. Less or completely no supervision can translate to proportionately less output. Let’s face it. The home environment offers a lot of distractions that are not present when you work from your office. As such, it is very important to take advantage of the flexibility and freedom this set-up offers and not let the convenience affect your productivity.

Minimize distractions

The amount of possible interruptions when you choose to work from home is limitless. This can range from pesky family members to the attractiveness of the living room couch and channel-surfing. This sounds easier than done, however, as you can easily rationalize “taking a break” every so often by promising to do extra work once you resume.

The easiest way to cut out distractions is to follow concrete steps. Begin by keeping your office door close.  Inform family members of the need to leave you at peace while you’re working. If at all doable, avoid the place where countless distractions abound – the Internet. Stay away from chat, instant messaging, and other software that can interrupt your flow. You may think a minute or two spent chatting will not drastically change your output, but in the long run this can pile up to several minutes lost. While it is true that multitasking is possible, it still affects your speed and focus on finishing a task.

Set and follow goals – focus

Because working at home means no supervision, it is easy to become lax in terms of discipline and achieving a desired output. As such, it is best to still pretend as if you’re in the workplace with certain goals for a normal workday. Focus. Remind yourself that while no one will reprimand you for lousy productivity or results, these things translate to other similar downsides, such as lower pay or having to render overtime outside your planned work schedule. On the other hand, finishing a task early means more time for yourself and other things.

Self-motivation is key. Again, the best way to inculcate a solid work ethic without guidance is to set up concrete measures. If you can, try to follow a strict schedule of, say, four hours a day. You need not choose a definite time to start working (as this defeats the flexibility of working from home), but it is best to start working early. This will motivate you into finishing fast so that you can do something else for the rest of your day.

Enjoy, but not too much

Not everyone has the luxury of working from the comforts of their home so consider yourself lucky. Take pleasure in the familiarity of your surroundings and the low-pressure set-up. Make use of these things to improve the quality of your work and increase productivity. Take advantage of the fact that you need not spend hours commuting to and from your workplace and use this extra time wisely.

On the other hand, it is important to strike a balance. The advantages of working at home can be great, but it is not for people who are easily distracted and cannot focus. Enjoy its pleasures, but don’t forget that work, regardless of where you are, is still work.

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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