How to Stay Productive While You Work from Home

There are many “work from home” type people, but how do you know that just saying “I work from home” really means anything. After all, saying one thing doesn’t make it true (no matter how often you repeat it).

So there you are sitting in front of your computer for a certain amount of time each day. You have some productive days and some un-productive ones.

How long does it really take to develop a sense of what helps keep your day productive?

Here’s are some thoughts:

What Does Productivity Mean?

If the expectation was that all things were equal – meaning everyone was expected to to perform at the same level and everyone had the same perspective of what it means to be productive. Then it would be easy to understand the meaning of “productivity”.

We have things to do every day, week, and month, and sometimes these are consistent. But other times what we do or have to do change dramatically, and the only constant we can promise ourselves is that productivity and what it means to us must be constantly gauged.

Be willing and able to “brain dump” once a week on the things that you’re going to consider “productive wins” for you the following week. Know how you’re defining productivity, and know what you need to do to achieve it.

Stay Productive While You Work from Home

Know Your Working Habits and Strengthen the Good Ones

Self-discipline is a muscle, and if we’re not constantly making it stronger, it’ll wither and die. Think about where, how, and how long you like to work when you’re not in an office environment: do you have an office at home? Do you love sitting on the porch or the couch, or do you prefer heading to a coffee shop or another place with more human interaction?

Know what your strengths and weaknesses are with each of these, and start to recognize the feelings and how you preform and respond each time you enter this place.

For you, in your home office, maybe you like to make coffee, read a little, and then start your workday — but maybe you also know that sometimes you just keep reading. For that reason, maybe you could go to the local Starbucks instead. Drink your coffee, do your reading, and then come home and work.

Be Flexible

Sometimes when working out of your home, the situation changes and you might need to work from somewhere else, or at least in a different atmosphere than the one you’ve created at home.

Be ready and able to make a switch when things change. Kid has baseball practice on Thursdays instead of Wednesday? Just bring your laptop and get the offline tasks done while you’re waiting in the parking lot. Are your out of town guests sleeping in “your office”? Set up a table in your bedroom or living room so you can still have a somewhat-similar desk environment. Easy-peasy.

The upside of a 9 to 5 office environment is also one of the biggest reasons we would rather not be there: when you get to your office, you know it’s time for work. There’s no question about it — people are in their cubicles/offices, phones are ringing, people are walking around and going into meetings. You lose all of that at home, and it can be difficult to find your way through it without some systems in place.

Now that you have made the choice to work from home, the key is to make it work for you. What systems or habits have you put in place to make you more productive?

Do you have trouble working from home, or do you find it easier? Please add your comments below.

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