Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Productivity in Your Home Office
Working from home is something more and more people choose to do. There are so many benefits of having your own company or being a freelancer, but it comes with some downsides as well.
Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Productivity
Seeing as how you are your own boss, you will have no one to make sure you are doing everything on time. So, rely on the following ten tips to avoid procrastination and increase your productivity.
1. Find when you are most productive
Having in mind that you are in charge of making your own schedule, you should organize your time in such a way that makes the most of your productivity. You should be aware by now of when you are most likely to be productive and use that to your advantage.
If you’re not sure when this period is, you should try to follow a couple of different schedules until you find one that works best. Some people are most efficient in the morning while others do their best work at night.
It’s vital to do the hardest tasks when you are most energized. Once you’ve figured out your peak productivity time, it’ll be much easier to focus on what you have to do.
2. Behave like you’re going to a real office
If possible, your home office should be a separate room. That will allow you to treat it like a real office and behave like you are actually leaving your home. First things first, set an alarm to wake you up before work, especially if you work in the morning.
Then, get nicely dressed. It might be tempting to wear your everyday house clothes (or even pyjamas!) but getting properly dressed will give you a little boost of motivation before you start work.
Also, wearing nice clothes is necessary if you take part in conference calls or have clients come to your office. Furthermore, prepare lunch and coffee or go out to get it during lunch time. Don’t take breaks constantly to go to the kitchen and get a snack. Plus, you can even fake a short commute.
3. Declutter and organize the space
When it comes to the office itself, you must ensure that it is as clutter-free as possible. So, start by getting rid of everything you don’t need. Dispose of all trash, unnecessary documents and useless items.
All those things that you do need should be organized properly and efficiently so that you know what is where. Once you’re done using a certain item, put it back where it belongs.
If you can, try to digitize your work and organize your digital environment as well. Back up your files and make sure you have access to everything regardless of where you are.
4. Limit your distractions
Working from home can be peaceful but in most cases – it is not, even if you live alone. The first thing to have to do is set some limits for your family members. They need to be aware of your work hours and understand that they cannot disturb you unless it’s an emergency.
Having a space that is a bit remote from all social hubs of your home, such as the kitchen and living room, can be very beneficial for your productivity. However, even if you don’t have a separate office to work from, you can invest in some noise-cancelling headphones to limit the surrounding noises.
On the other hand, your family members and roommates are not the only distractions you are facing. You need to be able to control yourself from just going back to sleep, constantly checking your social media or simply procrastinating by doing nothing. Turn off all non-work-related notifications and stay focused.
5. Take regular breaks
One thing you should not avoid at any cost, no matter how productive you are trying to be, is regular breaks. In fact, not taking a break can actually be detrimental to your productivity and negatively affect your work performance.
So, schedule breaks and go for a walk, get something to eat or drink, check your socials, etc. A good idea is to step away from your desk, at least for a couple of minutes.
You can also think about incorporating some exercises into your breaks as that can get your blood pumping, which makes you more productive.
6. Have natural light
In addition to boosting your productivity, natural light has a positive effect on your mood, health and behaviour as well. That is why you should try to incorporate as much natural light as possible.
Get some sheer curtains to prevent glare on your screen and enjoy that vitamin D. However, if your office does not get enough natural light or you prefer to work at night, you still have options.
You can get LED lightbulbs that can mimic natural light – plus, you’ll save on electricity. Just make sure you layer the lights so that you don’t strain your eyes.
7. Create the right atmosphere
Other than having natural light, there are other things you can do to make the space as pleasant as possible. For instance, you should set the right temperature in the office.
Around 22 °C or 71.6 °F is the optimal work environment temperature, so get some AC repair experts to check out your unit and see if it’s running properly. Moreover, look into colour psychology to see which shades could boost your productivity and either paint the walls or get some eye-catching details in that hue.
You can also personalize the space to feel more motivated. Photos of your family or some travel memorabilia can serve as a great boost.
8. Introduce scents and plants
Speaking of the right atmosphere, you cannot forget about the amazing smells that can increase your productivity. Adding fresh flowers can bring in a pleasant scent and a nice pop of colour.
Furthermore, you can choose from all kinds of plants, seeing as how they are both great for your health and give the office’s aesthetics a visual boost. Of course, we cannot forget about scented candles.
Choose a smell that you like and light it when you start working to inspire you. You can also get an oil diffuser or an air freshener if that’s a bit more your style.
9. Get the right equipment
You cannot neglect the equipment you will be using as up-to-date devices play a vital role in staying on top of your assignments. If you’re constantly waiting for your printer to start working or your internet connection is slow, it will definitely affect your productivity.
So, it’s important to look for tech tools which can help. Furthermore, you should invest in ergonomic furniture and peripherals, as this can prevent a lot of wrist, neck and back pain. And, of course, if you need your caffeine fix, you should add a coffee machine to the office as well.
10. Set goals for yourself
At the beginning of each day, you should write a to-do list with all the tasks you have. Order them either by priority or by difficulty. Divide your day into chunks and tackle it task by task.
This way, your assignments will seem much more approachable. You will feel victorious once you finish a difficult task and that will reinvigorate you and you’ll get the strength to keep going.
There are so many other things you can do besides these ten. For instance, some background music or socializing during your breaks can be beneficial.
Once you learn how to celebrate small victories and understand your responsibilities, it will be much easier to deal with what is on your plate step by step.