Has nearly a year of working from home left you feeling not as productive as you used to be? Or do you feel like you’re in good shape? Last fall, a Ten Spot survey of employees nationwide indicated that 40% of workers felt less productive since they’d started working from home. Even if you weren’t in the 40% then, you could probably use a couple of ideas to help give your productivity a boost during the day. Here are a few ideas to consider.
We’re going on a year of working from home now, and if you haven’t done it already, now is the time to create a home workspace for yourself that supports productivity and reduces stress.
If you don’t have a dedicated workspace (a couch or a bed only feels good for so long) you should do this ASAP. Not having this dedicated space can lead to distractions, bodily aches and pains due to poor ergonomics, and stress. Once this space has been designated, the rest can follow. Ask for the equipment or technology you need if you don’t have it, from reliable WiFi to a chair that’s as good as what you have at the office. And, finally, clear your workspace of clutter, as it can add additional stress and distraction to your day that you may not even be aware of.
Taking 15 to 30 minutes to intentionally not work might not seem like it will benefit your productivity, but it will. Taking a couple of small breaks during the day, and time away from your desk for lunch will actually leave you feeling more energized and productive when you return from your break. A brisk walk outside, ten minutes of meditation, or having a cup of coffee or tea while you read an article can help boost creativity, reduce stress and improve your overall health.
While social media can be great for networking and keeping up with the news, it can also lead us down a rabbit hole that distracts us from our work priorities. If there’s a certain social media app that’s making you unproductive, remove it from your phone and/or make it off-limits on your desktop during work hours. That way, it’s not as easily accessible and you instantly cut down on the time you spend there.
Lists are great ways to keep on track of your tasks, but if they get out of control and are always 20 items long, they might quickly lose their worth. Instead, make a list of the top 3-5 priorities you have for the day. Keep it deadline and importance-driven. For example, include anything with a deadline during the day and any projects that are classified as important by your boss or organization. This way you will consistently make sure that you are meeting deadlines, and making progress on important projects. If you are unsure of what your priorities are, have a quick meeting with your manager at the start of the week to make sure you’re both on the same page with what needs to get accomplished.