Work from Home: How to Optimize Your Productivity

how to become more productive in 2021

Work from Home: How to Optimize Your Productivity

The work-from-home movement has evolved from being a trend a couple of years ago into a professional convention.

Further driven by the recent outbreak of coronavirus, a whopping 42 percent of the country’s workforce is said to be working from home full-time, according to a Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research report.

Nevertheless, working from home remains a relatively nascent practice, one that requires optimizations in order to maintain or boost productivity and output.

5 Work From Home Tips for 2021

Here are five tips on how to do just that:

1. Get a Routine Going

One of the key benefits of working in an office is that you are already given a structure. You have set hours for starting and ending work; you have meetings scheduled by supervisors and team leaders.

You have a set of tasks that are arranged by priority. With a work-from-home setup, you may not have all of these provided for you.

Having a routine helps you stay focused on what to do first and what to do next after that. Your work routine should intersect with your personal routine.

Prior to your start time at work, you should think about what you need to get done this morning before logging into your computer and starting work, whether it’s eating breakfast with your family or walking your dog outside.

2. Remove Distractions

Distraction comes in many forms – the TV in the next room blasting out your favorite TV show, email or SMS notifications blipping on your smartphone screen, your children or pets running amok, and so on.

These distractions are unnecessary and can be easily avoided by setting up the right home office environment. 

For starters, get a divider to demarcate your work space from the rest of the household. For auditory distractions, you can buy a wireless office headset to cancel out the background noise.

Configure all your devices so that you limit all notifications, whether via email or phone call, to high-priority ones.

3. Dress Like You’re Going to Work

It can be difficult to feel energized and motivated if you’re wearing pajamas in your home office. It causes some degree of sluggishness and puts you in an overly relaxed mindset.

You want to always be on your feet, mentally and physically, and thinking of the next best way to accomplish work; not having a professional dress code can severely affect those two things.

And while you don’t have to rent a suit for your next Zoom call, it’s good to put some thought and effort into what you’ll be wearing today. 

Rather than stick to your nightwear for your work, go for easy semi-casual pairings, such as a pair of denim jeans with a long-sleeved casual top.

4. Stay Active

Physical activity often takes a backseat to work and personal obligations. For many people, their day jobs are the only reason why they even have to leave the house.

With that reason out of the equation, the tendency to slack off on physical fitness becomes easier and more frequent. Over time, this fogs up the mind and affects your ability to focus and come up with creative ideas.

Going for an early morning jog or taking your pet out for walk midday are some of the activities that you can integrate into your daily routine when working from home.

You can also invest in home gym equipment, such as jump rope, dumbbells, a pull-up bar, exercise ball, etcetera.

5. Stay Personally Connected

Personal connections become even more important when you start working from home. This heightened level of isolation can lead to a buildup of stress over time, which can affect productivity and focus.

You’ll want to replace those water cooler conversations and business lunches with occasional video call sessions with your friends and relatives or by attending virtual meetups.

Staying personally connected in times of crisis not only plays an important role in your productivity, but it also helps keep you sane.

As you adapt to the newfound telecommuter lifestyle, it’s important to find a way for your personal and professional lives to intersect smoothly.

As a final piece of advice, involve the people in your household with these changes. The transition will be met with less resistance if everyone in the family is on board.

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