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Working from home is a great way to be more productive and efficient. You can do everything from your living room, without having to commute. But working at home isn't always the easiest thing to do and finding a work-life balance is even more difficult.
Have you ever found yourself sitting on the couch, watching Netflix for hours because you don't know what else to do? How about eating dinner in front of your computer screen? If so, then this blog post will help!
Here are 48 ways to work more efficiently at home.
Tip #1: Get Rid of Distractions
Working from home can be very distracting. If you're working on your computer, it's easy to end up browsing Facebook or watching YouTube videos for a few minutes instead of making those phone calls.
So do yourself a favor and turn off all distractions. That includes shutting down every open browser window (except for this one), closing those tabs that keep popping up in your other tabs, muting social media notifications on your phone , and maybe even hiding that clock next to your office door until you need it. This will help you stay productive.
It may feel like a waste at first because now everything is hidden, but trust me: after an hour without distractions, you'll thank me. You know what they say — out of sight, out of mind! Keep your remote work #1 during the day and personal time for later.
Tip #2: Take Frequent Breaks
Breaks are important. If you try to work for hours without stopping, it will become difficult to pay attention during those conference calls. It's actually proven that taking frequent breaks is better than working continuously with no rest in between.
For my well-being, I work for 60 minutes straight and then walk around with no phone for 10 minutes. I need to have this among other ground rules when remote working because if I don’t I’ll work for 4 hours straight and my eyes will be close to falling out of my head.
So go ahead and take a break right now. Go do something fun, or at least walk around outside so some fresh air can clear up those head-rushes you might be having from doing repetitive tasks (I'm not judging).
Tip #3: Make a Strict Routine
A routine can help you be more efficient at home. For example, if every day around the same time, you take a break to go walk your dog or clean up dishes in the sink, then it's easier for your mind to get used to that pattern and know when it's time for another break. This is crucial to keep a work-life balance.
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Having routines helps make sure nothing important in your personal life slips between the cracks either.
Tip #4: Get an Accountability Partner
This is one of the best ways to be more efficient when doing remote work. It can also help you stay on track in relationships, home life, and other aspects of your personal life and work life.
So find a friend who's going through what you're going through too, then work together by holding each other accountable while you both work from home. You might even invite them over and make your home office feel like a traditional office and increase how much interaction you have with the outside world.
The key here is that it should be someone who will give you honest feedback — so definitely don't get anyone is too passive or nice or else there won't be any point. You could even talk about this blog post if need be (just kidding).
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But seriously though, having an accountability partner makes sure nobody gets behind with anything important.
It also helps to motivate each other to keep working, since there's someone else counting on you too!
Tip #5: Take Notes and Make a Task List
Instead of relying on memory (because we all know how unreliable that can be), take notes and make a list every time something needs doing. Not having co-workers and with everyone working remotely you’ll need to leverage technology to your advantage.
The best thing about this tip is that once again, it also helps you stay on track with your work tasks and their deadlines. So if something is due early next week, then write it down so that you won't forget to do it by the time Monday rolls around!
Tip #6: Get a Hobby That Requires Productivity
This one's my favorite because I love being productive at home. It can help take your mind off work for a little while too…so go ahead and use this blog post as an excuse to procrastinate from doing all those tasks in your notes just one more time before going to bed (you're welcome).
Having a hobby will make sure that when you get back in normal work hours, you are working and not thinking about other things.
Plus, they add a little more joy to your life too, so it's a win-win situation.
Tip #7: Use the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro method is another way for you to become more productive at home. It works by setting an alarm during work hours on your phone every 25 minutes (or 30 if that makes you more comfortable). Then during those time intervals, work as hard as possible and focus on nothing but getting things done.
After the timer goes off though, take a break! Relax with some food or drink — go for a walk outside even — then come back when it rings again ready to give this whole productivity thing another shot!
The reason why we do this is that working continuously without rest can make us seem like a busy person but in reality, we’re just moving and not accomplishing anything.
So give yourself some time to recuperate after you've worked. It will help you be more effective and have sound sleep after work.
Tip #8: Have a Dedicated Workspace
Even though it can be fun to work from different areas in your home, sometimes it's better to stick with a dedicated office space.
That way you know where everything is and won't have any distractions — like the cat walking on your keyboard or an e-mail notification popping up every minute on your cell phone.
It also helps if this spot isn't near anything that will disrupt you. My rule is, when my office door is closed, no one is to distract me.
Plus, having a dedicated space for getting things done just makes everything feel more official.
Tip #9: Make Sure You're Getting Plenty of Rest
This might sound like common sense, but it can't be said enough! If you want to become more productive, then you need sleep so that everything will go much smoother. Having a proper sleep schedule is important not only for being productive during working hours but also for your mental health.
That way there won't be any thinking about sleep during working hours. You want to use your home effectively for your full-time job and your personal life.
Tip #10: Write Everything Down and Put It in Your Calendar
If something needs to be done by the end of the week, then write it down in your calendar or planner so that you won't forget about it until Monday morning rolls around (because let's face it — no one likes waking up with the terror of missing a deadline).
And if there are certain tasks that need doing every day or even multiple times per day too…put them into your daily schedule.
That way they're always right there in front of you whenever you check what is going on during your work from home day.
Tip #11: Find What Works Best for You and Stick With It
There are many different ways out there to become more productive, but sticking to the ones that work can be tough.
That's why it might take some time to find out what works best for you while you are just starting to work from home. It could be the Pomodoro technique or maybe even writing everything down in a planner…or maybe both!
You'll never know unless you try them all and see which ones work for you. Some remote employees do great with some and not with others. Try the ones in this list and keep the ones that work for you and throw out the ones that do not.
Tip #12: Track Your Productivity and Priorities
Tracking how much work you get done each day is another good way of becoming more productive as remote employees. There are plenty of mobile apps that can help with this.
This will make sure that nothing gets pushed back onto your “to-do list” until tomorrow (or next week), because if something isn't getting done right away then there must not be enough priority placed upon it yet.
Prioritizing what is most important is an important skill to master with remote work.
Tip #13: Get Out of the House Every Now and Then
Remote work is great because you can sit in pajamas all day long…but sometimes you might need a change of scenery.
That way when your work hours are too monotonous, you can go out and enjoy the outdoors, even if it’s just to walk around the block to clear your head. Remote workers need to go outside too!
Tip #14: Turn off All Electronics When They Are Not in Use
This might sound like a no-brainer (because it is), but constantly checking our phones and computers once we've already started working at home really does take away from productivity.
Turning them off only for focused work will make sure that nothing gets in the way of getting things done…and this includes emails too! I have all push notifications turned off. The only way someone can contact me during these times is by calling me.
Remember to check your notifications after this to make sure you didn’t miss that important video call or team-building meeting.
Tip #15: Have Fun With It
Ultimately your home office should be a place that you enjoy being in. So have fun while you're getting things done too, whether it's listening to music or watching TV shows on the side when there are certain tasks just aren't calling for attention right away. I would avoid watching TV when you need to concentrate on something important.
That way everything will feel so much more lighthearted and not like such a drag, especially all those virtual meetings. You know what I’m talking about.
To make your brain’s blood flow better I encourage gamifying your work. This means when you complete a certain task you get to do something you like. For me, once I clear out my morning video chat messages and email inbox I make myself a smoothie before my lunch break. Don’t tell the co-founder, please…
Tip #16: Set Aside Time for Important Tasks and Trusted People
If there are certain tasks that absolutely need to get done, then make sure you set aside time (if possible) for them specifically.
You want to also continue to develop important professional relationships even if you cannot walk into their office.
And if a particular person needs a favor from you concerning something major at work, then let them know about your availability as soon as possible so that everyone involved knows exactly what needs taking care of first. Team collaboration is still very important even when we have all become remote workers.
Tip #17: Use Your Phone to Its Fullest Potential
Don't just use your phone as an alarm clock.
There are so many ways that you can use your phone to help get things done…like using voice memos, adding tasks on the go with a to-do list app or even checking emails while commuting.
Just make sure you aren’t getting distracted by social media or other notifications that aren’t remote work related.
Tip #18: Get All Your Errands Done in One Trip
Sometimes it's easier to get errands out of the way at once rather than trying to do them throughout the week when they surface one by one.
So instead try making a plan ahead of time (and sticking with it) about going grocery shopping, stopping by the post office and that weekly video call with your mom.
That way you can get more done in a single day and feel like your work from home time was well spent afterward too!
Tip #19: Look Into Productivity Apps
There are plenty of work-from-home apps out there designed specifically for people who need help staying focused and motivated throughout their day (or night).
That means everything from timers, to goal trackers, to even things like noise generators (all the way up to white or pink noise) for blocking out distractions.
No one is saying that you have to use all of them either…just see what might benefit your work style and go from there! The mere act of doing something different will help you stay productive.
Tip #20: Find a Place Away From All the Distractions
Don't underestimate how much it can help to have somewhere completely separate where you can focus on getting things done with no interruptions at all. This might even be an unconventional space like your backyard patio or driver’s seat of your car. I’ve done both.
Try finding a work-from-home area without any electronics nearby if possible.
If inside, make sure you’re in a well-lit room and lots of natural light is coming in. It should be a comfortable space where you have no problem working for hours on end.
Tip #21: Try a Standing Desk
If you're tired of sitting all day long and want to try something different, then why not use a standing desk while you work from home? If your back gets stiff from working long hours, you should definitely invest in a good quality standing desk. I have used mine for years. Here is the brand I have used before.
That way even if you work for hours on end, your body will still get the movement it needs throughout the day. So find out what might be available within your budget and go from there. Your spine and neck thank you in advance!
Tip #22: Listen to Ambient Music While You're Working
There is a reason why people use ambient noise to help them focus on getting things done…because it works! Whether you listen to beach, lofi or beach sounds, the soft background noises can actually have an effect on how your brain perceives what's going on around you.
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Tip #23: Have Snacks and Drinks at the Ready
It might sound silly, but having snacks and drinks around while you work from home can help with keeping your energy levels up (and consistent) throughout the day.
No one wants to be interrupted because they're hungry or thirsty anyway…so instead, try making it easier on yourself by always being prepared in advance.
Tip #24: Have a Set Work Schedule
It might sound like it's for students or people who work at a corporate office, but having an actual set schedule in your home office can have its benefits no matter where you are (even if you have quality technology and your laptop has a super long battery life).
By setting yourself up in such a way, you'll be surprised how much easier it is to get yourself motivated and into the right mindset while you work from home.
Tip #25: Create a Morning Routine
If you're just adjusting to work from home life, then it might be a good idea to create an actual morning routine. That way you can wake up and get ready quickly while still having some time for yourself before diving into work (which will make the transition much easier).
Plus there are plenty of free apps out there that can help with creating a morning routine that will benefit your work style and help you with getting more done at home. For further reading, I recommend The Miracle Morning. Each morning before I start my work from home day I do a few of the steps outlined in this book.
Tip #26: Use Ergonomic Products
If while you work you feel stressed out because of the position your body is in while working on a laptop or computer, then it might be time to try something new.
That means everything from using ergonomic products like stands for laptops and desks that will help with making your work more comfortable. We talked about a standing desk earlier. Here is a mouse similar to the one I use currently. Upgrading your home office equipment is always a good idea.
Tip #27: Wear Work Clothes, Not Pajamas
As much as working from home sounds like a dream come true, it can be hard to change your mindset about working when you're actually at home and you can video chat with your pajama pants still on.
Wearing work clothes is important because it will help remind yourself that even though you are working from the comfort of your own bed or couch, this isn't a vacation and still requires your full attention.
I wear a suit and tie every day even when I don’t have any video chat applications open. I work from home, but it looks like I’m going to the office downtown every day.
Tip #28: Get a Good Night's Sleep Every Night
If you work from home and are logging hours later into the night, it might be time to try and change your sleeping pattern. That means adjusting what times you go to sleep so that you can get a good amount of rest. A lot of us have a great working relationship with others but not so much with our bed.
Prioritize yourself first even if it’s your own business.
Tip #29: Start Working Early in the Day
If working from home has you working at all hours of the day, then it might be time to try switching things up. That means getting into an earlier routine with your work schedule so that working later isn't necessary anymore. (early birds anyone?)
I have found, for most people, Working during the morning hours is actually more productive than working at night.
So give yourself a chance and see if changing how you do things can make a positive difference when trying to be more effective.
Tip #30: Meal Prep
If working from home has you constantly going out to eat or ordering in, it might be time to try something new. That means meal prepping every Sunday night for the week ahead so that food is already prepared and waiting whenever hunger strikes.
So not only will this help with saving money on eating out all the time…but also keep your concentration locked in as you won’t have to worry about cooking during the day.
Tip #31: Exercise Before Work
If working from home has you feeling sluggish or unmotivated, it might be time to try working out first thing in the morning. A quick 15 minutes of exercise can give your body and mind a little boost so that working all day doesn't seem as daunting. Exercising is shown to improve cognitive function. This means your brain will work better and you’ll be more effective.
Tip #32: Do a Brain Dump Every Now and Then
Sometimes working for hours on end without any sort of break isn't always great for keeping motivation levels up (especially if you're working on an intense project). That's why working it out by taking a brain dump (writing down everything you need to do and working on them one at a time) is important to keep your head clear.
So try working this into your schedule every now and then, even if you feel like there isn't enough time for breaks.
Tip #33: Keep a Clean Workspace
Working from home can sometimes mean working in a cluttered environment. That's why keeping your workspace clean by organizing it often is important. Working in an unorganized mess will make you feel more overwhelmed and less motivated to get anything done. You'll be distracted by the mess all day and working will become a nightmare.
A clear workspace creates a clear mind.
Tip #34: Use a Timer When Working on Tasks That Take Longer Than Expected
If working from home has you working on projects that seem to be taking forever, it might be time to try something new. That means using timers when working so that tasks take the right amount of time and don’t drain your whole day.
Tip #35: Schedule Breaks With Friends and Family Members Every Now and Then
Even though working remotely may mean sacrificing social interactions sometimes, make sure you’re able to spend time with those you care about most.
We as humans need other people around us. Make sure to keep the main things the main things.
Tip #36: Have a High Performance Router
Having a working internet connection is important for working from home. That's why working without it (or with slow speeds) can make working at home feel like you're dragging all day long.
So try working in the same room as your router. I promise you, a lagging video chat sucks for everyone involved.
Tip #37: Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals
When working from home, it can be easy to eat junk food all day long because there's no one around to judge you. But working while eating unhealthy snacks is shown to make working less productive.
So add in healthier options like fruits and vegetables throughout the workday (and not just for lunch or dinner).
Tip #38: Have a Clear Workspace
Working at home also means working near lots of other things…like dishes that need washing, clothes on the floor, and other household chores.
That's why having a clear workspace before starting your workday will help with avoiding distractions so that motivation levels stay up high.
You'll find yourself feeling more motivated when working without being distracted by the mess.
Tip #39: Set Boundaries With Those Around You
Working from home can mean working in close contact with friends and family members. This is great for working together on projects, but it might be bad if you need some alone time while working.
That's why setting boundaries with others by letting them know when you're working so they aren't constantly bothering you during work hours. My rule is if the door is closed, I am not to be disturbed. (unless the house is burning down)
Tip #40: Talk to Co-workers Online
Having social interactions among co-workers- is more difficult when working from home. Use project management software like Slack or Trello to talk with colleagues instead of emailing back-and-forth day long because this makes communicating with coworkers easier and working remotely can feel less alone.
Tip #41: Log off of All Social Media While Working
Logging off of social media while working is important because you want to be able to stay focused throughout the day.
That's why keeping up with your favorite sites and apps for a short period each week (instead of every second) will help you focus on your work.
Tip #42: Work in Different Places Sometimes
If working out of one room all day long feels like it's getting too boring, try working in different places around the house instead.
For example, work on projects in the living room or kitchen if motivation levels start falling when working without coworkers nearby or go outside as a change of scenery since fresh air can help give new energy.
So switching things up now and then by working in multiple locations helps creativity stay high.
Tip #43: Customize Your Work Environment
Having a working desk, office chair, computer or laptop are all important for working from home.
But working in the same room all day long can get boring.
That's why customizing your work environment by adding fun decorations and items that reflect you as an individual will help motivation levels stay high!
Tip #44: Set Daily and Weekly Goals
Having daily and weekly goals is important for working efficiently.
That's why setting up an online goal tracking software like ATracker can be helpful when working from home because working with a plan in place helps productivity levels stay high!
Tip #45: Have a Wellness Routine
Having a working wellness regimen (like yoga, meditation, or exercise) will help you feel more refreshed and relaxed while working.
Prioritizing self-care is important while working from home because life can be stressful and carving out time for yourself is essential to staying on top of tasks and not getting overwhelmed.
Tip #46: Try to Be Flexible With Your Hours
Being flexible with your hours while working remotely will help you avoid feeling stressed out.
So try getting up and working earlier than usual if motivation levels start falling when working after-hours…or wake up later and work for shorter periods of time if working late into the night feels like it's too draining.
That way, finding what works best for you as an individual helps productivity levels stay high!
Tip #47: Have a Relaxing Evening Routine
Working can be tiring…which means that relaxing afterward with family members will make the next morning easier.
So try having an evening routine like watching TV together as a family, reading books to kids before bedtime, etc. instead of always working late into the night which makes going back to work hard after taking time off.
Tip #48: Don't Try to Do Everything at Once
Finally, don't forget to take breaks throughout the day when working from home because working constantly isn't healthy!
So try not to do too much at once and remember that working efficiently doesn't mean working nonstop…which is why taking time off for things like watching your favorite show, going on a walk outside, or eating lunch with family members are all important.
So there are 48 tips for working efficiently from the comfort of your own home
Remember that when it comes to these, they're always open to interpretation as far as what applies best for you individually. So take them with a grain of salt (or sugar if you want) and see which ones work out the most in your favor based on how things play out throughout each week.
As a certified credit counselor and syndicated writer at MaxMyMoney, Max has coached over 250 Millennials to help take the stress out of money. When Max is not coaching, you'll find him reading financial books, indoor cycling, or visiting local pawn shops looking for swiss-made watches.