Productivity and working from home are a handsome pair. But being handsome is not nearly enough. The best pairings are the functional ones. Is this a functional couple? Well, considering what a grand majority of jobs today looks like, it better be!
For most people, the question what does your day at work looks like, will have this answer “I sit in front of a computer from 9 to 5”, or something along those lines. Being at work from 9 to 5, especially when you take into consideration that most people spend a lot of time commuting can leave you with very little time to do anything else besides work. If you like having a private life and spending time with your loved ones, this kind of living will probably leave you feeling less than satisfied.
As you’re trying to maintain the balance between your career and personal life (and your sanity), the pressure under which you probably already are will just continue to grow. You’ll try to do your best and be as productive as you can be at work and as sociable as humanly possible after work. Eventually, you’ll probably end up being too exhausted to fulfill what’s expected from you on both sides, professional and private. One possible solution is working from home.
Working From Home
In this day and age, working from home slowly stops to be a privilege of a few lucky ones. How so? Well, as I already mentioned, a lot of us do our work in front of a computer and it has never been easier to connect with other people than to today. For example, unlike in the time of industrialization, when workers were forced to come to the big cities to live near the factory in order to get a job, remote working is becoming more and more prominent. Because of the Internet, you can connect with easy and without significant cost with almost anyone and from anywhere.
Productivity and Remote Work
However, as we all know, while working from home most certainly has many perks it can also be detrimental to your productivity if you’re easily distracted or bad at time-management. Occasional struggles concerning productivity while working from home are perfectly normal but there three things you can do to alleviate them.
1. Mind Over Matter or, in This Case, Mattress
If you ever had a job don’t you didn’t enjoy, waking up and thinking, or should I say pleading “I don’t wanna go, let me stay in bed!” is a pretty familiar situation. So, what happens when after months or even years you finally can relish in that “staying in bed all day” feeling while you do all your work from the comfort of your home or, even better, bed? It’s tempting, I know, but it’s also dangerous. At least for your productivity.
If you make working in bed a habit, chances are that after a couple of days, you’ll start to feel sluggish and lethargic. And that will not help you if productivity is what you’re looking for. I’d suggest you give yourself just a couple of days to do it, just to fulfill that fantasy. Try it out, enjoy it as much as possible, but after a day or two, get up and start working outside of your bed. Ideally, you should have your home office space where you will not be disturbed. However, even if you don’t have one, everything’s better than staying in bed.
2. The Road to Productivity Is Paved With Routine
One of productivity’s best friend is routine. How so? Well, if you want to be productive and effective, you’ll need structure. It will help you to set goals more easily and to be better at prioritizing. The best way to give your working process structure and order is to create and maintain a routine. If you have an office job, it is most likely that you have a routine already. You get up at the same time, commute, drink coffee with your colleagues and then you start working at 9. On weekdays this is perfectly normal, normal like sleeping a little longer on the weekends.
Well, when you start working from home, you might find it difficult since those first days will look like the weekend and you’ll probably be inclined to behave so. Sleeping in, relaxing and not working in the morning. Chances are you will have to have a tremendous power of will to convince yourself to finally start working. However, when you create a routine for yourself, similar to the one you had at your office job, you’ll no longer need to motivate yourself to start working and you’ll start to do it automatically.
Include things you enjoy in your working process depending on the time you have at your disposal. Whether it’s drinking tea, doing yoga, reading the news or taking your pet for a walk. However, make sure you don’t use those activities as excuses to procrastinate. If your dog needs a half an hour walk, don’t make it an hour long because you’re reluctant to start or continue working. There’s time for everything, I promise. You just need to be honest with yourself about why exactly are you doing things in the way you do them.
3. Stop Waiting for the Ideal Conditions
You know that feeling when you have an enormous amount of work to do and you say to yourself “I’ll just start with some easier tasks to prepare myself for really important ones (wink). Let me just clear my desktop and then I’ll write my thesis (wink).” Nice try! We’ all do it sometimes and even though I support the idea of decluttering, in this case, it’s just a method of procrastination.
And when you work from home, you have so many opportunities to use this method of procrastination. Oh, my wardrobe is messy! And would you just look at the state of that kitchen! If you are very fond of this method and you decide to work from home, you’ll have plenty of spaces to clean and arrange and so little time to actually do your work.
Ideal conditions will never come. There will always be some little things here and there that need to be done. If you choose to first give them your full attention when you finally decide to focus on the really important projects, you’re concentration and energy will not be at their highest level. If you want to do your best work and be productive, it is wise to stop misusing your time and energy.
Do we have a match?
Yes, we do! Productivity and working at home do go together. They are a handsome, functional couple. Of course, like every couple, they have their occasional disagreements but if there’s will for doing some adjustments, this relationship will be healthy and long-lasting.