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The events of 2020 (and beyond!) have meant that many of us are working from home for the first time in our professional lives. For some of us it is a welcome change, while for others it has posed challenges we never expected; the most common of which is how to stay productive in a space usually associated with “down-time”.

The good news is that you can be as productive at home as you were at the office – maybe even more so! Here’s how:

7 ways to stay productive while working from home

  1. Have a specific workspace Studies have shown that having a specific space dedicated to ‘work’ results in less overall distraction and a deeper focus. If you have a room you can use solely as an office, great, but if not that’s ok. You can set yourself up anywhere, just make sure you sit at the same place each time, and if possible, set yourself up somewhere you don’t normally sit. If you’re working at your dining room table, sit at a different seat than the one you sit in to eat your meals.

  2. Take scheduled breaks – Take breaks at the same time each day, and head outside if you can. Some sunshine and fresh air will do wonders for your focus for the rest of the day, and you’ll feel less ‘cooped up’. Take your dog for a walk, have your lunch in a local park, meet a friend for coffee, or just do a quick lap around the block to get your heart rate up. If going outside isn’t an option, take your lunch to a different area in the house to make sure you’re disconnecting properly.

  3. Decorate your work area – The great thing about working from home is that you can decorate your workspace in ways that might not be allowed in a corporate office. Design your workspace with things that will help you feel motivated, comfortable and focussed during the day.

  4. Listen to music – Many offices don’t let you play your favourite jams so having control of the playlist is another great benefit to working from home. Match your playlist to the type of work you’re doing, or the type of energy you want to bring to your tasks, or just have some classical or instrumental music playing in the background to keep your mind sharp.

  5. Keep structured hours – Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should make yourself available at all hours of the day. Make sure you’re switching off at the end of the day and leaving work behind as you enjoy your evening. Working the same hours each day will help you switch into ‘work mode’ more easily and allow you to stay productive.

  6. Maintain a strict routine – Not just with working hours and breaks, but with things outside of work too. Did you previously go for a run before heading to the office? Did grooming well before heading to work help you feel ready for the day? Great! Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should let your good habits slide.

  7. Plan ahead – Set aside a little time at the end of the day to plan for the following day. Solidifying your plan a day in advance will make the to-do list seem more ‘official’ and will help you get started with the right frame of mind. A dedicated work calendar is also a great way to tackle forward planning so that you always know what’s coming up. Need a calendar? We have the perfect thing. Click here to download and print your free calendar.

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