5 Tips to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Man working remotely on a laptop
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Stuck working from home? For many students and employees, working from home is a luxury that companies give you. With the emphasis on social-distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, however, it’s becoming a necessity. For these employees working remotely is out of the ordinary, and can bring a lot of unusual challenges. Working in an office environment means most of the productivity challenges come from external stimuli. You have to deal with meetings, phone calls, chatty coworkers, and other distractions. When you work from home these distractions are minimized, but you often become your own biggest enemy. That’s where we can help you. Many of our students balance full-time jobs along with their schooling, meaning we’ve got a lot of experience working at home. Below I’ve compiled five of my favorite tips to stay productive while working remotely:

#1: Act As If You Were Going Into The Office

For many people the chance to work at home means the chance to let loose. Stay in bed a bit longer, work in your pajamas, nobody will know. While this seems like fun, it’s an easy way to kill your motivation. Instead, act as if you were going into the office. Wake up early like usual, get some exercise, get dressed, and start working when you normally would. It’s not as fun as working in bed, but it’s a great way to stay motivated in the mornings and get the day off to a good start. This brings us to our second tip:

#2: Schedule Out Your Day

Getting started early is a great first step, but if you don’t maintain a schedule then you can lose the head-start you just created. Make a list of things that you need to get done that day, and schedule them out on your calendar. If you use a Google calendar or other calendar app you can set up reminders to help keep you on track. Don’t forget to schedule out some breaks too!

#3: Minimize Distractions

It’s easy to get distracted when you work from home. After all, the call of Netflix is very alluring. There are a few things you can do to minimize those distractions and stay focused. Set up a designated work area, leave your phone in another room, and listen to music that helps you concentrate (I’m a big fan of movie or video game soundtracks). Another great way to minimize distractions is to either log out of all social media channels on your computer or do your work in an incognito window that won’t automatically log you in.

#4: Interact With Other People

Working from home can be really lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. If your family or roommates are at home with you, have lunch with them or set time aside when you’re done working to do something fun. If you live alone, take advantage of technology to interact with your coworkers. Tools like Slack, Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts make it easy to talk with people even when they’re far away.

#5: Keep The TV On

This tip may seem counterproductive, especially after reading the tip about minimizing distractions, but I swear by it. One of the best ways to keep up productivity is to turn on something like National Geographic, The History Channel, or HGTV (my guilty pleasure) at a low volume. I can’t tell you how or why this works, and it’s obviously not for everyone, but it’s helped me power through more papers than I can count. Try it out for a few hours and see if it works for you too![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]