It can be hard to resist distractions and stay focused. We’ve rounded up some of the most effective productivity tips to stay organised when working from home.
Remote working is currently on the rise, thanks in part to what has become known as the world’s largest working-from-home experiment ever. However, working from the comfort of your home can impose additional challenges, such as avoiding distractions and staying focused on your work. With that in mind, we’ve collated the best tips around to help you stay on task and have a productive workday while working remotely at home.
Make a To-Do List
One of the first steps to getting organised is writing a to-do list. Research has shown that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. A good way to set yourself up for success is by writing down your action plan the night before. Having a tangible framework for the next day ensures that you’re starting each day with a purpose, making it more likely that you’ll fill your day with productive work.
Bonus Tip: The first hour of the day is crucial in setting the tone for a productive day. Make sure to prioritise your essential tasks in the early hours; the momentum of the morning will carry over into the rest of the day!
Creating a timeboxed schedule and having self-imposed deadlines can help condition your brain to break up daunting tasks into smaller, doable chunks, making the work process more manageable. It has been found that setting a deadline for each goal helps to keep you on track and will motivate you to complete the tasks at hand more efficiently, bringing structure into your day and helping you to accomplish more.
Insider Tip: Set up a reward system with incentives to complete the tasks on your to-do list. Having something to look forward to makes it much easier to stay motivated! For instance, you can reward yourself with a 5-minute break after completing each task.
Finish One Task Before Moving Onto The Next
Although working on several projects simultaneously may seem like an efficient way to get work done, research has actually proven that multitasking hinders productivity. Instead, by channelling all your energy into one task, you can complete it in a much shorter time. Putting more focus into a single task also means that you’ll pay more attention to the details and consequently produce higher quality work.
Bonus Tip: If you’re finding it difficult to stay focused, it may be helpful for you to set a timer to keep yourself committed to a single task for a certain period of time.
With instant access to distractions like social media and no one around to answer to, it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole when working at home. According to a study conducted by the University of California Irvine, it takes 23 minutes to regain focus after being distracted, which is why it’s important to have the self-discipline to avoid losing focus on the tasks at hand. To minimise the risk of distraction, consider turning off notifications on your phone, or better yet, disconnect entirely.
Bonus Tip: If you find yourself getting distracted on the Internet, you can download a distraction blocker like Freedom, which bars you from accessing distracting websites and apps that may hinder you from doing your work effectively.
De-clutter Your Workspace
The environment you create is a reflection of your mindset – and your workspace is no exception. Research has found that physical clutter in our surroundings can negatively affect productivity, making it harder for you to process information and complete assignments effectively. Decluttering your workspace can clear your mind and help you focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonus Tip: At the end of each day, declutter your desk to prepare for the next morning. By leaving a freshly organised workspace at the end of the day, you can set yourself up for productivity the next morning.
Although taking breaks may seem counterproductive, a study conducted by the University of Illinois actually found that taking short mental breaks while working can improve your ability to focus and allow you to be productive for a prolonged period of time. Stepping away for a quick refresher can help relax the mind, readying it to tackle the rest of your workday. However, be sure to keep your breaks short and sweet, or you could risk destroying the momentum of your efficiency!
Bonus Tip: Studies show that working for 52 consecutive minutes followed by a 17-minute break is the best formula for productivity.