Introduction to Efficiency When Working From Home
Thanks to current circumstances, many of us still find ourselves working from home. It’s not likely that the world will return to full office working when the pandemic does eventually subside, either. That means working from home, in some way, shape, or form, is here to stay.
While working from home is certainly preferable to office work for many of us, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a home worker is how to stay on-task and keep yourself honest while working. There are changes you can make to your lifestyle and your household in order to do this. Here’s how you can maximise efficiency while working from home.
Designate a room as your office
It might be tempting simply to set up shop in an existing room, but don’t be fooled – this will kill your productivity. If you want to maximise your efficiency, it really is crucial to have a dedicated home office rather than simply working in your bedroom or in your living room. This means shutting out distractions while you’re in there, too;
it’s pointless setting up a home office if you’re simply going to allow anyone to wander in or any sound to distract you from your work. Make sure that your home office is essentially sacrosanct to any family members or housemates you live with, and your productivity will skyrocket.
Don’t neglect other rooms
Your home is your castle, and it’s equally important to make sure all of the rooms in your castle are accommodating, welcoming, and pleasant. Perhaps the biggest priorities for creating a productive and safe home working environment are your bedroom and your kitchen (after your home office, of course).
Why not think about getting a custom kitchen or bedroom installed? When you’re taking breaks from work, it can be great to have somewhere to go that feels like “you”. We recommend checking out a site like DIYHomeFit if you’re after solid custom kitchen designs that you can customise further to fit with your new home office.
Soundproof your home office
We can’t stress this enough: get good soundproofing for your home office. If your home is one in which other people regularly hang out, then you’re going to hear ambient noise filtering through doors and walls to your office, and even if you live alone or have quiet housemates, you’ll inevitably end up hearing sounds from outside.
Good soundproofing enables you to concentrate wholly on your work and will get rid of one more potential distraction. If you’re used to working from home, you may find that the sounds don’t really penetrate your focus bubble anymore, but it’s still a good idea to ensure your soundproofing is as robust as possible.
Don’t listen to podcasts
Listening to audio with speech content is a surefire way to torpedo your productivity. Your brain might struggle to focus on the words you’re reading or writing at the same time as trying to hear what’s being said on the podcast, and as such, your concentration will suffer. Instead, we recommend listening to music.
The key is to try listening to music that doesn’t have lyrics, and if it does, lyrics that aren’t too distracting. Instrumental music of any kind is an excellent accompaniment to work, and there are plenty of standout examples in pretty much any genre that you can use to get some serious work done.
Turn off your phone
Smartphones are incredibly distracting. Before the advent of smartphones, our phones were just that: devices to help people communicate with us, but little more. Now, however, we have access to a steady stream of information just by checking our phones, and that can prove fatal to productivity.
If you can, turn off your phone or set it to airplane mode while you work. If you must have your phone on, train yourself not to check it while you’re trying to work; set it face down on the desk, perhaps, or place it far away from you so you can’t pick it up during idle moments. Sometimes, communication is necessary for work, but you don’t really need to be checking social media while you’re “in the zone”.
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Create a regular timetable
One of the biggest differences between working from home and working in an office is the imposition of specific hours during which to work. In an office, you can’t simply go and play video games if you get bored, so you should try to recreate that environment as far as possible in your home office. Set yourself a strict timetable and try your very best to adhere to it.
Be sure to include breaks; if you don’t take breaks, you’ll quickly start to get burned out, and you’ll resent your work even more. When it’s time to stop, make sure you set aside your work and physically leave your home office, as this is a great way to get a clean break from your work mentally.
Keep your space tidy
As the old saying goes, tidy house, tidy mind. When everything in your home office is in its right place, you will feel much more organised and able to focus on the task at hand. If everything is strewn about haphazardly and not where it should be, then your brain will be distracted subconsciously trying to tidy everything away or stressing out because things aren’t right.
Your desk environment is perhaps the most susceptible to clutter, so make sure that you don’t let debris and detritus overrun your desk. Set aside time for regular cleaning and tidying so that you can get back to what’s really important. This also has the added benefit of making your work easier; after all, now you know where everything is!