You work from home, so you’ve got to be living the dream, right?
Well, not necessarily. Whether you do it full-time or you have a home office where you tie up loose ends, working from home isn’t always all rainbows.
It can give you a sense of isolation at times. Other times, you can get distracted by your favorite TV show, your comfy bed, or chores.
When you have deadlines to meet, but you’d rather be doing anything else, a bit of a change may be in order. Switching up your environment, even in a few basic ways, can help you to be happier and more productive in your home office.
Try boosting your productivity and mood with these five tips.
1. Get Comfy (But Not Too Comfy!)
One of the top benefits of working from home is the added level of comfort. You can work in your pajamas, sit on your couch, eat at your desk, and do whatever makes you comfortable.
But this can also be dangerous for your health.
Desk jobs, especially those that involve working on a computer for long periods, are notoriously bad for your body. People who work on computers often end up with vision problems, headaches, and back issues.
This makes it imperative for you to invest in ergonomic furniture. It improves your posture by reducing the strain on your pressure points.
With the right furniture, you can combine comfort and health. It’s easy to find specially designed chairs, desks, and keyboards that will decrease your aches and pains.
And when you feel better physically, you’ll be able to work faster and more efficiently!
As a side note:
Although your bed may be cozy, don’t be tempted to work from there. You probably won’t notice it at first, but it messes with your sleep cycle and hurts your posture.
You might also be tempted to take a catnap!
2. Stick to a Morning Routine
Consistency is the key to productivity. By starting the same day each way, it’ll be easier for you to get out of bed and get moving.
As soon as you wake up, do something that you’re excited about. Maybe that means reading a good book. Perhaps it means listening to a motivational podcast. Whatever the case, do something that helps you build momentum.
Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast, as well. That way, you won’t have to stop to make a sandwich when your stomach starts growling around 10 a.m. You’ll be able to power through until noon or whenever you eat lunch.
Take a shower, brush your teeth, and get dressed, too, even if you wear gym clothes. Act like you’ve got somewhere to go and someone to impress. You’ll feel better about yourself, and this will reflect in your mood and productivity.
3. Set Boundaries
At-home jobs offer flexible schedules, which is nice sometimes. But this pro can quickly turn into a con. Some of your friends and family members might consider “working from home” to mean “at their beck and call”.
Without firm boundaries, you’ll find yourself balancing work with trying to please everyone. In order to be happy and keep your friends, family, and coworkers satisfied, you have to learn the art of boundary setting.
Sure, your friend might get upset if you tell them they have to leave when they show up unexpectedly. Just explain to them that if you hang out during the day, you’re going to be working all night. In order for you to be productive, you have to stick to your guns.
This doesn’t mean you should give up socializing altogether, though. Spending time with friends and family is crucial for your mental health. But, compartmentalizing work and play will allow you to give your full attention to each of them.
4. Stay Organized
Look around at your workspace. Is it neat and tidy or cluttered and chaotic?
If it’s covered in clutter, it’s time to get organized.
A messy desk not only makes it hard to find what you need, but it also adds stress to your brain. No one can work in chaos. You’ll find yourself becoming irritable and frustrated without realizing why!
Instead, use organizational systems to keep your desk orderly. Find ways to hide your files, folders, and accessories to reduce visual and mental stress.
5. Set Goals
To-do lists are great, but if you measure your productivity by whether or not you crossed everything off, you are going to stress yourself out.
Instead, try this:
Each morning, identify your top three tasks for the day. What are your most important targets?
These may include deadlines or a school date with your child. As long as you hit those top three priorities, you can count the day as a success!
Some days, you may be able to squeeze in more than just your top three tasks. That’s where you can fit in less-urgent tasks.
It’s also important to set goals for the future. Where do you see yourself in one year? Three years? Five years? What do you need to do to get there?
Keep those goals visible on your home office wall so you continue to work towards them.
Don’t just hit a goal and move on to the next one, though. Mini accomplishments deserve accolades, too. Set small rewards for yourself when you meet your targets along the road to your big goals. It keeps the momentum going and improves your happiness!
Working from home requires intention from the second you wake up until you go to bed. Your habits will have a big impact on how productive and happy you are.
You’ve got what is basically everyone’s dream job. Even on the rough days, remember that you aren’t stuck in a cubicle!
About the author
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. With over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry, he works with The Ruckus to help them with their marketing efforts.