Editorial: Productivity tips for staying on schedule when working from home

Column By Kristin Savage

Kristin Savage

When pajamas are your work outfit, the lack of willpower and discipline can easily take over your life. As comfortable working from home is, such a casual environment can make it harder for you to stick to your schedule and be productive.

Without work hours, present colleagues, or a supervisor, there is no one to control you or judge you when you lie in bed until noon. So what can you do? You can decide to take matters into your hands. These tips along with your determination to improve your work consistency can help you be productive and stay on schedule when working from home.

Find Your Workplace

Switching up your workplace or doing your work on the couch while your family watches TV doesn’t really go in your favor (productivity-wise). Choosing a place where you’ll work will help put you into work-mode.

Prepare that space like it’s your office. Add some office supplies, get a comfortable chair, and close the door so that you can work in peace and quiet. A workplace will also help you to separate yourself from people you live with and give them a signal not to disturb you when you go into your working space.

Give Mornings a Chance

If your work allows it (different time zones can dictate remote workers’ schedule), try to do your work in the morning. Business Insider in their article The Best Time of Day to Do Everything at Work, According to Science gave a good reason why “We tend to rise in relatively good spirits. These first morning hours are a great time for following routines and sticking to a schedule.”

Mornings give you a clean slate to start your day productively. Finishing your work obligations in the morning will give you more room to enjoy the rest of the day. Otherwise, you can through day stressing about when you’ll get a chance to work and will you be able to finish everything without pulling an all-nighter.

Create a Weekly Work Schedule

A schedule gives you an overview of what awaits you in the upcoming week. When you have all your obligations laid out, you’ll comprehend that not finishing today’s tasks will mess up your schedule and complicate your whole week.

Diana Adjadj a contributor writer for TrustMyPaper and GrabMyEssay, shares how creating a weekly schedule helps her, “Without a schedule, I tend to get all over the place. I don’t know where to start, I forget about some tasks until the last minute, and everything just gets too messy. A schedule puts my work and my life in order.”

Put your schedule in a visible place so that you can remind yourself what you have to do and motivate yourself to stay on schedule. Cross off each day when you finish with the obligations to intensify the sense of accomplishment.

Have a Routine

Simple routine activities can automatically get your body and mind to start working. For example, if you get used to waking up at 8 a.m., having a cup of coffee, and going to your desk to work, it won’t be hard to stick to the schedule.

A routine helps us wire our minds to naturally perform actions without protesting. Even if you can’t or don’t want to work in the morning, you should have a pre-work routine that will prepare you for upcoming work hours.

Put an End to All Distractions

Phone calls, messages, instant messages, social media notifications, and all similar distractors are productivity’s enemies. However, you can be the superhero that beats them. Even if you can resist scrolling through social media or playing games on your phone while working, the irritating sounds of notifications can harm your focus.

There is a wide range of tools that can help you eliminate distractions. Apps for that purpose can block all websites or applications that can distract you from working. Some of the tools you can check out are Forest, SelfControl, and Anti-Social.

Set Your Work Hours

You might have the whole day to do your work, but that doesn’t mean that you should waste your whole day on work-related tasks. Spreading your obligations through the day won’t give you time to rest. Your thoughts will be consumed with work and the pressure will wear you down. Constantly thinking about work is overwhelming and will decrease your energy.

That’s why you need to set work hours. Calculate how much time you’ll need to finish your daily tasks and get started. Look at it as a competition. Can you beat your own predictions and finish before the time limit?

What makes me most productive is when I have a set time to finish my writing assignment. I make short breaks (around 20-30 minutes) but besides that, I just keep going until I get everything done,” shares Estelle Leotard, a freelance writer that currently works at BestEssayEducation and Studicus.

Play Music

Some background music can help you concentrate. It may seem contra-productive but it’s not. Most of us are used to multi-tasking and doing more things at once keeps our brain focused. Add music to your work environment and you’ll give your mind one more thing to process. This trick doesn’t work for everyone but for some, it works wonders.

You can find music that is created for the purpose to increase your productivity. Simply type in “work music” and see what options come up. There is great background music that is perfect for a little productivity boost.

Remote working shouldn’t be a threat to your productivity. It isn’t easy being your own manager, but once you realize that such freedom can give you stress-free workdays, you’ll learn how to enjoy it. All you need is to stay on schedule and don’t allow procrastination to get the better of you. That’s why these productivity tips are just what you need to get your work habits in order.

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks, and empowers using the magic of a word. Besides running her blog FlyWriting and working as a freelance writer at WowGrade she also does some editing work at SupremeDissertations. In her free time, Kristin likes to travel and explore new countries around the world.

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