5 Keys To Being Productive When You Are New To Working At Home

Working from home sounds great on the surface, but there can be some challenges to making this arrangement successful. Many, many challenges in fact. However, all of them can be overcome with a little proactive planning. Working from home was a new venture for me when I stared with GDI.  Here are some things to keep in mind to help you be productive and successful.

Separate work space

It does help to have an “office” space that you can go to when you are working.  I think it does help to get you in the right mindset and get you in work mode.  This helps to get you focused on the task at hand. When you are able to minimize the distractions, your productivity goes up. Therefore, a dedicated office space is highly recommended.

Office hours

Without having to get up, get in the car and drive to the office each day, it can be easy to get out of a routine and have your work hours vary from day-to-day.  For some this may not be a problem.  I do think that people like to have somewhat of a routine and know that certain hours are carved out for office time.

I believe this also helps you have a sharper focus when working.  It can be easy to say “Oh, I’ll just finish that up tonight.”  Well, once tonight rolls around, you are involved with other activities and you may not get back to what you were working on.  Making a concerted effort to plan your day to get tasks done during your office hours will help to increase your productivity and efficiency.

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Boundaries

If there are others in the house with you (kids, spouse), distractions can be numerous while working.  It’s important the others have a clear idea of the work hours that you are keeping and to keep distractions to a minimum during those times.  Certainly there are matters that may come up that may require immediate attention, but keeping those to a minimum should be something that everyone in the household should be aware of.

Take breaks

Working at home by all day is a lot different from a typical office environment.  You don’t have a lot of the non-productive time spent such as going to meetings, going out for lunch or chatting around the water cooler.  It is easy to sit at your desk and work for extended periods of time without a break.  I think taking breaks throughout the day is important and helps to re-energize yourself and allow you to be more productive with your time while you are working.

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Prioritize

Without someone looking over your shoulder during the day, being able to manage yourself is important.  How you spend your time during the day is dictated by you. Goal setting becomes essential.

You must be able to keep yourself on track.  One way to do this is to prioritize the tasks that you need to accomplish and dedicate your time accordingly.  At certain intervals throughout the day, check in on yourself.  Make sure that you are still on track and adjust as needed. This is the key to success.

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These are 5 key factors of productivity. Let us know your experience if you are new to working from home.  Has it been a smooth or rough transition?  What have you done to make it successful?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Hoover – Design Professional

Gould Design, Inc.