Whether you are a full-time employee, a stay at home mum, or a business owner; there are plenty of challenges working from home. You can wake up late, become prone to more distractions, and even feel lonely. To stay effective from home, choose a start and finish time and have a dedicated workspace. Be clear in your productivity style and create a schedule of your top priorities for the day. It’s essential to stop at your dedicated finish time so you can wind down and not exert unnecessary energy.
The ability to get through ten minutes of solid work without being interrupted is hard to come by. Interrupted by meetings, phone calls, text messages, and our willpower consistently affect how we work. Before removing the distractions, you need to remove the clutter in your mind. Practice exercising your impulse-control by being mindful of what’s keeping you off task. Focus on the reward after getting what you need to get done. Acknowledge that your focus will help build momentum and the distractions are not as embedded into your current work as they previously were.
Demands of Life
Whether or not you have a goal or passion you are focusing on, life’s demands will always be apparent in your life. They will be there for the employee who works 12 hour days, the mother who stays at home with their child, the part-time worker studying at university, or the entrepreneur who works from anywhere they please. You still have to pay bills, look after your staff, take your car for a service, attend work events, do grocery shopping and deal with seen and unforeseen demands.
The key is to accommodate the critical demands thrown your way and be mindful of what’s going to self-sabotage your ability to be productive. For example, paying bills and doing grocery shopping can be considered productive. But continually allowing the non-essential demands to disrupt you is counter-productive. Set specific time blocks to get the primary things done and take care of life’s essential needs.
Due to accepting a chaotic environment, we’ve built habits in ourselves to learn how to do two things at once. Unfortunately, multitasking correlates with drops in productivity, focus and a sharp increase in fatigue. Re-learning how to focus on one task at a time is vital in overcoming this challenge. There are, of course, some concerns where multitasking becomes expected in the workplace. Many managers believe there’s nothing wrong with doing two or more things at the same time. Although they may be getting a significant output per hour, there’s a decline in employee efficiency in the long term.
Creativity decreases, stress increases, mistakes are made, and employees are rarely “In the zone”. From multitasking in the office, you can take this into your personal life as well. Make a list of your top to bottom priorities and work down the list one at a time. Make sure you have a plan for your day, and your brain identifies what you need to focus on individually.
How To Overcome The Challenges Working From Home
As working from home starts to become the new ‘normal’ for most workers, it does pose an ongoing challenge to stay productive. Here are simple and effective strategies to maintain a good ‘remote work’ ethic.
Keep a to-do list. Quite a simple strategy, but a to-do list of your tasks keeps jumping from task to task and helps your organizational skills. As there are many distractions at home, a to-do list helps you stay focused and less likely to stray from your tasks continually.
Use a schedule that works for you. While employees may ask you to maintain the same office hours when you attend work, find out what hours suit your productivity of work at home and negotiate with your manager. For example, you may be less distracted earlier in the morning when the house is quiet instead of later in the afternoon.
Take regular breaks. The Pomodoro technique is a time management strategy where you take frequent breaks to increase your productivity. Set your timer for 25 minutes and work on a task for that full length of time. Once the time expires, take a 5-minute break. Repeat this strategy four times in a row, then take a half an hour break. Rather than feeling like you have an endless workday, the 5-minute break instils a sense of urgency. You are working to make as much progress as you can in 25 minutes.
Challenge Yourself Working From Home
I genuinely believe that working from home and negotiating your time; you are much more attentive and productive in the work you do. You are less likely to burn out, and while you are still reporting back to management, your work won’t feel as monotonous. If you’re facing challenges working from home, don’t try to do many different things at once to solve the problem. Focus on one strategy at a time and see what works for you.