How to Stay Productive When Working from Home

With so many of us working from home these days, either for ourselves or remote employers, it’s important to set some general guidelines for ourselves to ensure better focus and productivity. Because let’s face it: working from home can be distracting.

Just ask this guy:

Here are three tips to help you get more done while working from home, without completely throwing your work-life balance out the window.

1. Establish a designated work area


It might be tempting to turn your dining room table into your company’s HQ, but it’s best to designate a specific room as your home office if this is an option for you.

Not only will you qualify for a home office tax deduction (if you’re self-employed), but there are psychological benefits to being able to “go to the office” and then leave it at the end of the day. If it has a closing door, that’s even better.

2. Define clear work hours


When you work from home, it’s easy to fall into the habit of working all hours of the day, every day of the week. But, don’t.

Not only will this quickly lead to burnout and an all-around miserable existence, but your productivity will diminish and there’s really no point to it.

It’s important for your personal well-being and work productivity to set boundaries and stick to a designated work schedule. Your actual work hours might vary from a typical 9-to-5 routine depending on your industry or clientele, especially if your business is international, but avoid the temptation of being available 24/7. You might love your work, but you are not an android.

[bctt tweet=”It’s important for your personal well-being and work productivity to set boundaries and stick to a designated work schedule.” username=”FusePhaseSF”]

Also, having set work hours will help you to avoid getting distracted by those menial household chores that are staring you in the face (we see you, dirty laundry). Work hours are designated for work. That’s it.

working from home can mess with your head
Source: Invisible Bread

3. Get out of the house


When your morning commute basically involves rolling out of bed and plopping yourself in front of your computer, you might find little reason for leaving the house during the day (let alone putting on pants).

Make a point of taking a break away from the computer to get out during the day. Connect with nature, walk the dog, or visit a coffee shop. The mental health benefits will boost your overall work productivity once you return to your screen.

The Oatmeal Working from home cartoon
Source: The Oatmeal

Hey, maybe working from home isn’t your thing


Working from home full-time isn’t for everyone. It takes strong self-discipline, organization, and time-management skills, and it’s perfectly okay to admit you need more of a structured environment.

Be honest with yourself that working from home might not be the best fit for you. If you’re struggling to focus and stay productive at home, and you have the option of working in the office of an employer or client, you may want to spend at least a couple of days there each week. Or, you may want to explore coworking spaces in your area, like Impact Hub.

Do you work from home? What are the biggest challenges for you and how do you deal with them? Let us know in the comments!

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