Here are some of the great things to know how to boost your energy and efficiency while working from home and being your own Boss.
Waking up whenever you want, avoiding the morning rush hour and working from the comfort of your own bed sounds like bliss to almost any office worker. But when it comes down to it, working from home can be a lot more challenging than what you first thought. Even if you are super organized and efficient, there are many challenges that come with remote working, like spending hours on end without any human interaction. Suddenly that chatty and somewhat annoying coworker of yours sounds like a treat.
How to Boost your Energy and Efficiency While Working from Home
In the office, your coworkers often pose the greatest threat to keeping you from getting some real, heads-down work done. They drop by your desk, engage you in conversation, and invite you to lunch. The social benefits of a workplace are definitely nice to have, but they can become a challenge if you’re easily distracted.
At the home office, however, I find that it’s easy for you to become your own worst enemy. Because when you’re not surrounded by coworkers, you’re free to drop those pesky inhibitions. At the home office, no one’s watching. You don’t necessarily feel that same peer pressure or communal obligation to get stuff done.
I have taken time to reveal some tips that will help enhance your efficiency while working from home.
Keep yourself to regular work hours
This is the first step to ensuring productivity while working from home. It’s tempting to give yourself total flexibility as to when you get started, take breaks, and call it a day. But you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t keep yourself to at least some amount of consistency. Setting yourself consistent hours keeps you accountable to yourself and to your boss. It makes you more likely to get all your work done, and it makes it easier to get in touch with you.
Here are the important factors to consider when you’re setting an at home work schedule:
- When your boss needs you to be available
- Communication with your coworkers and customers
- Time of day when you are most productive
Tell people your schedule and then “enforce” your schedule
Interruptions are productivity killers. When you work from home, your family and friends can be the most frequent sources of interruption.
So be proactive. Share your schedule. Explain when you’ll be working. Describe how you work best: whether that’s “interrupt me at will” (probably not) or “only interrupt me if it’s truly an emergency” (more likely).
Then think about visual cues you can provide. A friend shuts his door when he really needs to focus; that lets his family know that he shouldn’t be interrupted.
Above all, don’t assume people will automatically respect the fact that while you’re working from home you’re still working. They won’t, so help them understand.
Keep work time and personal time separate
Just as it’s important to work when you say you will, it’s important to give yourself time off when you’ve promised it. Don’t extend the work day too far beyond what you planned, at the risk of burning yourself out.
Keeping work time and personal time compartmentalized also helps you keep productive while you’re at work, and reduces stress when you aren’t at work. In the same way that you scheduled your work hours, schedule, communicate, and plan when you will not be available to work. For example, if you like to take evenings to spend time with family, make sure you communicate that you aren’t available for work during that time. And then hold yourself to that commitment.
Plan your workflow
One surefire way to keep productivity up is to get smart about planning your work day. Before you even start working, make sure you know what your priorities are for the day, how long you think it will take you to get everything done, and what you will work on if you have extra time.
You might find it helpful to take a few minutes before you go to bed to plan for the next day. You may find that you sleep better without the stress of planning in the back of your mind. If you find that planning before bed actually keeps you awake, try making a plan for the day while you eat breakfast or exercise before work.
In your planning, consider the following:
- Do the highest priority tasks first
- Plan your day around your own natural cycles. Do the hardest work when you have the most energy throughout the day
- Plan yourself rewards and breaks throughout the day.
Choose a dedicated work space
Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you can’t, well, have an office. Rather than cooping yourself up in your room or on the. Dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work.
Break up the day
If you followed the last step, then you’ll have already planned breaks for yourself throughout the day. Make sure you get up from your desk during those breaks and get some fresh air, grab a healthful snack, and talk with another human being if at all possible. All of these activities will help you reset, get your blood flowing, and make sure you’re ready to tackle the next chunk of tasks.
Create a nighttime routine
Every day, the first thing you do is the most important thing you will do: It sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Prepare for it the night before. Make a list. Make a few notes. Review information. Prime yourself to hit the ground at an all-out sprint the next day. A body in super-fast motion tends to stay in super-fast motion.
I pick one important task that I need to get done and plan to do that first. Sometimes that task takes an hour, sometimes just 20 minutes or so. Regardless, knocking out an important item sets a great tone for the rest of the day.
One of the best things about working in an office is the potential for collaboration and socialization. You don’t have to lose this just because you are working from home. Try to check in with your coworkers at least a couple of times per week, whether by email, phone, Skype, or even in person. So now we hope you will successful increase your business efficiency while working from home.
Make sure you keep up on a personal level as well as a professional level. You can do this without taking a lot of time. Just share the things that are most important, and encourage your coworkers to do the same.