Set your working hours. For some, your work hours will be the same as if you were still working from the office, and for others they might altered. If you do have the flexibility of choosing your work hours, it might be mindful to trial your productivity levels and work out when you are most productive throughout the day. A common issue is procrastination as it can be hard to set boundaries at home. So whatever hours your are doing, be sure to pre-plan set them (including breaks) and commit to them so you are more likely to get your work done.
Create an at-home office. We know how tempting it can be working from the comfort of your warm bed or couch – but this could dramatically impact your productivity. The key is to work from a consistent space. This may be a seperate room or it may be as simple as a bench space and chair in the same spot every day.
The reason we suggest consistency is because it’s a signal to tell your brain this is my place to work, not a space for relaxation or leisure. By doing this, you are more likely to feel more organised, confident, alert and ready to tackle the day ahead.
Create a to-do list.
At the beginning of your working week, create a to-do list prioritising most important to least important tasks that need to be completed. Pick 3-5 high priority tasks to complete each day, if you get more done that’s a bonus. At the end of each day reflect on the tasks you have completed as a motivator for your next working day. Additionally, by reflecting on what you have accomplished each day, it helps you to be held accountable for what you have and haven’t completed.
Take regular breaks.
Research has shown that we need to take breaks to keep up productivity. One technique called the Pomodoro technique suggests you work for 25 minutes, and then take a 5 minute break. And this is considered as a “session”. It is then recommended that you work for 3 sessions in total and then take a 30 minutes break before you continue again. If you prefer to work longer when you get in to a flow, aim for a break after an hour of work, at least.
Get out of your pyjamas!
Even if you won’t be interacting with other work related people it is important to let the brain know it’s time to work. Get up, have a shower, brush your teeth and put on clothes that will motivate you to work. For some people that will be putting your normal work clothes, others that might mean business up top, party down the bottom (aka business shirt + tracksuit pants). Pyjamas may be more comfortable, but can also tell our brain that it’s “relax time” instead or “work time” resulting in sluggish and unmotivated behaviours. Pre-plan your outfit the night before and lay it out to help you get your work day started.