Working from home may sound like a dream come true to many people, but it brings about many challenges in managing both your space and time. Creating a productive work-life balance is key to making working from home successful. Here are some tips on ways to improve productivity when you work from home.
Separate your work space from your home space
Creating separate spaces for home and work activities is essential. Set aside an area of your home to be your working space. This may be in a home office or spare bedroom. It is important that you have this space to give you privacy and eliminate distractions.
Set up privacy in your work area
Close the door to your workspace and place a sign on it when you are working. If your workspace is in an open floor plan, divide the room with a privacy screen, a curtain, or use furniture such as a bookcase or cubical storage unit to divide the “work” and “home” areas.
Eliminate distractions during work time
Do your best to eliminate distractions during work time, such as turning off the home phone ringer, ignoring the doorbell and letting neighbors, family and friends know that you do not accept visitors during your work hours.
Occasionally work off site if needed
Some people find they are able to focus better if they are outside the home. This doesn’t mean you need to go into an office. You may want to schedule time at a coffee shop, library or co-working space.
Time block your schedule
Use your calendar or planner to schedule your day into blocks of time for both work and home activities. For example, maybe your work time is from 9am-12pm, home time to haveand do home related errands is from 12-1pm. Block out your time just as you would if you were working in an office.
Use alarms, timers and apps to stay on track
Set reminders, alerts or alarms on your electronic devices to remind you when to start work and when to take breaks, and to keep track of your to-do list. Clocks such as the Time-Timer may help to manage your time. Using the Pomodoro technique may also help you to stay focused and make sure you take breaks as needed. There are also apps that help you keep track of your to-do list such as Due or Wunderlist.
Outsource home errands
Sometimes, it is easier to outsource help managing your home so that you can focus on work. Consider hiring a cleaning service, a lawn care service, a personal assistant or a nanny to help with the home errands.