With many distractions and a bed only a few feet away, it can be hard to stay focused when working from home. In an office, you have set work hours and a boss watching to make sure you are productive. But how can you stay focused at home when you are accountable for your productivity? Here are 5 tips on how to be more productive when working from home.
1. Create a Schedule of Specific Work Hours
When working from home, there are two main problems that people face. The first is not being productive during work hours. A lack of structure and discipline may cause your lack of productivity. To avoid this problem, set up specific work hours in your schedule. Setting up specific times for each task can also help ensure that nothing slips through the cracks or gets overlooked until it’s too late. A study done by the Gap found that “[s]table scheduling significantly increased labour productivity by 5%.” So to increase productivity, it is important to follow a stable schedule with consistent hours.
The second main problem with working from home is working longer than you are supposed to. Working longer than you would have if you were at the office can cause you to feel tired and burnt out and can even cause you to resent your work. These negative emotions will get in the way of your productivity and your mental well-being. Creating a schedule with a set start time, end time, and break time can help avoid burnout from work. Having specific hours to work that you stick to will allow you to be happier and more productive than working long hours. Your brain functions best with breaks and rest, so overworking yourself will always be more harmful than helpful. I also recommend giving yourself days off to relax and do whatever makes you happy.
2. Take Scheduled Breaks
When working from home, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. You may find yourself working for hours without taking a break, causing your energy and focus to wane. To help combat this, schedule breaks throughout the day. Yes, even though you are working from home! As “Psychology Today establishes, taking a break has a direct impact on boosting your productivity.”
Tips on how to get the most out of your breaks:
- Schedule breaks to eat lunch and snacks throughout the day to keep your body fed and mind sharp.
- Take your breaks away from your working area.
- Try making breaks active by going outside for a walk or jogging around the block. If it’s cold outside, try exercising with a video in another room or even do some stretches inside.
- Take your breaks away from technology to help your body and mind reset and be ready to be productive again after the break.
- Take breaks when you are feeling tired or bored.
3. Limit Social Media Distractions
One of the biggest productivity killers for remote workers is social media. While you can use the messaging features of social media to connect with co-workers and bosses, social media’s feed is a huge distraction and time-waster while working.
A 2022 statistic found that “36% of millennials say they spend two or more hours per workday looking at their phones for social media, interacting with SMS shortcode programs, texting friends and playing games.” Two hours takes a huge chunk out of the workday, decreasing your productivity. The temptation of scrolling through social media is much higher when you work from home because you do not have a boss looking over your shoulder. At home, you are accountable for your productivity, so how do you avoid the temptation of social media?
BeTimeful can help because it is more than a website blocker. BeTimeful allows you to stay connected at work while taking away the distraction of social media. While most website blockers completely block the website, BeTimeful only blocks the feed on social media while allowing you to use the messaging feature. BeTimeful knows how integral social media has become in our personal and professional lives. So download BeTimeful today to help social media be a tool for connection at work rather than a distraction.
4. Set Daily and Weekly Goals
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is staying productive. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus because you don’t have a time clock to keep you accountable for your work. To combat this, set daily and weekly goals for yourself to stay on track and accomplish what is needed. Set work goals for how much time you want to spend working each day and the tasks that need completing by the end of each week. The more specific your deadlines are, the better off you’ll be when it comes time for finishing projects or meeting deadlines! By having a daily and weekly goal to accomplish, you will be accountable for your work and productivity.
5. Create a Designated Workspace
With productivity, the most important thing is to create a distraction-free workspace. To do this:
- Try to have your workspace separated from the rest of your house. A separate workspace can be as simple as making your spare bedroom into your office. But many people do not have an extra room to become an office, so what do you do? It is all about desk positioning. You want to have your desk always facing away from your bed and any other distractions, and I find facing a wall is the best way to do this. When facing your bed or living room, the desire to relax increases and productivity decreases. So, keep these distractions out of sight in your workspace.
- Keep all of your work in one place, and make sure it stays there! Keeping everything organized will help keep you focused on getting things done instead of wasting time trying to find things or cleaning up after messes made by family members. Also, by keeping everything clean and organized, when you walk into it, all you see is the positivity that will help boost productivity (and confidence!)
- Do not move your work from your workspace. When you work at an office, you can leave your work behind after the day is over. You want to mimic the same feeling at home, so your entire home does not become the office. By not doing work in the kitchen or living room, you keep your work separate from your house, which helps prevent the workday from spilling into your free time. As well, by having a dedicated workspace that is separate from the rest of the house, your brain will associate the workspace with work and productivity and the rest of the house with relaxation. This separation will keep you more productive and balanced at home.
6. Read books about focus and motivation
Reading books that inspire you will help you be productive while working from home. If these productivity tips are not enough, then we recommend reading this summary of Deep Work by Cal Newport or any of the books on our best focus books list: "Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction" by Chris Bailey, "The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, "Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, "Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World" by Cal Newport.
Extra Help With BeTimeful
It can be hard to balance your personal and professional life, so BeTimeFul is here to help. At BeTimeful, we understand that social media can play a role in our jobs, but it can also be a distraction. So, BeTimeful is here as a tool to help you stay connected on social media without getting distracted by the feed. BeTimeful allows you to answer important messages without the temptation of scrolling through your social media feed. You can also download Betimeful on your phone and enjoy using social media without getting distracted. With BeTimeful, you don't need to block apps on your phone. If BeTimeful's News Feed Blocker is not enough reduce your screen time consider reading this review of Atomic Habits by James Clear or this summary of Deep Work by Cal Newport.
BeTimeful also has many other resources to help you become your best self:
- Discover the best productivity tips
- Learn how to stay motivated
- Discover top productivity coaches
- Find top time management tools
- Discover ways to stay focused
- Learn about why you can't focus
- Discover why it may be time to quit social media
- how to remove Instagram Feed or how to remove YouTube shorts.
- How to double. your sales as a realtor in half the time? Checkout Top 5 Apps for Realtors to Drive Sales in 2023
- “44 Smartphone Addiction Statistics for 2022 [INFOGRAPHIC].” SlickText, 4 January 2022, https://www.slicktext.com/blog/2019/10/smartphone-addiction-statistics/.
- Selig, Meg. “How Do Work Breaks Help Your Brain? 5 Surprising Answers.” Psychology Today, 18 April 2017, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers.
- Shafayet, Fahim. “How Stable Scheduling Can Help Productivity Go Up.” Time. - Tackle, 20 September 2021, https://www.timetackle.com/how-stable-scheduling-can-help-productivity-go-up/.