The advent of modern technology has allowed millions of people to be very efficient and accomplish many work-oriented tasks from the comfort of their homes. Companies are now saving countless thousands of dollars on office spaces and transportation funds, simply because they’ve allowed their employees to work from their households, via an Internet connection.
There are numerous benefits for the employee, as well. They no longer have to get up two hours early in order to get ready for the office, and then spend close to an hour on the commute to work. Essentially, they get an extra two hours every day that they can use as they see fit, be it for leisure or work.
There is a downside to working from home, however. Because of the lack of a real working environment, sometimes it can be pretty hard to motivate yourself and get as much work done as you would in an office. It’s easy to sit back and procrastinate while you’re in the comfort of your own home, hidden from the eyes of your boss and your colleagues.
Fortunately, there are a few highly useful tricks that you can utilize in order to increase your overall productivity when working from home. In fact, with the correct mindset, you’ll be able to achieve the productivity of a regular day in the office with all the benefits of not ever having to leave your room.
1. Don’t Cheat, Start on Time
It’s very tempting to stay an extra fifteen minutes or half an hour slouching around in your bed and giving yourself the privilege of putting off your work.
However, know right away that this is a bad idea in every possible way. Because the more you put off, the more you’re going to be discouraged about actually starting. If it helps, go through your morning ritual the same way you would when you had to go to the office; have a shower, shave, make some coffee, get dressed, anything you need to put yourself in a working mindset, and then get to work.
Procrastination is hardest to fight before you’ve actually started your work – after that, it gets exponentially easier.
2. Create Deadlines and Enforce Them
One of the most effective ways to make yourself more efficient when working from home is to give yourself a time limit. Too much leniency and flexibility in your work is not a good thing, because it leaves you without a particular goal in mind; and of course, the goal is to finish your daily tasks until a certain moment.
Of course, sometimes you simply don’t have any particular deadlines, so you’ll have to get a bit creative. Grab a stopwatch, or use a countdown timer app on your phone and set it to a certain time. I like to split my work into 10-minute-long bits and challenge myself to do a certain amount in that time period. For you, 30 minutes might work or maybe an hour.
All that matters is that you give yourself a tangible time limit that you have an intention to beat, and you’ll find that your efficiency will skyrocket. It’s a really effective method if you find yourself constantly slacking off and having your attention diverted.
3. Eliminate Distractions
If you thought that you’d be safe from distractions simply because you’re alone in your room without any coworkers, you’re horribly mistaken. Since you probably have to use the Internet to conduct your business, you’re completely exposed to a whole different world of mental detours.
The Internet is unbelievably effective at stealing and diverting your attention, with the help of countless social media sites, and possibly even worse: constant ads.
Advertisements are what funds websites, and so web developers pretty much have no choice but to place them all over the page any chance they get. These can get quite annoying and distracting, especially if you’re spending a lot of time doing research on the Internet.
Sometimes they even put a huge ad in the middle of a block of text, completely disrupting the flow of your research just so you can look at some big useless banner. What’s worse, advertising companies are wisening up and now they actually collect your search history via intelligent cookies and use them to serve you personalized ads.
This means that whatever you search for will be advertised to you at a later time on a completely separate website such as Facebook. To prevent this from happening, just grab some kind of ad blocking extension for your browser, as this will make short work of any annoying ads.
If for whatever reason you can’t use an adblocker, a VPN service like Getflix can help you make your connection more private and prevent Google from serving you personalized ads, which are definitely even more annoying and invasive than regular ones.
4. The Hardest Task Gets Done First
This is another cool trick that you can use in order to put yourself in the correct mindset for the rest of the day. By starting on your hardest task the moment you get to work and successfully finishing it, the rest of your obligations will seem trivial to you and you’ll accomplish them with very little effort.
On the contrary, if you start picking off your easiest tasks first, you’ll constantly be thinking about how you “still have to do the hard thing” which will demotivate you significantly.
Not only that, but you’ll lack any real sense of accomplishment from the easier tasks because after all, they’re nothing compared to what you still have to do. It’s all a matter of perspective, and you should always try to use perspective to your advantage.