The Blog of Jake Kelfer
More and more companies are starting to have their employees work from home.
Even under crazy circumstances like now, working from home has the potential to be extremely productive to all parties involved… but everyone needs to be on the same page for this to work.
For some people, working from home seems like an impossible task. People see it as a way to slack off or avoid putting in the same amount of effort as they would in the office. For people that rely on seeing their superiors or who struggle to self motivate, there is no one watching you to make sure you’re on task. There isn’t the motivation of seeing everyone working at their desks. Oh, and there’s all the distractions in the world at your fingertips.
For other people, working from home is a dream come true. It’s finally the time where you can show your team that you can get your work done from wherever and still deliver the results that people expect.
Here’s the thing… coronavirus is trending towards having everyone work from home to stop the spread.
So here are 5 things you can do to be productive when working at home:
1. Avoid Distractions
If you are anything like most people, the minute you get home is typically the minute you try to stop thinking about work. You change your clothes, you go to the gym, you hop on the couch, and you turn on Netflix.
Now, not only are you not supposed to do that, but you’re supposed to be productive. When working from home everything can seem like a distraction. Your routine is off and everything that can be a distraction is.
When you are at the office you have other people to prevent you from sitting in front of the tv for hours. When you are home, there’s less friction between you and the season finale of Love is Blind.
At home, there are way less triggers to prevent you from falling prey to distractions. To avoid distractions we recommend setting app limits, creating a designated work space, and removing all simple distractions like throwing your tv remote in the other room or blocking your Netflix account.
2. Set A Clear Schedule
When working from home, it’s easy to feel like it’s a day off. That’s why we recommend setting a clear schedule just like you would if you were in the office.
Schedule your meetings and calls and be clear with your colleagues on timing.
Start early in your day before you give in to distractions like your comfy bed or your pantry.
Try using the Pomodoro Technique which means setting a timer and working in 25 minute intervals to be more effective. Each pomodoro is followed by a quick 5 minute break.
When you create a clear schedule it will be easier to follow which ultimately helps you stay productive.
3. Identify Clear Priorities
Working at home has the potential for you to be more productive, but in order to do that you have to have clear priorities. If you typically wait for work to do, you’ll find yourself skating by. Instead, focus on being intentional with the work you have and identify which tasks are priorities. Focus on those before moving on.
It’s going to be vital for us all to focus on the key initiatives that move the needle. For many companies, this execution will become more and more important as we gather new information about the virus and other factors.
4. Make Sure To Take Breaks
Sometimes when working from home, especially if it’s new to you, you’ll feel the urge to work, work, work because you don’t want to let someone down or you don’t want people to think you aren’t doing anything.
Or, if you’re like some people I know, you’ll find yourself alone for the first time with no distractions and no one bothering you and get stuck staring at your computer for 10 hours straight.
It’s just as important when working remotely to take time for yourself. Take a 10 minute walk. Call a friend for 5 minutes. Take a snack break.
I have to remind myself of this all the time because I can get stuck working on my computer and forget that I still need to interact with others and take care of myself.
5. Have An Accountability Partner
If you’re a self starter working from home can be a huge plus. If you’re not, it can be worrisome to both you and your boss.
Depending on your personality, find someone who you trust to have half day or daily check ins. These aren’t meant to micro manage but rather to make sure you’re staying on track.
Not only will this keep you on track, but it will help you stay focused on key priorities.
When you focus on these things, I believe that not only will you be able to perform incredibly well, but you will also find yourself with time to get other things done - grocery shopping, laundry, exercising, reading the news, etc..
Personally, I think it’s key to identify how you work best. There’s a lot of trial and error when starting anything new and working from home/remotely is no exception especially if you’re used to working in an office. Try these things and then try some more until you figure out what works best for you.
I am a motivational speaker on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal success and happiness.