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10 Tips to Help You Be More Efficient Working From Home

10 Tips to Help You Be More Efficient Working From Home

Are you  an expert at working remotely? You will be if you apply these 10 simple tips to your daily routine.

Being efficient working from home can be a challenge. There are tons of distractions, less accountability, and less communication than when you’re working in the office. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are lots of ways to keep yourself working productively from any location.

Whether you work from home every day, a couple of times per week, or even if you’re just working from home while you recover from an illness, these tips can help you to get the most out of your remote work hours. You won’t believe how much you can get done in a day!

1. Keep yourself to regular work hours

Work From Home Clock

    This is the first step to ensuring productivity while working from home. It’s tempting to give yourself total flexibility as to when you get started, take breaks, and call it a day. But you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t keep yourself to at least some amount of consistency. Setting yourself consistent hours keeps you accountable to yourself and to your boss. It makes you more likely to get all your work done, and it makes it easier to get in touch with you.

    Here are the important factors to consider when you’re setting an at home work schedule:

    • When your boss needs you to be available
    • Communication with your coworkers and customers
    • Time of day when you are most productive

    This doesn’t mean that you need to work 9-5 every day. You should work at the times of day when you’re most productive. However, it’s a good idea to find out when your boss really needs you to be at work. For example, it might be important for you to check your emails each morning, or to be available by phone in the afternoons. Other than that, choose times of day when you’re likely to get the most work done. Communicate those hours of availability to anyone that might need to get in touch with you, and you’ll be on your way to productive, consistent work days.

    2. Keep work time and personal time separate

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    Work from Home Watch

      Just as it’s important to work when you say you will, it’s important to give yourself time off when you’ve promised it. Don’t extend the work day too far beyond what you planned, at the risk of burning yourself out.

      Keeping work time and personal time compartmentalized also helps you keep productive while you’re at work, and reduces stress when you aren’t at work. In the same way that you scheduled your work hours, schedule, communicate, and plan when you will not be available to work. For example, if you like to take evenings to spend time with family, make sure you communicate that you aren’t available for work during that time. And then hold yourself to that commitment!

      3. Plan your workflow

      Work From Home Planner

        One surefire way to keep productivity up is to get smart about planning your work day. Before you even start working, make sure you know what your priorities are for the day, how long you think it will take you to get everything done, and what you will work on if you have extra time.

        You might find it helpful to take a few minutes before you go to bed to plan for the next day. You may find that you sleep better without the stress of planning in the back of your mind. If you find that planning before bed actually keeps you awake, try making a plan for the day while you eat breakfast or exercise before work.

        In your planning, consider the following:

        • Do the highest priority tasks first
        • Plan your day around your own natural cycles–do the hardest work when you have the most energy throughout the day
        • Plan yourself rewards and breaks throughout the day

        4. Break up the day

        Work from home snack

          If you followed the last step, then you’ll have already planned breaks for yourself throughout the day. Make sure you get up from your desk during those breaks–get some fresh air, grab a healthful snack, and talk with another human being if at all possible. All of these activities will help you reset, get your blood flowing, and make sure you’re ready to tackle the next chunk of tasks.

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          Try planning how you’ll spend your breaks ahead of time, so you have something to look forward to. Just make sure you decide how long you will spend on a break, so you don’t get too distracted. Ten to 30 minutes is great for shorter breaks, and an hour or two is perfect for lunch.

          5. Dress like you are at work

          Work from Home Clothes

            Even if you won’t be interacting with another person all day, it’s important to dress for success. This includes showering and brushing your teeth! This will tell your brain that it’s work time, not relaxation time, and that will give you a lot more energy. Sweatpants and a T-shirt might be more comfortable, but you may also feel sluggish, sleepy, or unmotivated.

            It’s also a good opportunity to give a new outfit a test drive–risk free!

            If you have a hard time motivating yourself to get ready in the morning, try laying out your outfit the night before, or planning an outing during the day so that you have to get dressed.

            6. Create an at-home office

            Work from home office

              It might be tempting to work from your couch, easy-chair, or even from your bed, but this could take a huge toll on your productivity. Try to always work from a consistent room, desk, or chair, to tell your brain that it’s time for work, not relaxation.

              You are likely to feel more alert, more confident, and more organized. Try setting up a desk where you always work. Set yourself up with a comfy, supportive chair, a spacious desk, and consistent workplace tools. Make sure to personalize your space. After all, you will be spending a lot of time there!

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              7. No roomies allowed

              Working from home kids

                Being efficient working from home is all about boundaries, as we have previously discussed. This also means setting boundaries for kids, pets, and your spouse or roommates. Try to encourage them to leave you alone while you are working so you can stay focused.

                Try to keep the boundaries friendly and playful, but make sure you stick to them. One fun idea is to make a sign for the door of your office that indicates whether you’re working or not.

                8. Be your own janitor

                Work from home mess

                  Unlike in the office, you don’t have a janitor to clean up after you, which means you have to do it yourself. Keeping your home office clean helps you stay focused, get organized, and be productive. Even if you’re someone who isn’t bothered by a messy desk, keeping some semblance of order helps ensure that nothing important falls through the cracks (or gets lost in a stack of paper, as is more likely).

                  However, this tip goes beyond just keeping your home office clean. Having a messy home could inspire you to procrastinate on work tasks in favor of cleaning–which is bad news for your productivity.

                  Setting yourself a weekly cleaning schedule can help you keep on top of cleaning your home, so you won’t be tempted to clean during work hours. Make sure to schedule regular tidying of your home office!

                  9. Tune in to inspiration

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                  Work from Home music

                    A great advantage of working from home is that you can’t distract your coworkers. Go ahead and play those pumped-up jams loud and proud, if that’s what gets you moving. Or try a more soothing soundtrack, with nature sounds, instrumental music, or even by leaving the windows open to let the sounds from outside come in. If you’re doing repetitive tasks, an audiobook or podcast may even be what you need to keep moving.

                    Try a few things to find what works best for you.

                    10. Stay in the loop

                    Work from home call

                      One of the best things about working in an office is the potential for collaboration and socialization. You don’t have to lose this just because you are working from home. Try to check in with your coworkers at least a couple of times per week, whether by email, phone, Skype, or even in person.

                      Make sure you keep up on a personal level as well as a professional level. You can do this without taking a lot of time–just share the things that are most important, and encourage your coworkers to do the same.

                      If you can master these 10 tips, you will be a work-from-home wizard before you know it. You might even find that the days you work from home are your most productive days!

                      What are your tips for being efficient working from home?  Let me know in the comments.

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                      Last Updated on August 16, 2019

                      10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

                      10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

                      The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                      Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                      Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                      In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                      1. Cal Calendar

                        Cal Calendar has recently appeared on the market of mobile applications (Android, iOS). It is the brainchild of the development team of Any.do that features impressive functionality and well-thought-out design.

                        The application comes with many great features, including support for Exchange and Google Calendar, widgets, voice recording, and many more.

                        Cal Calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                        Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                        What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                        Cal Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                        Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                        Available for iOS and Android

                        2. Google Calendar

                          Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                          Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                          Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                          The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                          Available for iOS and Android

                          3. Jorte Calendar

                            Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

                            The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

                            Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

                            For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

                            A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

                            Available for iOS and Android

                            4. Business Calendar

                              Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                              The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                              You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                              The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                              Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

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                              Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

                              Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                              A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                              Available for Android

                              5. aCalendar

                                aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                                Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                                Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                                When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                                Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                                The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                                The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                                Available for Android

                                6. DigiCal Calendar

                                  DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                  With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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                                  Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                  The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                  Available for Android

                                  7. SolCalendar

                                    SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                    The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                    Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                    Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                    Available for Android

                                    8. Calendar

                                      Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                                      A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                                      Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                                      Available for Desktop, iOS and Android

                                      9. Today Calendar

                                        Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                                        The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                        If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                        Available for Android

                                        10. Calendar Widget: Month

                                          Sometimes people do not need a heap of calendar applications. They would prefer to have one efficient calendar widget.

                                          Calendar Widget: Month perfectly fills this niche and meets all the needs of a modern user. It has some features of an ordinary calendar, but the real great thing about this software is that it has 80 or more themes in its library.

                                          The design of the application is great; the themes are perfectly tuned. There are options for almost any theme of your smartphone. The only drawback is the fact that the widget memory is not too large, and you should be ready for it.

                                          This simple calendar widget was created in the image and semblance of widgets from Yahoo. The widget window displays one calendar month with the ability to go to the previous and move to the next one.

                                          If you need a simple and affordable calendar to plan your tasks and affairs for one month, this widget is ideal for you. Calendar Widget: Month is so simple that it does not even have Google Calendar support.

                                          At the moment, it does not have the function of connecting any third-party calendars and services. Developers allow the possibility of introducing support for Google service as an addition to the widget, if users request to have this opportunity.

                                          Available for Android

                                          Our Verdict

                                          Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                          Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                          Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                          The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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