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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 January 24, 2020

                      10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                      10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                      Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                      Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                      Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                      • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                      • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                      • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                      Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                      Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                      Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                      That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                      1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                      I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                      Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                      Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                      2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                      Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                      Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                      “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                      3. Smile

                      Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                      Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                      Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                      Can you smile again?

                      4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                      Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                      If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                      This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                      Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                      5. Exercise Daily

                      One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                      Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                      ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                      He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                      6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                      Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                      Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                      So how do you manage your time effectively?

                      Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                      “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                      And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                      • Monday – Management
                      • Tuesdays – Product
                      • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                      • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                      • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                      • Saturdays – Taking off
                      • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                      No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                      7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                      Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                      Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                      Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                      “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                      Be intentional about your daily goals!

                      8. Seek Inspiration

                      It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                      A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                      Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                      Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                      “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                      9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                      I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                      However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                      10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                      Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                      “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                      It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                      Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                      More About Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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