We all know the feeling – facing a long to-do list only to fall on the couch, turn on the TV, and waste precious hours. Whether you work from home or use your evening hours to complete chores or explore creative passions, we could all improve our home productivity.
If you work from home, it may be tempting to roll over in bed, grab your computer, and begin working. However, you may be setting yourself up for a productivity failure. Instead, try to maintain a day-to-day schedule, including carving out time for your normal morning routine, showering, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed. This gives you time to wake up and jumpstarts your brain into a productive mode.
Adjusting to an at-home work environment can be challenging, especially if you are accustomed to working in an office each day. It can be helpful for many people to establish a dedicated workspace. Instead of switching between the desk, kitchen table, and couch, try to pick one single place where you get your work done. Keep this space clean and free of clutter or unnecessary distractions, such as televisions or radios. When you are done working for the day, step away and head back into your home space. Distinguishing between relaxation spaces and workspaces can provide mental clarity between productive time and downtime.
Another key to home productivity is holding yourself accountable for your tasks. Make a daily to do list and focus on completing tasks until they are done. For work-related tasks, share this list each day with your supervisor or a colleague. Invite them to check up on you throughout the day to ensure the tasks are progressing. Tasks or goals around the home can be shared with spouses or roommates. This list can even be divided among residents of the home, making the tasks even more manageable.
One of the most important ways to prevent yourself from wasting time at home is to just flex your willpower to get tasks done. The next time you’re tempted to relax when there is work to be done, set a goal and then reward yourself for achieving it. Allow yourself some downtime after completing an important project or cleaning the entire kitchen. You deserve it!
At the end of the day, don’t forget to let yourself breathe. Practice some yoga or calming meditation, read a chapter of your favorite book, or chat with your spouse over a nice warm cup of tea. Giving your brain a break after a long day is important, just don’t forget to get started on the right foot tomorrow!