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Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to get up super early to drive to the office every day? For most people this would be a dream. What if your job allowed you some time working from home though? You’d be able to save gas money, lounge around in your pajamas all day, and depending on what your job is you could even set your own hours and sleep in if you wanted.
There is unfortunately a dark side that comes with working from home. There are so many productivity killers and distraction when working from home. Here are a few examples:
- Urge to slack off and do work later.
- If you live with family then you have to deal with the everyday distractions that come your way.
- If you live in a noisy house, you’re prone to distractions.
- You need a lot of discipline not to fall into bad habits.
- DISTRACTIONS DISTRACTIONS DISTRACTIONS!
- Did I mention you can get easily distracted?
These things can be very detrimental to you as a remote worker. If you don’t get these things in check, you might end up losing your job.
Not everyone has these problems of course but they definitely exist for many. Staying productive and making sure your work environment promotes productivity is very important and can be a lifesaver. If the opportunity presents itself where it does allow you to work from home, you need to make sure that you are disciplined enough.
If you have a problem with staying focused and being disciplined, working from home may not be right for you. If however the opportunity is too good to pass up, there are a couple tips and tricks you can use to help keep you on track and staying productive.
Set a Work Schedule and Stick to It
This is probably one of the best tips out there for people who have trouble staying disciplined and focused. Setting aside a specific time during the day where you only do work can really keep you productive.
The problem typically arises where something comes up to take your attention. You start doing work, or are in the middle of working, but perhaps you get an email from a friend, or your Steam buddies come online and want to play a game with you. This is where things typically start to fall apart.
When working from home, it’s easy to get tempted to just take a break, then take another break, and yet another, until you realize that you’ve been on break for the last 7 hours or so. By sticking to a set number of hours for work every day, you’ll slowly develop a good habit.
Only when you make up in your mind that those set hours are only for work and nothing else, you’ll find that you’re actually getting more done.
Get Rid of the Distractions
As we mentioned before, distractions are the main killer of all productivity. If you really want to be productive and get work done, you need to eliminate distractions. For some it’s not possible to get rid of all distractions but there are some things that you can do to minimize the majority.
Usually if you’re working from home, your job requires you to use a computer. Since most people typically don’t have a computer that’s completely dedicated for work. This is often where many distractions originate. We use our home computers for online gaming, shopping, watching movies, listening to movies, and for social media and instant messaging. These devices can be a treasure trove of distractions.
I find the best way to be productive and to avoid these temptations is to isolate work from play. Simply turn off everything on your computer that is not related to work. Disable your instant messengers (or at least turn off notifications), turn off Steam and other gaming related programs, and only have browser tabs open that are related to the work that you are trying to do.
If that’s not a possibility for you, then consider getting another computer that is only for work, and don’t use any other one until you’re finished. That may seem a bit drastic, but it works well for some people.
In the end being productive when working remotely or working from home comes down to having the self-discipline to actually get the work done. There will always be distractions, but it’s how you handle them and manage your time that counts.
If you have a hard time staying focused and sticking to your schedule then these tips may come in handy for you. These are just a couple of tips that work really well for me, but there are definitely others out there and we’d love to hear some of your tips and ideas for being productive when working from home. Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!