Although I’m a member of a co-working space I love, I still work from home quite a bit. In the past, there were a lot of people living under one roof which caused me to have to find ways to stay focused. Now, I only have a roommate and a designated workspace, but I still get very distracted sometimes.
The challenge that is presented when you work from home is this: You are working in the same place you eat, sleep and relax. On the one hand, this is awesome. You roll out of bed and your commute is five steps. On the other hand, the lines can get very blurry.
That’s why I believe you need productivity hacks when you work from home. These are especially handy on those days when your focus is foggy and your laundry is piling up.
Watch out for displaced productivity.
Displaced productivity happens all the time when you work from home.
Displaced productivity is when you replace what you’re supposed to be doing with something else that still seems productive, but isn’t a priority. For example, as I am writing this from my living room, I’m feeling the urge to do laundry.
Would doing laundry be productive? Yes, technically it is. But it would be distracting me from the client work I have to get done and the pitches I need to send. Therefore, doing laundry at this time is an example of displaced productivity.
The secret is to know when you’re using “productive” tasks to procrastinate. Trust me, you’ll know when it’s happening because you will use every excuse – including cleaning the bathroom – to avoid working.
Do not work in the bedroom if you can help it.
A friend recently posted a question on Facebook asking if any of her friends have a workspace in the bedroom. Most of the comments were a resounding “No!”
First of all, working in the bedroom is considered bad Feng shui. Your bedroom is meant for relaxation and romance, not work. Therefore, you need to set a boundary.
Second, working in the bedroom can confuse you. Am I supposed to sleep or am I supposed to work? Should I take a nap right now? What if I’m up at 3 am checking email? Should I check my email?
I admit that since moving into a new place and creating a designated workspace outside of my bedroom that I am far more productive. The lines between work and rest are also less blurry. If this isn’t an option for you then I highly recommend checking out a coworking space.
Prep your meals.
Do you want to know what helps me stay focused when I work from home? Meal prepping for the week. If I am able to do this, then I don’t have to worry about getting up to go make some food during lunchtime. I simply prepare my food the same way I would if I was going to the office all week.
While the ability to work from home is amazing, it’s also not without it’s challenges. By using these productivity hacks you’ll be more readily able to stay focused and experience less stress.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.