Working from home is considered “the dream” for most people. Some companies even offer to telecommute, giving their employees this is an added benefit. However, there are a lot of instances where productivity can actually go down due to poor office design and planning.
Today, we are going to focus on five home office productivity hacks that you can start using right now. In fact, there is a good chance that you will not have to spend anything extra to become more productive and more creative in your home office.
Are you ready to see what can be done RIGHT NOW?
1. Turn Off Your Cell Phone
We have become extremely engrossed with our cell phones. We get onto our kids for using them all day long and then we do the exact same thing (just at work). So, turn your cell phone off.
Do not check the messenger. Do not play games on it. Do not look for a new outfit. Do not look for new toys. All of this can be done on your break or whenever you are done with your work for the day. If your cell phone is your work phone, set it across the room and only answer it when it is a phone call (no text messages).
2. Change The Ergonomics
Ergonomics is a broad term used in a plethora of ways. Today, we want to focus on your body and office space. You need to make sure that you have a chair with proper support and height for your body to sit comfortably. Also, the chair should have wheels so that you can move back and forth quickly. According to 10Desks.com, your desk should be high enough that your arms rest comfortably at close to a 90° angle. However, your desk should not be so large that you have to reach across it to get to your keyboard or other devices.
When considering office design, place your trash away from your desk giving you a reason to get up and move every now and again. Do not bring drinks and/or food to your desk, instead leave them in another room where you need to get up and move. Again, you should find a way to stay mobile throughout the day – this is extremely important.
3. Take Breaks
Another office productivity hack that you can use right now is taking breaks. There is no way you can work eight hours straight and be productive. Sure, you might be able to pull it off for a day or two, but it will wear you out over time.
Breaks give your mind the ability to rest, making it easier to focus and complete tasks. There are numerous recommendations on the amount of time you should work between breaks, with the most common being a 45/15 schedule. On this schedule, you would work for 45 minutes and then take a break for 15 minutes. There are other schedules as well such as the 55/5, the 40/20, and the 50/10 (x4) + 40/20. As we said, there are plenty of schedules to work with; find one that works for you.
4. Save Easy Tasks For The End Of The Day
Most people like to knock out the easy stuff first. However, it is best to focus on the tasks that are hardest first as you are the most alert and/or productive when you start working. Basically, save your mindless jobs for the end of the day.
For instance, instead of waiting until the end of the day to finish that four-page report, knock it out first; this can help in two ways. First, you will not be stressed out trying to get everything done before your deadline/time to clock out. And secondly, you will be able to take it easy for the rest of the day while you knock out the smaller/easier tasks. In fact, you could even take it a step further and work on some of tomorrow’s harder projects if you have the time and/or energy.
5. Leave The Office Early (Sometimes)
And finally, make sure that you do not get “stuck in a rut” per se. A lot of employees get overwhelmed with monotonous tasks in the long, drawn-out hours. Instead of getting burned out, make sure to leave early on Friday (if all of your work is finished or can be delayed).
Now, we are not suggesting that you only work for one or two hours. Instead, we are suggesting that you leave at three or four o’clock instead of five. While this may seem insignificant, it can rejuvenate your mind as well as increase the time you can spend with friends and family.
As you can see, all of these office productivity hacks are free/cheap. And, they can all be implemented today or by the end of this week. If you have been struggling with keeping up with your deadlines while working from home, these five tips should help you tremendously in getting back on task.