More and more workers are performing their jobs in a remote setting, especially in wake of the coronavirus pandemic that’s forced thousands of businesses to temporarily shut their doors with shelter in place orders in effect. Whether you’ve entered the remote workforce recently or you’ve been working from home over the past several years, you’re probably well aware of how difficult it can be to stay productive.
There are a million and one distractions that can interrupt your workflow; from the construction in the alley to the noisy neighbor downstairs, the dishes in the sink and the food in your fridge, it’s very natural to lose your train of thought between tasks and fall behind on your assignments.
If you’ve found yourself struggling to maintain a strong work/life balance, then it may be time to establish a dedicated home office space that can maximize efficiency. Keep these tips in mind to stay on track and tackle tasks as expediently as possible.
Purchase Ergonomic Furniture
You should plan on dedicating several hours of uninterrupted work in your office space because each time you stop and restart a task, you inevitably waste time. It’s natural (and beneficial) to take brief work breaks here and there, but you should get comfortable sitting for extended periods of time.
That’s what ergonomics is all about: the science of being comfortable. It looks at the human anatomy to then manufacture office furniture and computer accessories designed to the body’s natural curvatures, eyesight, back posture, and so forth. For example, you can place a laptop riser on a Liberty Furniture desktop so that your screen falls naturally within your line of vision. Doing so will help you experience less strain in your neck by eliminating the need to look down while working.
Ultimately, if you feel better, then you’ll work better and for longer durations to keep productivity levels high.
Add a Dual Desktop Monitor
As you dial in your home office setup, a desktop monitor is one of the best purchases you can make. It allows you to extend the display of your computer or laptop so that you can work off two screens instead of one. This enables you to view your research on one display while writing a report on your findings on the other, preventing the hassle of toggling between tabs back and forth. Not only does it shave seconds off each task execution, but it also requires you to move your wrist less by touching the mouse less frequently, helping to avoid the risk of carpal tunnel development.
Invest in Noise Cancellation
One reason people find themselves getting more work done in a traditional setting versus their remote office is that the former provides a quieter environment. Depending on your industry, you might deal with the occasional chatter among coworkers, but this can be far more manageable than the constant chaos of children playing or roommates arguing.
Improve your ability to focus by drowning out the noise of the world around you. You can purchase Bose noise-canceling headphones that effectively block sounds in your surrounding environment, or pick up some inexpensive foam insulation to pad the walls and door for a quiet, cavernous retreat.
Download Distraction Blockers
Sometimes, even those with iron-clad will power and disciplined attention can find their minds wandering astray or feel the desire to check social media in the midst of work, especially during long, time-consuming tasks. We’re only human, after all, and it’s understandable that our minds crave a break from information overload. But it’s important to train our brains to stick it out even during these long stretches if you want to be as productive as possible—and distraction-blocking software is one of the best ways to do so.
You can enable extensions on your internet browser that forbid permission to access content irrelevant to work, such as online shopping, streaming services, and, of course, social media. If you regularly work on your phone throughout the day, it’s smart to download distraction-free mobile apps to prevent you from wandering elsewhere during specified business hours.
Sync Project Management Software
There’s a lot to keep up with while working from home. Teams still require collaboration and communication, deadlines may slide up and down as priorities shift, and one missed detail could lead to a whirlwind of consequences. That’s why it’s essential to sync project management software like Asana with all your colleagues so that everyone can monitor the status of an assignment, complete with all relevant details.
With these five tips in mind, you’ll improve your productivity while working from home. Use this advice to stop stressing over past-due deadlines and begin knocking out that mounting pile of to-do lists.