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Working from home seems like an ideal luxury to most people—until you actually achieve it. The truth is, you might find yourself in a slump if you don’t use some of these productivity hacks to pick you up. Having the freedom to stay in your pj’s in the morning can get a little too comfortable. And this can be detrimental to your work habits.
About 1.5 million people now work remotely as an employee of an established organization. This flexible approach to out-of-office working is growing in popularity due to feedback from employees. As it turns out, they prefer to be let loose from the corporate environment.
However, is the traditional office that bad? Formality is sometimes necessary for people to differentiate between work and play. Further, it can help workers compartmentalize stress and emotion in these different aspects of our lives. Online entrepreneur Tim Kitchen says he still dresses in sharp attire when working from his home office for this reason.
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Try Using a Standing Desk for Greater Productivity
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One of the major downsides to working from home—if you don’t keep up with a rigorous exercise routine—is a lack of physical activity. Your morning commute may have shifted from a train ride with a twenty-minute walk plus two sets of stairs to reach your desk. Now, you can start work within a couple of seconds from anywhere inside the house. For this reason, standing desks are an energizing alternative.
Moreover, health experts credit standing desks with various long-term health benefits. For example, you could reduce your risks of obesity and cancer. Nor does your standing desk have to be a state-of-the-art structure. Instead, you could even use a kitchen worktop. However, the change from sitting down all day is one of those productivity hacks that will transform your workday.
Of course, this won’t replace all physical activity. The recommended 10,000 steps-per-day rule still stands. However, standing at your desk will give you a helping hand. That’s because a 150-pound person can burn an average of 114 calories per hour just by standing.
Reduce Your Workload by Outsourcing Tasks
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For those who are self-employed, taking on too much work and the risk of burning out are real. Only by streamlining their workload by way of productivity hacks and other measures can they continue to enjoy their work-at-home lives.
Moreover, it’s not uncommon for self-employed individuals to feel under pressure and vulnerable. For example, the self-employed get none of the benefits that regular employees get, such as holiday leave and sick pay.
As a matter of fact, many self-employed people struggle to achieve a positive work-life balance. They often feel flooded with work. Moreover, they need to make sure they have enough savings to cover them in case of an emergency.
However, living in the digital era gives us opportunities to relieve this pressure. That is, we can outsource to specialists with ease. For example, sites like Upwork connect you with professionals in all fields. This gives you opportunities for multiple productivity hacks.
For instance, you could turn over your accounting or website development tasks to specialists. On the other hand, you might want to keep the tricky tasks to yourself to protect the quality of the work. In that case, you could outsource the basics to a virtual receptionist by using a virtual landline number.
Prioritize Creating a Clear Work Space
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When working at home, it’s rarely a good idea to work on the sofa or at a dining room table. It can demotivate people to work in a shared space. This is especially true if other family members are present enjoying social activities. Chief among productivity hacks is that you want to have a work space with no distractions. This is a great concentration booster and a powerful productivity hack.
Many articles offer an entire breakdown of how you can create the perfect home office. Above all, a home office should feel clear so that you can concentrate on the task at hand. In this digital age, you can use smart tools like Google Forms to eliminate the need for piles of paper. Plus, thereafter your information is stored away neatly in your laptop.
Stick to a Strict Schedule
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Finally, it might sound like it defeats the whole point of working for yourself, but sticking to a strict schedule helps keep your productivity levels in check. The most successful people in the world thrive on strict routines. As a matter of fact, more often than not those schedules start ridiculously early—sometimes as early as 4:30 am.
This isn’t just a coincidence. Moreover, it has been a school of thought for a while now. Top CEOs believe that we only have a finite number of decisions we can make per day. When we reach the limit, our quality of work and effective rationale go down the drain. Have you ever wondered why Steve Jobs religiously wore blue jeans and a black turtleneck? It was to avoid decision fatigue.
Jobs didn’t think his choice of clothing was a decision he should prioritize each day. Therefore, he skipped it by creating his own uniform. Many other successful people have followed this rule. For example, some include Mark Zuckerberg, Simon Cowell, Barack Obama, and Albert Einstein, to name a few. Stripping back your routine and getting down to the nitty gritty before sunrise could help you to reap the rewards of working from home.
About the Author
Rory Whelan is a communications expert with over twenty years’ experience in consultancy, television, media, and telecoms. Since 2012 he has held the role of marketing manager for eReceptionist, leading the product to become the favorite call management company for UK SMEs.