At this point, the novelty of working from home may have worn off. Instead of it being something exciting and new that didn’t require a pesky commute, you may feel like you’re in a bit of a slump. To be fair, the end of August and beginning of September usually feel slow. Long, hot days can make it harder to focus, which can be frustrating.
As adults, we no longer have the excitement of a new school year to bring new life into this season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the changing of the seasons as a way to get our productivity jump started again!
Top 10 ways to be more productive at work.
1. Reevaluate your schedule.
While it may feel good to sleep in until the last minute, waking up with enough time to have breakfast and get ready for your day will do wonders for your mood and your productivity. If you start your workday dressed for success and feeling fresh, you will be in the right headspace to get everything done.
2. Clean up your office.
If you’re anything like me, your desk might be looking a bit too cluttered right now. Take a few minutes to put everything back where it belongs. Clean surroundings will help clear your mind and make you feel less stressed. The less stress you feel, the easier and more pleasant it will be to get some work done.
“A clean and organized workspace will make you feel less stressed and will make it easier to focus on your work.”
3. Stick to your desk.
Your couch may seem like the perfect place to work. Ultimate comfort, the ability to stretch out your legs, and the size makes it easy for your pets to snuggle up and join you. While that all sounds amazing, remember you’re trying to get work done! It’s important to use spaces for what they’re designated for. If you start working on your couch, you will feel too relaxed during work time, and when you want to relax after work, you may feel stressed because you’re also in your work space. Sticking to your desk will help you maintain your work/life balance, which we could all use help with right now.
4. Take stock of your supplies.
Have your kids pilfered your pens? Have your roommates decided that your laptop charger is also theirs? The back-to-school time is a great time to find some deals on new office supplies. Also, these are the supplies you will be using every day, so make sure you actually enjoy using them.
5. Set up a virtual happy hour with your team.
We’ve gotten so used to working at home that it’s easy to start feeling disconnected from our team and your work. Schedule a virtual happy hour with your team to help remind you why you like working for your company! Feeling connected to your team members will help you all do better work.
6. Reduce distractions.
If you’ve been putting off getting the noise canceling headphones you are convinced will help you stay focused but might be a little too pricey, now might be a good time to finally invest. Many companies have announced that they will continue allowing people to work from home through the end of the year.
“Create a distraction free environment with comfortable seating, a good playlist, and everything else you need for your day at work.”
7. Play music to create white noise.
Find the sound mix (white noise, podcasts, music, books on tape, the radio) that helps you get the most done. We’re used to working in noisy offices, so find the noise that works for you!
8. Remind the people you live with that you’re at work.
It’s easy to assume that since you’re physically home you can take the dogs for a walk, get dinner started, and coordinate other household chores. Roles and responsibilities have changed over the past months, but setting up new rules with your household will help make sure everyone is on the same page and help make sure everyone can get their work done!
9. Learn how to prioritize.
It can be easy to forget what tasks are the most important when no one is there to remind you what to focus on. Take a few minutes at the start of each work day to look at what you need to get done and figure out where your efforts are most needed.
10. Take care of yourself!
You can still take sick days and vacation days when working from home. You can use your lunch break as a way to talk a walk around the neighborhood or maybe even take a nap. Be kind to yourself and your body. Your brain is your most important tool, so make sure it’s treated as such!