Keep a diary

When you are confined to our home It can be very easy to find yourself on a treadmill between the dining table, the cocktail cabinet and Netflix especially if you don’t have children around the house. Often we don’t even notice that we have fallen into this routine, so it is a very good idea to keep a diary which we complete each night, listing what we have done during the day. This can give us a good overview of what we have done and help us to see what we need to do improve our “work from home” routine.

Have a Morning Routine

One element of this routine might be to make a list of things which you wish to complete during the day, paying particular attention to those things which will help you to move closer to your goals. You can then go back to this list each night to see if you have managed to accomplish or complete most of the things that you said you would.

Do Difficult Tasks First Thing in the Morning

In his book, “Eat That Frog”,  author Brian Tracy suggests that if we have a difficult task to do we should do this first thing in the morning. He uses the examplethat if we have to eat a big horrible ugly frog it is best we do it first thing in the day because after doing that, every other task will seem not so bad and that bit easier. I really think that this is wonderful advice for helping us to overcome procrastination or putting things off until tomorrow, because if you complete  a more difficult task,  this gives you motivation and confidence and you will be much more likely to complete the other tasks that you have set for yourself, mostly because they will seem easier in comparison. 

Prioritize Important Tasks

The 80/20 principle suggest to us we get 80% percent of our benefits from 20% of our work or effort,  therefore we can increase our productivity by  trying to identify the 20% of what we are doing which is benefiting us most and doing more of that, rather than concentrating on the things that take up 80% of our time but are of much less benefit to us.

Try to Establish a Routine. 

This includes getting up at the same time in the morning and making a routine for yourself with each of the tasks you need to accomplish during the day. Taking regular breaks for meals, tea  or coffee at set times is also helpful as it breaks down the working day into manageable chunks. This helps to establish in our minds that we are in a work day rather than a holiday. 

Establish a Workplace. 

If possible, have a particular place in your house for working. If you already have a home office, then great, otherwise try to fix a place in your house that is just for work to establish a border or a barrier between your work life and your home life.  This could be a  corner of your bedroom, the spare room, the garage or any place that you can delineate as your workplace for this time.

Dress Up

It might sound strange but it is important to dress up even if you are working from home as lounging around in your pyjamas all day does not help us to be in a  work mindset. This is especially important if we are going to be doing any video conferencing because depending on the context, it may look quite unprofessional to see somebody in very casual clothes in a work setting. Remember that even if you are working from home you are the face of your company, whether you are an employee or whether it is your own business.   

Don’t Get Too Distracted by the News—or Anything Else

There is a reason that the Internet is called the web, it can suck us in and trap us for hours looking at videos of cats, dogs would-be comedians and Pizza reviews . It will really help our productivity if we make a firm  decision to stay away from social media and news websites during the time we have set aside for work. We will complete our work in less time and with fewer errors and there will be plenty of time afterwards for Facebook YouTube and Tiktok.