So how do you ACTUALLY increase productivity working from home? Confession: like many of you, when lockdown first hit, we DREADED having to work from home. We thought we’d never get any work done, we thought we’d hate it, we thought we’d be counting the seconds until we could get back into our beloved office space!
But do you know what happened? We actually ended up LOVING working from home. All thanks to 5 habits that have made us every bit as efficient and productive as we’ve ever been.
So hit play and find out how our 5 working from home strategies could help you become more productive — and even finish early for once. (The last one has been a total game changer!)
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So how do you ACTUALLY increase productivity working from home?
Confession: like many of you, when lockdown first hit, we DREADED having to work from home. We thought we’d never get any work done, we thought we’d hate it, we thought we’d be counting the seconds until we could get back into our beloved office space! We figured we’d get sucked into a Schitt’s Creek marathon and end up lying on the sofa all day…
But here’s what actually happened:
We ended up LOVING working from home. With fewer distractions (and time saved on the commute), we’ve actually become even more productive than usual. And it’s all thanks to these 5 habits that we stick to every day, without fail.
Guard your workspace with your life!
Admittedly we’re lucky here — we both have home offices. But wherever you’re working from, be it a spare bedroom, a dedicated home office, or the kitchen table, claim your work space.
It’s yours, and it’s sacred!
When you’re working from home you need to set serious boundaries between your work and home life, and this starts with your ‘office’. So, even if you’re working from the kitchen table, be sure to clear away your laptop at the end of the day and have a clear setup process for the morning to help you get into the right frame of mind too.
Plan tomorrow, today.
This is by far our biggest productivity hack — and it always has been — but this year it’s been transformational. Because we set ourselves the challenge of doing it every single day.
It’s so simple to do. Before we finish up for the day and switch from work mode to home mode we always plan our agenda for the following day. And we do call it an agenda, not a to-do list, because we map out every single minute by minute, task by task for the whole day.
That way we can hit the ground running every morning, knowing that we’re going to have time to get everything done because it’s all scheduled into a specific time slot. If you’ve ever spent the first twenty minutes of your day trying to decide where to start and wondering whether you’ll manage to fit it all in (and hey, we’ve all been there!), you can imagine just how much of a time saver this is!
So plan your agenda — not your to-do list — and you’ll set yourself up nicely for habit number 3…
Have a strict clocking-off time.
Ideally, we’d all have a consistent finishing time each day but we know that life sometimes gets in the way.
However, if at the start of the day you already know what time you’re planning to finish, it becomes a mini goal you want to hit. Suddenly you feel more motivated to work harder and get everything done so you can finish on time. All the more so if you’ve planned something fun to do after you clock off for the day!
Have a morning routine.
We’ve heard a bunch of people claiming that the secret to a good working from home morning routine is to actually leave the house and walk around the block as a mini ‘commute’ before sitting down at the laptop.
We’re not 100% sold on that one but we have developed our own morning routines that we stick to when our alarms go off — and we include the obvious stuff like showering, walking the dog, or doing a bit of exercise or meditation.
Then we always have the first 45 minutes of our working day planned, and it’s always the same. We hop on Zoom for a catch up, check and reply to any emails that need our attention, pop into our Atomic members group to answer any questions, and then head over to our team slot to answer any questions in there.
And then we’re ready to start the first agenda item of work at 9.00am sharp.
This morning routine is really good for productivity. It allows you to instantly get into that ‘at work’ mindset because you’ve done this a bajillion times before, you know what’s going on, and you can just get going with it, ready to rock your day.
Slay your biggest productivity killer.
Zoom calls — we’re looking at you!
Zoom calls that go on too long, that have no agenda, and no set finishing point are guaranteed to suck away your home work productivity.
So here’s how you fix it.
Take Zoom calls out of your most productive working times.
Have a think about when you’re at your most productive. For us, it’s between 9.00am and 1.00pm. That’s our sweet spot when we need deep focus and no distractions, so we hardly ever take any meetings or calls during those hours.
If we need to do a call, we’ll fit it in between 1.00pm and 3:00pm. This is when our energy is flagging a little bit and actually speaking to someone rejuvenates us, and almost forces us to put a smile on our face and be in the moment.
Make this habit even more effective by scheduling your Zoom calls back to back.
Our default zoom meeting length is 30 minutes and we’ll schedule these calls on the hour and half past the hour, back to back. This keeps the meeting focused and productive. If it’s running on and you can see that you have another meeting starting in five minutes time, you can politely and honestly say “Hey, my next meeting has just popped into the waiting room.” And it works like a charm for just keeping everyone focused and on track.
Now, over to you. We’d love to know if you’re already using any of these home working productivity hacks — or if you have any other habits that have been working for you. Let us know in the comments!