Many of us have experienced having to work from home this past year. As a result, we might feel like the boundary that once existed between work and personal life is no longer there.
Studies conducted in 2020 showed that while working from home is distracting and draining for some, doing so just one day a week boosts productivity by 13 percent. The conflicting opinions show that while working at home isn’t ideal for everyone, not commuting to work can help people focus on the tasks that really matter—which is what’s most important.
Here are our 3 tips for being more productive at home.
Start and end of work rituals
As valuable as routines can be, they can sometimes make us feel “stuck.” Studies show that distinctly separating between your thoughts and work tasks helps you prevent burnout and protects your well-being.
Try creating a “start of work” and “end of work” ritual to help divide your time more clearly and bring more awareness to your day. It could be as simple as closing your eyes for a moment, or as silly as standing on your head. Meditating right after you shut down the computer before you prepare dinner is also a great way to separate work and personal life.
Get creative, and brainstorm in your journal.
The start and end of work ritual is a great tool for being productive at home as it helps you perform optimally in both the time you have to do your job, and with your responsibilities at home.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.”
Schedule time for what’s important
It feels silly to schedule a phone or video call with friends and family, but it must be done! Social outings and gatherings will soon be “normal” again, and we might need to re-learn to juggle our time.
In the same way we keep track of work-related meetings in our calendars, we must do the same for our personal and social time, whether it’s exercising in the morning, or cooking a meal at night.
There are a lot of online tools that can help you stay organized, but some may find that a simple alarm setting (with a soft tone!) can give us a gentle reminder to move onto different tasks or events over the course of the day.
Also, have you always wanted to try a new hobby or visit a new place you’ve had on your list for a while? Set aside some personal time during the week or weekend for self-care. Each time you try something new or pick up a hobby, you’ll realize how much joy it brings you and you’ll want to set more regular time aside to keep it going.
Carving out time for tasks you know you need to do outside of work (yes, you might need to leave home!) provides you with the potential to become more productive at home or socially.
Focus on the activities that nourish you
Only you have the power to decide what matters and fulfills you.
Researchers have said that regular journalling trains our attention, strengthens neural pathways, and improves our decision making and critical thinking at work. They found that students who journalled about their values were healthier, reported feeling higher energy, and displayed more positive attitudes.
In your journal or on a piece of paper, make a list of all the activities you’ve done in your free time over the past week.
Think about the activities you just listed and whether you find each activity nourishing. Visualizing how much you spend your day in different ways can help you understand what’s really valuable to you and focus your energy there. Of those activities, make two lists that note what nourishes you, and what depletes you. Out of the tasks you feel deplete you, find ways to eliminate them, or adjust how you do them or view them.
This nourishment practice is a great technique for being productive at home because it reminds you of what YOU want to accomplish in your day and prevents you from getting burnt out
Like any new routine, it takes time to fully integrate new practices into your daily life and begin experiencing the benefits.
Sign up for our newsletter below to receive our custom journal with these and more helpful prompts and recommendations. These tools are there to support you, and at the end of the day, journalling is about finding what works for you. The simple act of setting aside time for reflection is what matters most, and in the long run, will help you be more productive at home with your precious time.