The most difficult part about working from home is staying productive. Often times, you end up working more hours to get the same amount of work done. The key is to work smarter, not harder. Here are 5 ways to maximize productivity when working from home.

1 – Stick to a Schedule

Routine is essential to productivity. If you don’t have a set time to work, you can end up spending your whole day trying to work. Establish a start time and stick to it. This will get you into the proper mindset and allow you to accomplish more. A schedule also sets expectations for other family members.

2 – Include Downtime

You don’t need to work from home 8 hours straight. In fact, you shouldn’t. Some of the perks of working from home is having some flexibility and downtime. Include in your schedule specific times to eat lunch, get some fresh air, take walks, make meals, exercise, spend time with the kids, etc. This can help break up the work day and provide much needed time to clear your head and return to your desk with more energy and focus. Scheduling is one of the best ways to maximize productivity when working from home.

2 – Dress the Part

It can be great to work from home in your pajamas, but that can also put you in a sleepy mindset. Getting dressed in the morning is energizing. You don’t need to put on a formal suit to sit at your home office, but some daytime clothes in helpful psychologically. It tells your brain that it’s time to work!

4 – Remove Distractions

Distractions are the biggest impediment to productivity. You can take steps to minimize distractions by first selecting a work space away from other activities. For instance, rather than setting up your desk in the dining room of an open concept living space, create an office nook in a bedroom instead. Secondly, avoid radios, televisions, and other background noise that can distract you from your work. Think about other things that commonly interrupt you during the day and address those as well.

5 – Declutter

A clean workspace is a productive one, so take some time to reduce clutter in your home office. A well organized office makes it easier to find what you need to get your work done. While you’re at it, put items that you frequently need in an easily accessible location. This will save you valuable time each day.

More Ways to Maximize Productivity When Working from Home

Everyone works a bit differently. To create the most productive workspace for you, think about how you work and what you need. From artwork to lighting, plants, and desk positioning, there may be other subtle changes to your home office to maximize productivity when working from home. A little time spent on identifying and addressing your needs will payoff in fewer hours spent working and more hours doing other things you enjoy. If you work with a team, be sure to read our blog posts on apps for working remotely with teams.