Nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to separate our homes from office space. Since the pandemic hit, those two categories subtly blended into one. For many working folks out there this change didn’t do much good. Still, this doesn’t mean we should adopt the pessimistic stance and wait until the trend’s over. That’s definitely not our way of doing things, here at Shoppanel.
There are many things we can introduce to our work-from-home setups. It’s of utmost importance we stay focused and organized. That’s exactly why we’ve composed this article. In it, you’ll find 9 tips on how to stay organized working from home!
Add some structure to your workday by creating a schedule. Try to keep distractions at a minimum (silence your phone). Also, separate home life from work by creating a home office. Lastly, reduce outside noises, play ambient music and dedicate some time to get ready for the day. Oh, and don’t forget to keep in touch with colleagues.
Even though that might be enough to get the gist of it, we recommend you read the whole thing!
Table of Contents
Why’s it important to stay focused and organized when working from home?
As some of you might know, remote work has its own advantages and weaknesses. Today we’ll focus on the latter. Let’s see what’s so “bad” with remote work:
- People have major difficulties differentiating between work and home life. Our psyche likes when two are physically separated.
- Working from home takes its toll on employees’ social life. With little to no “real” human interaction during work, people tend to feel isolated.
- Studies show a decrease in motivation among folks working remotely. People are less motivated to wake up early and look their best.
- There seems to be a lack of teamwork. Google Hangouts or Slack aren’t the best places for brainstorming ideas.
- Everything becomes a distraction. Even if you create a home office, it’s pretty tough to concentrate sometimes.
There’s no reason to continue the list, you get the point. Have in mind we’re not saying working from home equals the sewers of hell or something. It can be pretty darn pleasant if you do most of the things we’ll mention below!
9 Tips on how to stay organized when working from home
Now that we’ve emphasized why remote work can be a tough one, let’s focus on the bright side. In other words: let’s see what you can do to make your work-from-home experience more enjoyable.
#1 Come up with a schedule
When working remotely, it’s very important you create a daily work schedule. The thing is: your workday needs some structure. By creating a schedule, you’ll be able to plan your day better. This will help emphasize the division between your job and home life.
While you’re “on the clock”, your work-life should be in focus. For example, the task you need to complete and communication with your colleagues. Outside of working hours, turn off notifications and focus on your friends and family. Also, make sure you free up some me-time. That will help you stay mentally strong.
All in all: divide the day in the correct order. Don’t make it look like this: I’ll work for 45 minutes, then I’ll rest for half an hour, then I’ll work… It’s not hard to picture where that kind of work behavior leads.
#2 Plan ahead
Before you start the work each day, make sure you create a daily plan. This will greatly help you stay organized. Additionally, you’ll feel more in charge and confident. You’ll have a clear picture of what needs to be done. Also, don’t forget to always leave some room for unexpected tasks.
#3 Keep distractions at a minimum
One can imagine the number of distractions a person working from home must overcome. First of all, say to yourself: these are my working hours, it’s as if I went to the office. It sounds kind of lame at first. But eventually, you’ll shut yourself off for outside “obstructions”. Also, if you’re working from home with pets, visit this page.
Make sure everyone in your household knows when your working hours are. Just because you’re home, shouldn’t necessarily mean you’re available. You can form a specific set of rules and let them be known. This is extremely important if you’ve got small children. You deserve a quiet, distraction-free working space.
#4 Silence your phone
Okay, this might sound like something an angry parent would say. Still, it’s good you silence your phone just like you would if you were in the office. Try using your phone as little as possible (we’re not counting business communication). This will help you focus attention on the work, instead of scrolling Facebook. Use your lunch break for non-work-related browsing.
As we already said, make sure everyone knows you’re “at work”. Therefore, your peers should know when they can call you up.
#5 Create a home office
This one goes without saying. You need to create a work-friendly environment. Working from your bed is a definite no-no. If you’ve got the luxury, define an area of your home as “office space”. You’ll want to set up a desk from which you’ll work, etc.
There are a number of different ways to make this space feel and look more office-ish. For instance, minimalism is an evergreen option, used by many. By implementing this space philosophy, you’ll avoid dealing with certain distractions. Your office inventory should be composed only of necessities.
Also, don’t forget to make your workspace as comfortable as possible. A comfy chair & desk combo is a must. You’ll be spending a lot of time in a seated position, so… Yup, your physical health is a priority.
Lastly, make sure your home office is clean and tidy. Still, try not to clean during working hours.
#6 Reduce noise
We’re sure you know how our homes can get quite noisy sometimes. Not to mention – our neighborhoods. You’ll want to reduce noise pollution to a minimum. There are a couple of ways you can do that. For example, you can obtain a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Or, you can try hanging noise-canceling curtains.
Additionally, think about downloading a white noise app. These sounds will create a soothing atmosphere in your home office. They’ll block other, rather unpleasant noises.
#7 Ambient music
Ever heard of Brian Eno? Well, it might be time to introduce yourself to his work. Why are we mentioning him? He’s the father of what you’d call ambient music. Play some of his albums while you work and you’ll get the gist of what we’re talking about.
#8 Stay in touch with colleagues
We’ve mentioned this in the beginning. Remote work tends to loosen up bonds between colleagues. Invest a bit of time to spend with your coworkers. Whether you’re meeting them in person or via video call – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re improving your relationship with the collective! Also, knowing your coworkers aren’t some anonymous strangers will motivate you!
#9 Take some time to get ready for work
In other words: don’t leave your bed only to instantly find yourself at your home office desk. Set aside some time for yourself to get ready for the upcoming day. For example, a shower before work is well-known to do wonders for our concentration. Also, a healthy breakfast doesn’t have an alternative! You save a lot of time not commuting to work, so…
Bonus tips on how to say organized working from home
Okay, here we’ll show you some bonus tips on our main subject for today. These will also help you get through the day:
- Concentrate on one task at a time. Multitasking can be pretty confusing and time-consuming.
- Add two 15-minute breaks to your schedule. This will help you charge your batteries.
- Prioritize some of the work. See which tasks deserve your full attention and mark them in your schedule.
- Turn off social media notifications. There’s no need to explain this one, right?
9 Tips on how to stay organized when working from home – a summary
Since we’re nearing the end of this article, it’s time to do a recap. Here’s what you can do to stay organized working when working from home:
- Make a daily schedule! Your workday needs structure!
- Plan your tasks ahead! Enjoy a clear picture of what needs to be done during the day!
- Keep distractions at a minimum! Just act as if you were in the office!
- Silence your phone! Read the sentence above.
- Create a separate office space inside your home! Make a very clear distinction between home and work.
- Reduce noise as much as possible! How about buying yourself a pair of noise-canceling headphones?
- Play ambient music in the background! This will create a refreshing work atmosphere!
- Stay in touch with your colleagues! Getting to know the folks you work with is a plus.
- Dedicate some time to prepare for work! A shower and a healthy breakfast have no substitutes.
That’s about it, folks!