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Boosting Your Productivity While Working from Home

Working from home has many perks but on the other hand, it can open up opportunities for distraction which can hamper productivity. Here’s our top five tips for productivity…

1. Start your day right

What about your morning routine signifies you’re ready to start work? It could be taking the time to enjoy that first coffee, getting properly dressed (pyjama bottoms don’t work for everyone!), returning from a morning jog or simply watching the news headlines. Whatever it is, shaping a routine can be more powerful than a clock at kick-starting your working day.

2. End your day with a routine

Similarly, finishing the day right can support your productivity the following day. Try to end your working hours with a task completed and make a to-do list for tomorrow, so that you’re starting the next day with clarity.

Just as you can start the day with an activity to get you into “the zone”, finish with something that helps your mind to switch off from work. This could be walking the dog, a yoga session, reading a book or cooking – whatever works for you. Give yourself the time to unwind.

3. Step away from the screen

We all know that excessive screen time isn’t good for us or our bodies. When we stare at a screen all day, we blink less often, and our eyes can feel very dry and tired. It can cause headaches, a stiff neck and backpain. These side-effects affect our ability to concentrate and work productively.

Take screen breaks where you can. Have a walk around the garden or further afield (provided you are safe and abiding by government guidelines), listen to a podcast, grab yourself a cuppa and don’t short-change yourself at lunchtime. By giving yourself a rest from the desk, you’ll be refreshing those over-worked eyes, relieving your back and neck from its sedentary position and ultimately giving your brain a much-needed time-out. When work resumes, your body and mind will be in a better position to be productive.

4. Dedicate some “focus time”

How often do we begin a task, only to have our concentration and thought processes disrupted by an email notification or instant messenger alert? Working from home can make us feel the need to be accessible all the time – replying to emails straight away, calling people back immediately and feeling guilty when our Teams status automatically reverts to “away” (I’m still here, I promise!).

There’s nothing wrong with turning off your notifications (Windows and Mac have instructions) for an hour or two if it helps you to get the job done efficiently and accurately. Allocating “focus time” to your diaries, particularly on deadline days, can help you to knuckle down and get that report written, budget approved or whatever it is that requires undivided attention.

5. Keep on moving!

As well as keeping you fit and healthy, exercise can increase productivity in all areas of your life. Working out gives us more energy, helping to stop that afternoon fatigue “slump” while improving mental capacity. Exercise is also proven to improve sleep quality, making us feel ready to tackle the day ahead.

This doesn’t have to mean burning yourself out by running 5km every day. Regular walking, yoga or online fitness classes (why not check your local gyms to see what their instructors are up to?) all get the body moving, feeding the brain by keeping blood, glucose and oxygen levels high. Exercise releases those much-needed endorphins and, let’s face it, we’re all far more productive when we’re feeling good.

On Wednesday 3rd February, business mentor Mark Rhodes will be delivering a free webinar on behalf of the Productivity Programme to help you and your company achieve success through improvements to your business productivity.

Mark will also be talking you through the mindset, communication and confidence tools that are key to success. Book your free place here.

Written by Charlotte Kirton, Marketing Manager (Industrial Contracts), University of Lincoln