Tips For Working Effectively From Home

Photo credit: Mark Sebastian

For a lot of people working from home is great. In fact, a study suggests that employees who work at home have a higher productivity rate and are more satisfied with their job. It’s a win-win situation.

No matter if you’re self-employed or work 1-2 days a week at the home instead of at the office, you might run into productivity issues. If you are having trouble getting really productive at your home office, here are some tips that will help you.

Tip 1: Set up a physical home office space

The most important thing is your own office space at home. Clearly define where you work, put your desk there and set up shop. Get a nice desk and a good chair, you will need it.

Keep your work space clean and free of clutter as much as you can. Remove all things on your desk that might distract you. Keeping a green plant at your desk or get some design objects for inspiration/decoration.

Tip 2: Set your working hours

Working at home does not mean you have to work from 9-5. Neither should it mean that you work whenever you want. Setting your optimum working hours is key to good productivity. Commit yourself to a schedule and stick with it everyday.

One big advantage of working from home independently is that you can do your job at your favorite time when you operate at your best. Some people like to work in the morning, others get super productive when it gets dark. If you don’t know your optimal working hours yet, some testing might be required.

Tip 3: Make weekly and daily to-do lists

A task list will help you concentrate on your most important tasks and reduce your ability to procrastinate. You can use a digital task management tool or pen & paper, the main thing is that you have a clear to-do list.

The optimal daily to-do list consists of the three most important tasks you want to get done today. Of course, you can add more tasks down the list, but the top three tasks should be done as soon as possible and at any case. If you need help with prioritization, the Eisenhower Method might help you.

Make your daily to-do the night before and your weekly to-do list before your new work week starts. This way you get a head start on your tasks and can begin working right away the next day.

Tip 4: Set boundaries with your family & friends

To minimize distractions, you have to set boundaries with your family and friends. Despite you being at home, it does not mean that you are available the whole time for chatting or errands.

When your home is your office, you have to talk to the people who might distract you and lay out clearly when you don’t want to be interrupted.

Tip 5: Get out regularly

Especially if you are self-employed, the temptation is high to work all the time. To maintain a proper work-life balance, you have to “leave” work, especially if your office is two rooms away.

A common problem with home workers is that they lose contact to other human beings. At the office, there are plenty of people to chat with. If you work from home, it can get lonely sometimes. So get out and meet with your friends. Better yet, find other people who also work from home or do similar things like you do.

If your workday is over, it’s over. Stop working and do something completely different from work. You should always have some private time for reading, relaxing, exercising, etc.

So, do you work from home? Please share your experiences and tips in the comments.

5 tips on how President Obama gets things done

If you think your workday is busy, try having a job with 300 million bosses, a 24-hour news cycle of critics, and a to-do list that is often life or death. That’s President Obama’s job.

A job with huge responsibility and a lot of difficult decisions every day.

According to a cool article by 99U, this are the 5 productivity tips on how President Barack Obama gets things done.

1. Your day begins the night before

Obama stays up working at night, when his family is already in bed. He works on things that have been left unfinished during the day.

This time is also spend on preparing important stuff for the next days.

2. Limit decision fatigue

Facing an excruciating number of decision to make every day, President Obama tries to limit his information intake.

Obama: “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

He also prefers simple “decision memos” with three options: agree, disagree, let’s discuss.

3. Shut out your critics

The President doesn’t watch the news where he is constantly criticised and commented on.

Instead he filters the news as much as possible and watches SportsCenter instead.

4. Exercise & workout

Every day starts with a 45 minutes workout. He also plays basketball regularly with friends.

Obama: “The rest of my time will be more productive if you give me my workout time.”

5. Personal time is sacred

President Obama has three fixed windows of personal time every day: the morning gym time, dinner with his daughters and the nighttime after his family falls asleep.

So, what do you think? I’m sure that everybody can implement this presidential productivity tips in their daily lives and profit from them.