Working from home has been the bane of my existence for a long time. From the sweet temptation of bed’s embrace to the noticeable lack of a pants-required dress code, it’s easy to feel like you’re on the back foot when it comes to getting things done.
What’s worse is that ‘productivity’ is one of those words that will either fill your soul with stacks of motivation or pools of dread - if you’ve got a lock on maximising it then you’re sweet, but woe betide you if you’re the type who gets distracted.
This article is brought to you by HP’s Tango X printers - voice-activated, app-based technology that’ll keep you focused.
Creating your own little haven of productivity can absolutely change the game when working from home, and may even give you the prod you need to be more productive in your personal life as well (especially if you’re crunching on that side hustle).
So prevent the risk of a backwards slide into underperformance by nailing the perfect productivity-friendly working environment.
Create a physical space
Step one is the most painful step of all: extricating yourself from the depths of your blankets and getting out of bed. Although it may be tempting to work under the covers, your focus levels are proven to be higher if you get yourself up and work from a separate office-like area - even if that’s just your kitchen table.
Now you need to facilitate a specific environment that is conducive to your working style. Need perfect silence? Square yourself away in a quiet room or corner. Need sound? Upgrade your headphones to something comfy enough to wear for a whole day’s work.
Make sure that everything you need is within arms reach. From printers to phones, everything should be within a metre or two radius of you for maximum productivity. And if not, it should at least be voice-activated, like the Tango X printer, so you can just give it a holler and it’ll do the job without you having to move.
You’ve also got to make sure you’re not too distracted by your pets. Yes, the adorable balls of fluff that demand you play with them just for a little bit. Set aside a designated lunch break and take regular stretch breaks, but don’t go overboard with fetch time.
De-clutter your digital environment
Unless your job is physical in nature, chances are you’ll have an online element to contend with. The digital world is chock-full of distractions so creating a productivity haven is going to require a little self discipline and the right digital assistance.
It goes without saying that you’ll probably feel less frazzled when you’re in an area that’s free of unnecessary clutter, but the same goes for your desktop and tabs so it’s time to KonMari your computer.
Rid yourself of all the elements you don’t need (because can anyone really say that an obsolete spreadsheet brings them joy?) and categorise the files that remain. You’ll get that same satisfied, productive spurt of energy that you get when procrasti-cleaning your house.
Speaking of which - if staying on task is your issue, consider your Chrome situation. The right browser extensions can turn even the most disorganised of users into a go-getter, with everything from to-do lists and reminders through to social media restrictors and sprint counters.
When you’ve created your perfect little den, all that’s left is to actually do the work. No use procrastinating your day away by ensuring every pen is perfectly parallel to your keyboard - your space is ready. Just get to it.