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How To Stop Procrastinating While Working From Home and Improve Productivity

New to the work from home club? If you're wondering how to stop procrastinating while working from home, here are our top tips to increase productivity and rock your new work from home lifestyle!

We have all been there. We keep pushing things we need to do today to a later day in the future. Procrastination is a common struggle even amongst the best of us.

Even at the workplace, we always find ourselves saying ‘I will check it later’ or ‘I will deal with it later’ especially if it does not rank so high on our priority list. Now that most of us are working from home, procrastination becomes a real problem. There is no one there to micromanage your work. How do you stay productive and avoid procrastination when you are working from home, you ask? Here are my top tips!

How To Stop Procrastinating While Working From Home and Improve Productivity

Set up a clear working schedule!

Set up a clear work schedule

Before you start setting the schedule, make sure that whatever you want to do is realistic. The trick here is to ensure you set specific working hours during the day.

Can you afford to work for 8 straight hours? My guess is no. That would not be realistic. Break down the work into batches and accomplish these batches one at a time. Take a lot of breaks in between.

Make sure to do work projects and tasks during your work hours, not house chores. Keep the two very separate.

Get rid of distractions

There are a lot of distractions when you are working from home. The kids and your spouse are craving your attention. There’s laundry to take care of, dinner to make, and house to clean. The kids are blasting music in the next room or watching TV in high volumes (here’s a great list of ideas to entertain kids during quarantine!).

Stuff happening on social media is also a distraction to you. Put it all away. You need to take a moment and figure out how to minimize these distractions. Finding a quiet place in the house to claim as your office might help.

Download productivity software to keep you on track

Since you do not have a manager or supervisor to keep you on your toes, you are likely to slack off a bit. To avoid this, you can download productivity software that keeps track of the work you are doing and the hours covered. Most of them are free and easy to use. Toggl, for instance, generates a report on how many hours you have spent doing a certain task in a day. Kanban Flow is also a great tool to make lists and keep track of time spent.

Reward yourself

If you need the motivation to keep yourself productive and stop procrastinating, formulate a reward system. For instance, if you are itching to watch a certain movie on Netflix, keep off it until you have accomplished a certain milestone. You will have something to look forward to and this will motivate you to keep working.

When I make my to-do list for the day I try to accomplish 3 tasks before I reward myself and it keeps me on track and motivated to complete a project. My friend Carly has a cute little worksheet that’s very similar for kids plus a ton more!

Decluttering your work space is a must to be productive when working from home!

Declutter your working space

If you are like me, you loathe working in a cluttered environment. Things keep getting lost in the mess. Decluttering your workspace saves you time and energy. It also triggers the dopamine hormones in your brain, allowing you to feel good about what you are about to do. Your productivity levels increase.

When decluttering, do not forget to get rid of annoying extensions on your browser or clogged desktop PC which makes it hard for you to locate certain files fast.

Check out my blogger gear to keep my desk organized here!

Do not multitask

Multitasking might seem a good thing but in this case, it is counter-productive. You want to focus on one task at a time. This is because it’s easy to get distracted when working from home and this can lead to having to procrastinate multiple tasks at the same time. Focus on one task, finish and then move onto another task.

Find out when you are most productive

Most of us are usually very productive in the morning. This is the time when our brains are fresh and creative. At the end of the day, you are exhausted and you just want to rest. Plan to accomplish the most demanding task first and in the most productive hours of your life. This way you will already be having a sense of accomplishment when you come to tackle the other less demanding tasks.

For some reason, my brain starts working around 10pm and I tend to stay up pretty late working. For example, I’m writing this at 2am. I’m trying to break this habit and change my schedule but it’s a little harder with a new baby. Regardless, find what works for you. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t start your day between 5 and 7am.

Let your schedule be known to other family members

Since they will be your greatest source of distractions, let them know about your plan and schedule. Talk to your kids and let them know that you need some hours of quiet to work. Discourage too many intrusions unless it’s something very important.

Having everything you'll need for the day close by will help you increase productivity

Be well equipped

You need to be well equipped if you are going to be successful working from home. Have a reliable internet connection and computer to make your working from home easy and efficient. Make sure to keep your computer charged or get a second screen if needed. Try your best to work from your desk or a designated work area. I know working from the bed sounds ideal but trust me, you’ll be less productive and more distracted or more likely to go back to bed. Make your bed when you get up, go to your desk, get set up, and get to work.

Set up a reminder system

One effective way to prevent procrastination is by setting up a reminder system. You get to set up an alarm that rings after a specific duration. Once the alarm goes off, it’s a trigger to start working on another project.  I think they make these fun dice on Amazon as well. These will keep you on your toes.

What are some other great tips to stop procrastinating while working from home?