How To Make Working From Home More Efficient

By Chelsea Becker

The thought of working from home is one that's being romanticized more and more lately. Employees are longing for flexible mornings and being able to hang out with their dog while still getting in a full day's work. And although working from home can be pretty satisfying, it can also start to feel like a Saturday afternoon on repeat if you're not careful. That sounds great, but once you hit the end of the week and your work has piled up, you'll be wishing you were a bit more productive.

Working from home
credit: Twenty20

Enter: our best work from home tips for working more efficiently.

Customize your schedule

Depending on the circumstance for why you're working from home, you can really work whenever you want. The only thing you have to do is make sure you meet your deadlines. This can feel very liberating because all the sudden you can work when you feel most productive versus being restricted to the hours of 9-5. Some people do their best work at 11pm while others at 6am. When you work from home it's up to you, so customize your schedule to fit your habits to up your efficiency.

Take breaks

There's a ton of articles out there about taking breaks during the workday, but it still feels a little taboo. Especially if you're used to working in an office and then switch to WFH, you'll probably feel a pang of guilt for taking a 20 minute siesta in the middle of the day. But we say those breaks are necessary. Work for about an hour to an hour and a half (set a timer if you have to), wrap up what you're working on and take a break. Go for a walk, read a book or sneak in a quick workout. This will help minimize the need to take a break every five minute and waste time scrolling through social media.

Know when it’s ok to work with the TV on and when it’s not

The thing about working from home, is that the TV is staring at you all day. Some prefer to turn it on as "background noise", but ultimately it's just another distraction. To help combat this, tell yourself it's ok to have it on sometimes. We call this TV work. You know, the mundane task-y type of stuff that you don't need tons of brainpower to do, but has to get done. Watching TV during this kind of stuff can make it seem a little less painful and helps it go by faster. On the hand, though, know when to turn the TV off, too. Some work simply requires silence and a bit more focus.

Batch tasks

You may have seen this phrase before. It's kind of become slightly buzzword-y, but it's popular because it works. Batching tasks means grouping similar tasks into specific days of the week. This can help cut lag time between projects and make your days more efficient. It can be especially helpful if you have errands or meetings out of the house. Grouping those kinds of things together in one day means you won't lose time leaving the house several days a week.

Work where you’re most productive

Most people dream of staying in their pajamas all day long and working from the comfort of their bed. And being able to do that every now and then is a perk, but you should really work where you're most productive. Some days that means working in bed, but just like choosing the best time of day to work, you should also choose a location where you can get sh*t done. Whether you prefer a more formal home office, a coffee shop, the dining room table or even the couch, just pick a place where you feel most productive.