Part of the beauty of working from home is the flexibility it provides. You can set your own schedule, take breaks when you want to and even take days off when needed. In general, you should be able to work “less,” or it should feel as though you are.
However, much of this depends on your ability to be at your productive best. If you can’t find ways to get the most amount done in the least amount of time, then you’re going to struggle to find time to sleep, never mind to work on your side hustle or spend time playing with your kids.
Ultimately productivity depends on discipline. The time will arrive when it’s time to just sit down and get things done. But there are a lot of things that can take you off track, and some of these might be completely invisible to you. Yet their impact is just as significant, meaning you need to work to get rid of them so that you can be at your best and enjoy your life the way you want to.
Here are five productivity roadblocks that might be lurking in your office.
This is one that many people do not think about but that can have a big effect on your productivity. In fact, a study by Human Spaces found that people are happier and more effective when their workspaces include some element of natural light. Furthermore, working in natural light helps you sleep, and it can also make you more creative.
Harsh fluorescent lighting is hard on the eyes, and it makes us more tired and less willing to work. So if you’re home office is buried in a part of the house that doesn’t get much light, this could be having a big impact on your productivity, and you may want to consider making a change.
This is a unique feature of working in a home office. Because the kitchen and pantry are right around the corner, you have easier access to all the food in your home. But as we already know, not all food is created equal.
So while it’s certainly tempting to grab a few cookies or candy bar in the afternoon, this isn’t always best for us in terms of productivity. The rush of sugar is always followed by a crash, and this can cause the workday to come to a grinding halt before we’ve finished what we have to do for the day.
Make sure to keep a good supply of healthy alternatives at the house. Fruits and other filling snacks such as nuts or cereals are good options to help you ward off the afternoon munchies without filling your body with substances that will make it harder to work.
Many of us decide to work from home because it gives us more time to spend with our families. But this doesn’t mean it’s playtime every time you’re home with your kids.
Everyone in the household needs to know when you’re working and when you’re not. If you don’t already, make sure you have a designated space in the house for you to work. Try to have a door to the office, too, as this helps make the barrier more apparent.
Something else you can do is set fixed working hours and make it clear to your family, especially your kids, that you should only be disturbed during this time for emergencies or other serious matters. Doing this might be hard at first, but you’ll eventually become grateful you’ve set things up this way, especially since it will allow you to be more present when you’re not working, increasing the quality of the time you get to spend with your family.
Anyone who works from home is going to be nearly entirely dependent on their internet connection. Without it, we simply cannot work. Therefore, it’s important to have fast and reliable internet service. No one wants to be waiting for pages to load, or stuck without internet because of a problem at the company.
However, far too few people spend time thoroughly researching internet service providers, meaning they are often not getting the best service out there. Specialized search engines can help you identify better value and better service, helping you make sure your internet connection facilitates not hinders productivity.
We’ve all heard of the value to-do lists in helping us be more productive. But the reality is that too many people misuse these lists, and this actually leads to less productivity. Good to-do lists should include the following:
- A breakdown of the tasks for the day, starting with the most important and ending with the least important
- A time prediction. It’s important to know how much time you should be spending on each task, especially when you have multiple projects you’re working on.
- A deadline. Giving yourself firm time limits will help push you to get things done more efficiently, helping you stay on task.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that you should break up larger projects into smaller tasks. This will make things seem more manageable, decreasing the chances of you getting overwhelmed and backing down from the task at hand.
Be On the Lookout For Productivity Roadblocks
The things standing in the way of us being at our productive best are not always visible. As a result, we need to be constantly analyzing what’s getting in our way and how we can be better. Then, we can implement solutions that minimize the impact of these roadblocks and help us get things done.
About the Author:
Kevin is a serial entrepreneur. His most notable achievements include launching a marketing agency voted the best place to work in Jacksonville and building a hugely successful internet provider comparison site. He has spent most of his career working from home and he is a big advocate of this lifestyle.