The need to increase productivity at home is rising. Earlier this year, when news that social distancing measures had to be in place following the COVID-19 outbreak, kitchen tables turned into makeshift workspaces and morning commutes consisted of walking a room over. As working from home became the new normal, those of us who don’t typically work from home struggled to adapt to our new realities.

Now that it’s been a few months of adjusting to working in our houses, we thought that it would be the perfect time to revisit ways to maximize productivity, especially since COVID-19 has no definite end-date in sight. Here are a few of the most effective ways to increase productivity when working at home:

Adopt a morning routine

Just because you’re not driving to work every day doesn’t mean that you still can’t do all the usual things that you do to get ready for your morning commute. Do you typically read before work or play your favorite tunes on the subway ride to work? You can still do those things, all while in the comforts of your home. Don’t sacrifice anything that brings you joy. In fact, this is the time to start identifying the habits that make you happy, and drop those that don’t, so that you can incorporate these habits within your day.

Create a schedule to increase productivity

We cannot stress the importance of this enough! Creating a daily schedule that you can commit to will not only leave you more organized but make your day feel less overwhelming. Don’t just make a list of what you have to do. Try to sort the list in order of what you want to accomplish first and even include the various times that you hope to complete items on your list by to transform it into an actual schedule.

Take breaks and a variety of them

Make sure that you schedule in time for eating, short bursts of exercise, and free time. Though you may not be able to take a walk around the office, you can still take a walk around your flat or house. You can turn virtually anything into an exercise, from running up and down your staircase to lifting a few boxes while organizing.

Don’t forget to eat your meals and actually pencil time in to eat, exercise, and have fun or be creative. You should take ten-minute breaks every hour and thirty-minute breaks or longer at least every two hours to perform at optimum productivity. Feel free to also take a break from work and do a mind or body exercise whenever you feel stuck. Sometimes, it’s also helpful to switch workspaces and move to a different place in your home after taking a break for an energy and creativity boost.

Increase productivity by minimizing distractions

Do you check your phone while working your shift at work? Then don’t check it while you’re working at home! Silence your phone’s notifications while you’re clocked in so that you can maximize your focus on the task at hand. Placing your phone somewhere you can’t see it will also help build your concentration and productivity. Feel free to check your phone during a lunch break or free time, but don’t try to start an hour-long Game of Thrones episode during a ten-minute break because that might make it harder for you to return to working efficiently.

We hope that you’re able to unlock new levels of efficiency, creativity, and ultimately productivity as time goes by. Remember that each person “works” differently—we mean that both figuratively and literally—so what boosts your productivity might not boost your partner’s productivity. Definitely try to figure out what ways we mention work for you and embrace them!

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