8 Things That Helped Me Boost My Work Productivity at Home

By KDA D+A Team

Hi there! I’m KC (short for Kda d+a Character) and recently I have been struggling with my productivity recently because of this new work from home scheme everyone’s been following ever since the start of this of the quarantine period. I tried a lot of things to help me boost my working routine at home and lucky for you! I’ll be sharing the 8 things I’ve done to combat my growing inefficiency because of this new work from home scheme. Let’s dive in!

1. Establish a morning routine

Usually, when I'm aware that I don’t need to leave my house for the day, I sleep-in and I tend to stay in my bed after waking up. I ended up lying on my bed and mindlessly scrolling through my phone, ultimately wasting hours of my morning with nothing accomplished.

In order for me to effectively boost my productivity at home, I started planning and following a morning routine that helped me prepare myself for the day ahead. My typical morning routine would consist of activities like waking-up early, meditation, exercising, taking a bath, eating breakfast and reading a book. Each activity takes up about 15 to 30 minutes the most, making the routine a 2-3 hour preparation that helped me start the day. This boosted my productivity because it gave me an early start for my morning rituals and a focused mindset to achieve a lot of things for the day. Well I’m pretty sure that we all have our different ways and I know that there are no strict rules in establishing a morning routine, it may be adjusted depending on how you like to start off your mornings but the only rule that is needed to be followed is the discipline that you must follow your morning routine every day. Following the routing will be hard at first, but once you get used to it, it’ll be something that you won’t even think about as it becomes a day-to-day habit.

2. Prioritize and starting with urgent tasks

Back then at the office when I start working, I usually start doing the easy tasks because of reasons like “I’m not yet in the mood to work” or “I’m not yet in the zone” and for me to have a sense of accomplishment in the morning hours of the day. I tend to start working on the important tasks before lunch or during the afternoon and then I started to question: “why do I extend my workdays with overtime work?”

I then realized that the main reason is that I prioritize less important and ‘easy’ tasks to be done early on the day and then work on the important tasks for the latter part of the day. These same circumstances happened to me when I started working from home. I didn’t start working on the main tasks until I felt a certain boost in motivation or felt that I’m “in the mood” to work especially now that I’m in the comforts of my home but in reality, I was just wasting my time on small and “easy” tasks to make myself believe that I’m actually being productive. For me to break this habit, I needed to start prioritizing the main and important tasks the time I’m done with my morning routines. With or without motivation, in the mood or not in the mood, I needed to discipline myself to just start working on the task at hand and then without knowing it, I’m actually finishing that main task at hand. By starting the main tasks early, I finish my work early and once done, I am left with the ‘easy’ tasks for me to complete smoothly on the latter part of day.

3. Breaking the workload into smaller chunks

Yes, there were days when my plate was full. I had tons of work and deadlines to follow that usually ended up making me feel overwhelmed and intimidated with the tasks at hand. This state of intimidation created the illusion that I won’t be able to get our work done. The solution for situations like this is to simply break down the big tasks into smaller chunks of doable and easy objectives.

By breaking down the big tasks into smaller tasks, I have erased the illusion that “a huge amount of work needs to be done” and I ended up actually doing the small tasks one by one ultimately finishing the job. Like playing and beating a game, for one to beat the game, one must finish all the levels step by step and then will he only be able to beat the whole game. Similar to that logic, that’s how I combated unproductivity in handling big amounts of work at home or at the office.

4. Taking Breaks

This is seemingly a self-explanatory item but it’s not as simple as it suggests. For one to be more productive, taking breaks is essential. By taking breaks, it meant taking my mind off work and resting my mind.

Now that I’m working at home, taking breaks meant the perfect time to leave my workspace and to start relaxing my mind. It may be eating in a different room, going outside to get a breath of fresh air, playing games or scrolling through your phone, watching a short video, or just anything to put my mind off the work I’m currently doing.

Break time may take up 15 – 30 minutes depending on what works for you but a break that takes more than an hour is not considered a break anymore as it consumes a lot of downtimes and eventually unproductivity. Maintaining a well-planned and scheduled break routine boosted my productivity and mindset by creating a habit that work must be done at a certain time and that breaks last for only a certain time.

5. Assigning a dedicated workspace

One of the biggest challenges for me when I started working at home is the mindset of having to work in an environment that is meant to be of comfort and relaxation.

 

By setting a designated workspace in my house, I created a mindset that that certain area is a dedicated spot for nothing but work which helped me get more focused on work. Personally, I chose my home office as my designated workstation but depending on what works for you the most, this workspace may vary. It may be a home office, a workspace in your living room or simply a table and chair with your computer on it, as long as it’s not the area you sleep in then your workspace is good to go.

6. Avoiding the use of social media

Clearly the most time-consuming activity that breaks my productivity, in general, is when I get caught up scrolling through my social media accounts. It’s the biggest distraction in everyone’s life today, social media is designed to keep us scrolling and browsing through these different platforms of connecting to people especially now that we’re working at home, we tend to give-in to our distractions as we are not surrounded by our work peers.

By allotting breaks for browsing through social media and putting away my phone or logging out of my social media accounts while working at home, I get less distracted and more focused on the work I’m doing at home. The key to avoiding the distraction of social media is to discipline myself into allotting break time or after work time to log into these social media platforms.

7. Using music to accompany my work routine

I personally am a fan of playing Lo-Fi tracks or instrumental music in the background while I work. Through music, I become more productive, may it be the reason to block-off background noise or to prevent myself from getting sleepy or to simply hear music that will help me focus more on my task, music became a constant thing that helped me finish my work.

Same as playing music while working at the office, playing music at home while working helped me boost productivity as it blocked off distracting noise from my surroundings or to simply keep myself awake during the afternoon, adding music to accompany my work routine helped boost my productivity at home.

8. Planning out everything and making a to-do list the day before

Before, I used to just check on my deadlines the day I started working and the problem I encountered every time was my bad habit of procrastination. It was always irritating that every time I check on my deadlines, it was due the next day or at the latter part of the day. This bad habit caught up to me and I realized that I need to break this habit to avoid worst-case scenarios like missing a deadline and eventually losing my job.

Driving without a destination and direction will not lead you anywhere, the same goes to accomplishing tasks. By planning out the things I needed to accomplish the day before my workday it helped me track what are the things that are needed to be done and the things I needed to finish first. This list mentally prepared me on what my “finish line” or goal will be for the next day thus making me aware of what is needed of me and the time I’d a lot for each task.

Conclusion

These are just some ways that will help me boost my productivity at home but keep in mind that each item may be adjusted depending on your work ethic and your discipline. As long as you plan out the things you need to do, discipline yourself to avoid distractions and to focus on working towards your goal then you’ll definitely maximize your productivity regardless of our current state of working at home.

Follow KDA Design and Architecture to be updated on articles like this, and anything related to architecture.