This is a guest post by Katherine Luk, Community Outreach Coordinator for HP’s Small Business Solutions team.
You can’t be productive without a productive workspace.
Although working from home doesn’t always come with a traditional office, it still requires productivity and focus.
There are a ton of simple steps you can take to create a productive space for your work, both physically and mentally. Check out some of my best tips for getting in the zone and staying there!
Separate Work and Play.
The age old question: is working in your bed less productive than working at a desk?
It turns out that it doesn’t really matter; according to an article from McClatchy DC, researchers found an equal split between bed and desk study locations amongst top-performing students.
However, be wary of working directly before bed and disturbing your circadian rhythm–just two hours of screen use can reduce your body’s melatonin levels by up to 22%, decreasing energy levels and restfulness.
Do yourself and your body a favor–leave work for work hours!
If your home is anything like mine, there are probably a multitude of distractions standing in the way of peak productivity.
A Canadian survey found over half of respondents working from home experienced interruptions from family members wanting attention, while over a quarter cited lack of access to proper office equipment.
As tough as it may be, try setting boundaries with family members and make sure your workspace is fully equipped to stay in the productivity zone.
Keep your Peace of Mind with Backups.
Having all the equipment to get your work done is essential for working at home. Without the resources of a full office to draw on, self-sufficiency is critical for productivity, especially for freelancers or small businesses.
When your whole business is on one laptop, hardware or data storage failure can be devastating to your bottom line and peace of mind.
No business is too small to incorporate a few security tips to put your mind at ease. Take a look at the U.S. Small Business Association’s top ten cybersecurity tips for easy steps to keep your data safe.
Plus, business laptops are often built with extra durability and hardware security features for working on the go. And services like Dropbox keep your business-critical data backed up whenever you’re online.
Mental stress can hamper productivity just as much as office distractions, and with these simple solutions you can keep on working knowing your work will stay safe and sound.
Pay Attention to your Body.
I know, I know: we’ve all heard that your daily morning routine should include the most important meal of the day. Some agree, others have found we make up for it by eating more calories over the whole day.
Regardless, we know that breakfast helps kids study better in the classroom, and hunger can be one more distraction to your morning workload. So why not grab a banana just in case, or another healthy snack?
It keeps you from being distracted by a growling stomach. In addition, it’s a nice way to take a quick break from your work and gives you a chance to exercise your creative thought muscles.
Discover your Personal Work Rhythm.
It turns out the taking breaks actually helps you get more done!
Working continuously sets a high bar for your brain to continuously operate at and can lead to diminished concentration. A recent study from Cognition shows that short breaks help you focus when you need it and let your brain reset to keep your performance levels high over the course of the day.
This same trick works for writer’s block too. Try walking around the block or even taking a shower to refresh your creativity. Studies show these activities release dopamine, which helps boost your creative drive.
At the end of the day, working from home can be challenging for anybody. One of the most important things you can do is just stay positive!
While these tips can get you started on the right track, willpower and a good attitude are powerful drivers for success.
So take deep breath, clear your workspace of distractions, and get to it–you’re ready to be your most productive!