In just a year we have become a nation of home-workers. It’s a long way from the nation of shop-keepers Napoleon once termed the Brits. Our national occupations have spread out quite a bit since then. But now, once again, many more of us are defined by the space in which we work.
It can be dreary and difficult to stay motivated when it’s just you and the same 4 walls every day. And then there is our online life, on the internet, where there are barely any walls at all. If you also have children at home, you’ve got a whole other set of boundaries to worry about.
So how do you balance the need to stay productive, with the need to stay safe online? Here are a few top tips to get started with.
Schedule Your Day
The most important thing you can do to increase your productivity is to create a schedule and stick to it. You can start by making a list of everything you need to do in a day, taking into consideration meal and snack times, nap and activity times if you have children, and your work time. Try to schedule your work during a time in the day when you know you have a lot of energy so that you’re not dragging yourself through your work.
Get a dry erase board and hang it where the whole family can see the schedule so that everyone can help you stay on track, and record the schedule in a planner or on your phone so that you always have it nearby to keep yourself in check.
“A cluttered space is a cluttered mind” – if you haven’t heard the phrase before, make it your mantra as you tidy up and create boundaries in your home. Clutter can have damaging psychological effects that make you less productive and more stressed out.
Before you even think of starting work, create clear boundaries around the home for play, relaxation, meals, and work. If you don’t have an office, designate a small space as your work area. Making these boundaries clear will help you stay organized and feel much less overwhelmed as you go about your day.
Use Apps Designed to Increase Productivity
Toggl and Evernote are a couple of excellent productivity apps. Toggl is an easy-to-use time tracker that won’t just alert you when it’s time to move from one activity to the next, it’s also designed to help you track the amount of time you spend on particular activities so that you can see the big picture later and understand where all your time went.
Protect Your Privacy
Whether you’re a blogger, a customer service rep, or selling products from home, working from home means spending a lot of time at the computer. Make sure that all of your personal data is safe and your privacy protected by using a VPN to secure your connection. A VPN will mask your IP address and encrypt all the data you use online so that you’re not left vulnerable to cyber-attacks or breaches of privacy.
Follow our tips above to ease your mind and stay on track with your work, your family, and your home – it might still not be perfect, but there is a lot you can do to make working from home much more productive and safe.