The average worker spent 19 full work days commuting per year before the pandemic. Whether you’re a freelance professional that has been working from home for years or you’re one of the many people who have recently transitioned to remote work, there’s a lot of available time in the day that can be invested into developing new productive habits.
Reimagine Your Commute
Working from home is your chance to take that extra half hour you’re saving on commute time every day and reinvest it into yourself. This is time to develop new rituals that get your mind ready for a productive day of working from home.
Reflect on how your former commuter rituals can be adjusted to suit your new working lifestyle and to maximize your output.
Bring an Office Mindset Home
If you are struggling with the transition to working from home, creating a routine that is similar to your office routine can help. Small actions like getting fully dressed and ready for work in the morning can help get your mind ready for a productive day, even if you’re not used to remote work.
While some people can work just fine in their loungewear, for a lot of us, this signals to our brains that it’s time to relax. Hold off on switching to your sweats until it’s time to log off for the day so that you can build routines that support an effective work life balance.
Staying organized is a great way to boost your productivity. If you know where to find everything that you need throughout your day, you’re cutting down the time and stress that you waste on searching for important files.
Take some time in your morning to tidy up and organize your home office. Starting the day with a cleared space decreases distractions. If you start each day with just a bit of organizing, it will be a lot easier to maintain your space – both physical and mental.
Once you’ve organized your desk, take this chance to sit down and plan out your goals for the day. Blocking off your time realistically lets you set a sustainable working pace for yourself and prevents burnout. Reviewing your schedule before starting your day gives you more control over your workload and prevents surprise deadlines.
You can also schedule some time each week to check in with your finances before work. It’s a lot easier to feel confident about your budget and pay your bills on time if you consistently block time each week to check.
Take Time to Learn
Listening to a productivity podcast as you do your morning routine is a great strategy for getting your mind ready for a day of work. If podcasts aren’t your cup of tea, you can also listen to an audiobook. Through either medium, choose a topic that’s related to your industry or a new skill that you want to learn.
The best part about this hack is that you can combine it with other morning tasks. Whether you prefer to go on a jog to get ready for work or you’re just cooking breakfast, listening to a podcast or an audiobook sets the tone for a productive work day.
Starting your day off with a brain teaser is another fun way to prepare yourself for your remote work day. Sudoku, crosswords, or traditional puzzles are all fun ways to activate your brain and can be done while you enjoy your breakfast. Brain teasers get your creativity going so that you can tackle any problem that comes your way at work.
Get Ahead on Work
A couple of extra minutes in the morning also offer a great opportunity to catch up on smaller work tasks that you might neglect throughout the day. Take some time to catch up on emails or send those meeting requests that you have been putting off.
This is also a good opportunity to sit and brainstorm solutions to issues for your various projects. Take some quiet time before your hectic work schedule kicks in to think about how you can solve ongoing issues in your projects.
Whether you thrive working remotely or dread the walk to your home office, working from home is more common than ever. Many of us are still getting used to working on our own terms, so it can be difficult to know which habits are actually going to boost your productivity and which are a waste of your time.
It is going to take some trial and error to figure out what strategies work best for you, so don’t be discouraged if you get a rough start. For more ideas on how to turn your former commute time into an opportunity for productivity, check out Tommy John’s 12 productivity hacks below.
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.