There are many ways of improving your personal effectiveness and productivity when working from home. Things such as goal setting, time management strategies, prioritising and so on. But there are other powerful, but often overlooked, ways to boost your personal effectiveness and productivity too. Here are 5 to experiment with:

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5 habits to improve personal effectiveness when working from home

Creating work from home efficiencyThere are many ways of improving your personal effectiveness and productivity when working from home.

Things such as goal setting, time management strategies, prioritising and so on.

But there are other powerful, but often overlooked, ways to boost your personal effectiveness and productivity too.

Here are 5 to experiment with:

1. Create a commute.

This helps shift your mindset from personal home life to working from home.

Now, I am not suggesting you jump in the car and drive round the block a few times and then come home. Pick something that you enjoy doing that will become part of your daily routine. For example, a brief walk, some stretches, a wander round the garden, meditation etc. Do it for at least ten minutes immediately prior to starting work.

By the way, running round like a lunatic stuffing the dishwasher and washing machine doesn’t count!

2. Change location.

A change of location gives fresh inspiration.

Take your laptop or a pad and pen and go somewhere that you really like. For example, a local coffee shop or hotel. If the weather is good work outside in the garden, at the park or in the countryside.

I do my business strategy and development work in the lounge at a local hotel that overlooks a beautiful beach. It really helps with the creative thinking and reduces distractions. Do  activities that are not dependant on working at home such as planning, brainstorming. writing articles etc.

3. Get connected.

Isolation and lone ranger syndrome has a negative impact on personal effectiveness, productivity and success. Make sure your week is broken up to include connecting with other people. Build a support team of people who also work from home. Meet regularly to share ideas and support each other. Works wonders.

4. Create space.

Scheduling time in your diary every week with no work activities is a great way to let your mind just wander and get creative. It is amazing how many great ideas can just pop up if your mind has some space. Having some mental and physical space also has a positive impact on productivity levels too. Make this a “must do” activity every week.

5. Walk away!

If you are feeling overwhelmed or things seem a bit of struggle, trying to push through is likely to make you less effective. Stop. Walk away. If possible get some fresh air. Sometimes the best way forward is to take a step back!

Do you already have habits and rituals that you find boost your work from home effectiveness? If so, I would love to hear them. Please share them in the comments section below.

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  • Hi Ali,

    If I'm working at home, as I do most days now, I make the effort to get up at a set time, dress properly and go out for coffee first thing.

    When I first started spending more time working from home, I could find it easy to wear gym pants and trainers all day every day. That might be okay for lots of people. But, one of my interests is style. So it was doing nothing for my moral to be wearing the same old kind of thing every day. For me to be in work mode it's important I dress comfortably, yes, but well put together too!

  • Christine, it is funny how dress can affect how we think and feel. I never do my business development stuff, strategy and board meetings in my scruffs as, for me, it does affect how I think and feel in some way. Instead I will get myself smart/casual (don't do suits any more). Having said that, when I am just doing admin stuff I do allow myself the odd joggie day. After years of conforming to the suit brigade it, on occasion, feels good to work in my joggies!!!

  • Hi Ali,

    If I'm working at home, as I do most days now, I make the effort to get up at a set time, dress properly and go out for coffee first thing.

    When I first started spending more time working from home, I could find it easy to wear gym pants and trainers all day every day. That might be okay for lots of people. But, one of my interests is style. So it was doing nothing for my moral to be wearing the same old kind of thing every day. For me to be in work mode it's important I dress comfortably, yes, but well put together too!

  • Christine, it is funny how dress can affect how we think and feel. I never do my business development stuff, strategy and board meetings in my scruffs as, for me, it does affect how I think and feel in some way. Instead I will get myself smart/casual (don't do suits any more). Having said that, when I am just doing admin stuff I do allow myself the odd joggie day. After years of conforming to the suit brigade it, on occasion, feels good to work in my joggies!!!

  • Sue Mitchell

    What these tips all share is the idea of separating your work space (physical and mental) from the physical and mental space where you relax and lounge. I know someone who puts lipstick on at the start of her work-at-home day just as an act of delineation between her at-home and at-work times, even though no one will see her for hours. Love that!

  • Sue, it is all about creating mindset shifts that help you in the mode you are in at that time at home – whether that be work, rest or play.

  • I am totally with you on the early morning thing Timo. It is my fave time of day for cracking on with some work or just having some time and space to think about stuff. So quiet and peaceful – love it.

  • Timo Kiander

    Ali,

    Great list!

    I try to work before going to office (early morning hours). In weekends, I tend to wake up earlier than my family. Yet, I’m able to get stuff done during those quiet hours.
    Also, a workout in the morning will do wonders to my productivity too.Cheers,Timo

  • Neil Ashworth

    Nice article Ali. I love create a commute.. even if it’s only a walk downstairs, it should feel business-like and not a stroll in the park 🙂

  • Hi Neil, walking is one of my fave ways to “commute” too. I like to mix it up a bit so sometimes it will be a brisk walk and sometimes just a gentle meander, taking it easy and enjoying the slower pace.

  • Neil Ashworth

    Indeed. No need to rush around all the time Ali 😉

  • Thank you for these reminders (especially “walk away”…which, for me needs to be both literally and mentally)!! I find that I tend to “helicopter parent” my business and that doesn’t help me or my business.

  • paulakiger

    These are great! I’m struggling with some of the pieces of working from home. Thx for the suggestions!

  • Paula, glad you found it useful.

  • Karen, it is great that you have that awareness about yourself. Awareness is the first step in creating change so you are now in a great position to explore and experiment with solutions that will serve you better.

  • Some of these I’ve thought of and done before, but the “commute” mindset is a good one. I should totally start getting a short walk in before starting my day!! Love that idea.

  • Judy Krell Freedman

    Good tips Ali. I need to do a better job of practicing them.

  • You are spot on Judy. Practicing them regularly is the key as they then become habits that we just do automatically.

  • I miss working from home…now I have a 3 hour daily commute!

  • I used to commute a lot when I was still in the Corporate world so I can relate to how challenging that can be.

  • I love my early morning walks. Something about getting outdoors in the fresh air which benefits so many things.