09/18/2014 03:03 pm ET Updated Nov 18, 2014

5 Tips for Being a More Productive Worker From Home


Five years ago, the term 'work from home' had yet to be coined, but it appeared under our radars enough times for us to know that someone actually does sit at his home, performing actual, paid work. Nowadays, it's almost the norm, with more companies taking the initiative to allow employees to work from the comfort of their home.

The benefits to be working from home include many, however - those who're new to the trade, might actually find themselves struggling to move forward, to get past the barrier of being a worker at home. I've been there, many other people have too -- what can we do to speed up the process?

I'm going to be sharing with you five practical tips on increasing your productivity when working from home.

1. Separate Your Freedoms

You'd think that working schedule is going to be incredibly easy to maintain, just because you're working from home? Wrong. We can easily get caught up doing too much, or settle for doing way below the average. I've found that setting goals help.

Set yourself realistic goals for weeks ahead of you, and then find a time schedule that best complements your newly set goals. While some prefer to work 9-5, there are those who'll start their day at 5 a.m. and finish it at 2 p.m. Which freedom do you value the most?

2. Accept the Distractions

Grabbing some munchies from the fridge? Well, probably not that big of a distraction. Trying to get your laundry done during working hours? You probably need that shirt clean, it's okay! But, browsing Twitter and Facebook while more important work could be done? That's quite the distraction!

It's not just social media, but any game or website that we may decide to engage upon - while actually sitting on the computer during our regular working hours. You won't change a habit overnight, but you can work very hard to achieve balance for things you should do, and things you need to do.

3. Learn to be Efficient

I always start with the hardest piece of work. I build a schedule for a few weeks ahead of me, and I'll focus on getting the hard tasks out of my way. It's pleasure from doing something challenging, but it's also a reward towards the end of the schedule - time when I can relax, and reflect on the success I achieved during completing those hard jobs.

Email, phone calls, texting; all are useful and necessary tasks for concluding business (and work), but not necessarily tasks that are going to make you more productive, or get any actual work done. Give yourself time frames where you can do different tasks. It will aid in fighting distractions.

4. Tools to the Rescue

The whole productivity, effectiveness, time management landscape has changed - thanks to the massive growth of mobile operating systems, and devices. Now, we've got apps to help us keep track of what we need to do, we also have apps that helps us manage our workflow.

Instead of having to set-up chalkboards, note walls, etc., we can rely on the technological growth, and use the many apps and tools that are available to us - to help us be more productive when working from home.

5. Flip the Switch

Working from home can be both a rewarding and a daunting task. It really comes down to how far you're willing to push yourself. I've found myself in situations where I have worked for several weeks in a row, without any remorse over not being social or physically active. I've changed my habits ever since.

You're your own boss (more often than not), and giving yourself holidays might seem a little awkward at first, but it's only going to get better with time. It always does, just like it did for me. Now, I feel entitled to following my editorial schedule and work by that. Anything more, anything less - it's just another distraction.

Tips for Being a More Productive Worker from Home

You could settle for traveling, or reading more books. Those methods certainly work for easing the stress, but they're not the key answer to treating your work as a unique part of your life.