Working from home is fun, flexible, and eliminates all those distractions of unnecessary office chitchat. But it’s also easy to get lost in the details, failing to draw a line between your job and home affairs. Some bad work-from-home habits you develop over time will take a toll and kill your productivity. However, once you know these unproductive habits, you can take action and tackle them effectively. Read on to learn these common habits that might be ruining your productivity when working from home.
1. Ignoring a Plan
You have no one to supervise you and ensure you’re honoring timelines. You might choose to “freelance” your day, starting with no plan. However, that would be a huge mistake because you’ll be unable to be efficient as you go about random tasks in an unspecified timeline. This will result in you not being able to keep up with deadlines, putting in more hours than necessary.
It’s a better idea to always start your day with a plan. Or even better, plan the next day the day before so you can be more mentally prepared and energetic from the moment you wake up.
2. Neglecting Hygiene
The flexibility of working in your pajamas is definitely a significant remote job advantage, but you may be taking it too far. While no one may see you, failing to bathe, dress decently, or declutter your home might be the reason you’re having trouble with productivity when working from home.
Hygiene-mind relation studies reveal that cluttered spaces provoke unhealthy habits like overeating and drain our cognitive capabilities by reducing our focus. All this is a recipe for unproductivity.
Therefore, declutter your workspace, freshen up, and wear working mood-boosting clothes before getting down to work.
3. Feeding Distractions
An email notification popped up, you go read the entire article posted and move on to check social media. You crave a snack and end up eating all the Cheetos in the pantry. Your brother pops a recipe question, and you accept the invite to help him make cookies. The list goes on.
The point is, the distractions exist everywhere. Even your thoughts can distract you. That’s why it’s impossible to completely eliminate them. But you shouldn’t feed them either. You need to find ways to say no to distractions. Plan your working time, know your triggers, set boundaries and always fight the urge to feed any distraction that comes up.
Multitasking slows down the brain, according to psychologists. In fact, they realized repeating tasks is faster than switching between the two tasks they used in the experiment. And no matter how good you think you are at multitasking, research shows that it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after switching. So even if making dinner seems doable while working from home, it will create havoc with your productivity.
To avoid multitasking, you have to be mindful of it all the time since sometimes your mind is used to doing more than one thing in automation. Understand that even thinking about something else for a bit while working is multitasking. Avoid it. Keep in mind a quote by Gary Keller: “You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.”
5. Becoming Socially Detached
One work-from-home disadvantage is that your social interactions are minimized. But even worse is when you get to an isolation mode where you focus on only work and ignore that you need to feed your social being. Psychologists explain that social isolation breeds productivity killers such as poor sleep quality, depression, fast cognitive deterioration, and impaired immunity.
Therefore, build and keep your workplace connections so you can chat a bit during breaks. Also, plan your working hours well so you can meet up physically with your friends and family later.
6. Embracing Escapism
Escapism is indulging in distractions to avoid work you should be doing. It could be watching a movie, sleeping, gaming, snacking – anything you go after whenever you don’t want to face the task at hand. And since you’re at home where most leisure activities are at your disposal and can postpone your working time, you may succumb to escapism. Unfortunately, though, it fuels procrastination and impairs your productivity immensely.
What you need to do is face whatever reality you’re avoiding. Every time you feel like escaping, choose to do nothing so you can force your mind to think about what needs to be done. This way, you can use procrastination destruction strategies and end unproductivity before it takes root.
Unproductivity is one of the most stubborn work-from-home challenges you have to battle. If there were a button to end it, even highly productive people would press it. But as long as you remember the bad habits that kill productivity when working from home, you’ll progress and meet your goals in the reasonable timeline you wanted to.
What are your bad productivity habits when working from home? And what do you do to remedy them? Please share with us in the comments!
Work Smarter Receive productivity tips in your inbox.