Remote work is common for many of us these days, which sounds like a great perk. But unfortunately, working from home also can impact productivity because we no longer have the daily structure of going to the office or doing in-home energy assessments. Now more than ever, it’s important to create our own structure to stay on-task and be productive.

Create a Dedicated Workspace

Having a dedicated workspace can reduce distractions, like the temptations of watching television and checking social media or your personal email. Staying productive is based on limiting these distractions, which is why having a workspace is so important.

Create a space that is comfortable, but not too comfortable. Your sofa or bed are not ideal work areas. If you don’t have a home office, use your kitchen table as your makeshift desk. Make sure the area is free from clutter and that there is adequate lighting. Working in an area with poor visibility can contribute to eye strain, exhaustion and even mood changes like irritability.

Commit to a Routine

To optimize productivity, set a start and end time for your designated work hours. If you can avoid it, try not to start working right when you wake up. Allow yourself the time you typically would to get a shower, get ready and have your coffee and breakfast.

Remember to step away from your workspace to have lunch and take some time to stretch or take a quick walk. Even a quick break can refresh your mood and energy, helping to increase productivity when your lunch is over.

Keeping a firm schedule and routine can help create normalcy and happiness with your day. Rolling out of bed, skipping lunch and staying in your pajamas all day becomes tiring quickly and zaps motivation.

Another tip is to commit to finishing your day by a certain time. Even if you have to work later than your usual schedule, make sure to close your computer and step away from your work area. Setting clear boundaries for yourself to have a family dinner or relax at the end of the day are extremely important to maintaining a positive work/life balance and increasing personal happiness.

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