Like many of you, we have been working and studying a lot from home lately (#coronatime). Normally, we would study at the library, so being at home the whole day was completely new to us. We figured we are not the only ones having struggles being productive when working at home. That is why we collected the things that bettered our ability to fully concentrate on what we are doing and we share them in this ultimate home office guide with you. If you just need that extra motivation to be productive, just keep reading.

Disclaimer: Btw this blogpost is written by me (Sophia), I am just a little bit more into this whole productivity thing than Long. I need to have my day structured otherwise, I really struggle with ticking off my to-do list. So these tips are mainly made up by me. 🙂 Long is the more spontaneous one, so he has a little bit of a different daily routine.

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1. Get up early

You probably read that in every single productivity guide, but I just had to put it in here. Getting up early, for me that between 6 am and 7 am, helps me to be more productive at home and in general. My concentration level is the best in the morning, so if I get up early I have more time in the morning to accomplish my to-do list, while I am in the zone.

2. Start your day with doing something for yourself

This might seem contrary to having an efficient home office situation, BUT it is actually not. Starting the day with doing something for yourself, that has nothing to do with work is making you more productive at the end of the day. I tell you why: If you give yourself one hour or even just half an hour to get a clear mind in the morning, that is helping you be less stressed. And being less stressed is making you more productive at home, because you are having a more relaxed working situation, where you can focus on what is really important. So, things that you could do for example are going for a short walk/run, doing some yoga, meditate, read, draw, or just listen to music/ a podcast.

3. Clean your room

I believe there are even studies are proofing, that working in a clean environment is improving your concentration level. That is why it is important to have a tidied room. For me, that means making the bed in the morning and having a clean desk. Of course, you don’t have to deep clean your room or apartment every day. I guess the point is to not be distracted by the surrounding things laying around.

4. Coffee or Tea

Having a coffee or tea in the morning before I sit at my desk also helps me to be more productive at home. I feel it’s not even necessarily the caffeine that is making me more productive, it’s the routine of having a coffee. My body knows at that moment that I now have to concentrate and work. So, I guess for you it’s good to have a routine before getting to work, that makes you want to start doing something productive.

5. Eliminate distractions

I figure this one is pretty self-explanatory, but having as few distractions as possible is improving your home office productivity. I personally, put my phone somewhere I can’t see it, so I don’t tend to look at it every 2 minutes. It might also help you wearing oropax to eliminate disturbing sounds (e.g if you are living in a shared apartment like me). Maybe even disconnect the WLAN in your notebook if you don’t need the internet for your work. In my case, this helps me to not google anything while studying and just focus on the tasks.

6. Change your working space

Every once in a while I like to change my working location. When I was studying at the library, I would change the room every other week or so. That helped me to get some variation in my study/workplace. If you are changing your working location at home by moving to the kitchen/ living room/ garden, your brain will be stimulated by the new environment and it’ll be easier for you to concentrate. However, try to do not do that too often, since then it could have the opposite effect.

7. Take breaks

After some time your brain will need some rest to be able to concentrate again. That is why it is important to take breaks in between. I try to stand up and walk around for a bit at least once per hour. If you tend to skip the breaks, try to set a timer every 30 to 60 minutes.

8. Listen to music

This one is a gamechanger. I always thought listening to music while working or studying would be inefficient and I would not be able to concentrate. Well, let me tell you guys, it’s been the exact opposite. Working on something creative or even just doing maths, putting on some music can higher your productivity A LOT. It might even get you in the zone, if it’s the right playlist and it fits your working content. Also, keep in mind that it can’t be applied to every single activity and person, but for me, it has worked wonders. These one’s are my favorite playlists to listen to:

Playlist “Zuhause”:

Playlist “Study Beats”:

9. Work with friends

Another option to get a little bit of variation in your home office situation is to invite some friends and study/work together. Sometimes just the presence of some friends rises your mood and makes you happy and that in turn helps your productivity. Also, the working breaks are way more fun when you can spend them with your friends.

10. Working out

The last point to complete this home office guide is working out after you have finished work. To move my body has always been an outlet for me and my emotions, so working out really helps me to reduce stress. Even going for a walk might help you to clear your mind for the rest of the day and leave work behind. Maybe you also want to do some fun adventures around your home.

I really hope these tips helped you. For me, it’s been quite a change to work from home, but I figured out a routine that works for me. The key to a successful home office is to not just work and be productive all the time, but also to take time for yourself and enjoy the moment.

Let me know, which one of the points is most important for you. 🙂

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