As anybody who works from home will be all too aware of, it’s not always easy finding the motivation to get down to work and take care of business. Adhering to a rigid routine just doesn’t seem plausible when you’re typing in your pyjamas, both one of the perks and major downfalls of home-office work, we think you’d agree. When there are so many distractions nearby, it’s tough to focus. There’s the television, the garden, the lure of the internet with no one to monitor your use, and that’s before we even consider further afield factors like a stroll into town.

But wait. Rest assured. Sleep easy and work hard……it doesn’t have to be this way. Now that so many of us are finding ourselves confined to our makeshift home office, the necessity for home office-based productivity is higher than ever. We’re here to help with that, with these simple home office rules that’ll make lost hours a thing of the past during periods of self isolation and quarantine. So, here are our 5 IDEAL home-office hacks to boost your productivity.

Clean And Tidy

OK, there’s one MAJOR advantage of working in an office: when you arrive, it has usually already been cleaned by someone else. When you work from home, there is no ‘someone else’: it’s all on you, and a work surface of half drunk coffee mugs and half finished crowsswords is just not conducive to a productive day.

With the prospect of cleaning far more imposing than the actual effort given to doing it, you’ll find real benefits in taking 10 – 20 minutes out of each day to make sure your space is clear of clutter and dirt before you begin work. It’s about entering the minimalist zone, trying to get rid of any and all distractions that threaten to take your eye off the work in hand. Because once you lose focus, it can be difficult to regain it.

Set Your Own Mood And Dance To Your Own Rhythm

Everybody has different environments that they like to work in. While some respond best to the constant hum of background noise, others require perfect silence to perform prosperously. The great thing about working from home is that you get to set the mood yourself; no fighting for control of the office radio, no shuddering inside at every sniff from the office hypochondriac, no forced blocking out of office football chat. Nothing.

If you’re finding it hard to get your day’s work underway, then play some music through your headphones. You’re free to listen to anything, but best to avoid the party tunes and ones which make you want to throw on something glamorous and hit the town. A good option is to listen to a video game soundtrack, as these are designed to be beautiful but not distracting. They’re background music, essentially: a great way to find focus.

Learn How To Use Your Tools

Like any other worker, you don’t want to be behind your desk any longer than you need to be. Alas, you probably are, purely because you don’t know how to use all tools you have at your disposable correctly. As the saying goes, quite aptly, work smarter, not harder.

Your computer can do a lot of handy things that will allow you to work more efficiently, but you’ll need to know how to use them before you reap the benefits. This is especially useful for those time-taxing admin duties. Take advanced Excel training classes, and you’ll learn plenty of tricks that’ll speed up the process. With that taken care of, you’ll be able to work on other things – or clock-off work early. The Dream.

Take Regular Breaks

There’s a world of freedom waiting on the other side of your office door, and instead of rejecting its existence, embrace it! Studies have shown that workers are at their most productive when they work at 45-minute spells and then take a 15-minute break. It’s a perfect excuse to go for a walk and get some fresh air.

Entering Work Mode

Finally, being productive is all about blocking out the distractions and entering work mode. So cut out anything that draws your attention away from the task in hand. Put your phone away, tell people you’re not to be disturbed and sink into a few hours of solid work. All the fun things will still be there when you finish, but you’ll have actually made some money with which you can appreciate them more.