11 Easy Tips For Not Being Lazy When Working from Home

Work from home
Work from home (Source: Unsplash)

Work from home has become a common work module since the pandemic hit.

While working from home is quite comfortable, there are high chances of feeling lazy.

So, how do we feel active while working from home?

To avoid feeling lazy while working from home, focus methods like the Pomodoro technique, avoiding distractions, and listening to white music help a lot. Psychological methods like self-reward, kindness, and taking help also help productivity.

Working while lying down
Working while lying down (Source: Pexels)

When the pandemic hit, working from home a like a dream come through. No commute, No fixed breaks, and lots of time to relax.

Or at least, what I thought so. But, the slower it got tiring, my work motivation dropped, I got lazier and could never meet my deadlines.

So, I researched the ways that could help me remain productive.

This article contains some of the best ways to counter your laziness while working from home.

Why does Working from Home Make you Lazy?

Working from home sounds like a much better and more comfortable option.

A study on employees from various countries working from home showed that employees’ productivity decreased by 70% when working from home.

So, why aren’t we more productive while working from home?

The lack of productivity might be due to lack of motivation, workspace, etc.; it varies depending on the person.

1. Lack of Motivation

Working from home at the exact location carrying out the same tasks every day can be very dull.

This can lead to a lack of motivation which causes you to procrastinate and be lazier.

According to research conducted on work from home Educational professionals, it has proved that motivation directly affects work performance.

Another study on work from home employees of Information and Communication Technology Companies in Bulgaria shows that 13.8% of the total respondents feel unmotivated while working from home.

A person working from home
Lack of Motivation (Source: Unsplash)

2. Too Much Comfort

Your home is your most comfortable space. Your brains are wired to relax in places like home and particularly in the bedroom if you used to work in the office.

Too much comfort and relaxation can make you sleepy. So, you might be lazy working from home, leaving you less motivated to work.

Comfort at home
Comfort at home (Source: Unsplash)

3. No Designated Workspace

Usually, people work in their workplace and have no designated work area in their homes.

They are used to the professional setting, so it can be pretty uncomfortable to work at home with no proper desks and chairs, a quiet environment, and a working team.

This change in environment can be very distracting, leading to unproductivity and increased procrastination.

Even if you have a proper desk and chair, the lack of ergonomic knowledge like height adjustments of chairs, etc., can cause musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, etc.  Such problems can make you reluctant to work.

lazy working from home
No workspace at home (Source: Unsplash)

Read about; How to Work from Bed Comfortably with a Laptop?

4. No Fixed Work Schedule

Working from home is particularly tedious for you if you have worked in a fixed-schedule office environment.

We function the best when we function in a specific routine. The pattern is heavily disrupted when working from home, making you unproductive.

A study conducted among Full-time Canadian workers showed that employees working on a fixed 9 to 5 schedule had lower burnout, exhaustion, and stress than employees working on a nonstandard schedule.

No fixed hours (Source: Unsplash)

5. Lack of Communication

While working from the office, you constantly contact your colleagues and team members.

It will be challenging to maintain the same level of communication while working from home.

As a result, increased confusion and work lag might affect your work efficiency and make you unwilling to work.

A survey on work-from-home employees shows that around 22% of the respondents felt difficulties working from home due to lack of physical interaction, which affected their work efficiency.

6. Increased Loneliness 

If you live alone and work from home, the loneliness can slowly creep out to you.

When you are stuck in a loop of working and living alone, you can feel quite frustrated. This can reduce your willingness to work and make you lazier.

A study conducted among teachers in their workplace showed that loneliness at work can cause job dissatisfaction which can cause decreased productivity.

11 Easy Tips for Not Being Lazy When Working from Home

The change of workspace and pace can be scary while working from home. You might feel out of place and have no will, no work, and laziness.

However, these tips might be helpful to boost your work productivity.

1. Use the Pomodoro Method

Have you ever tried to work for hours endlessly but did not develop a new idea or concept?

It’s probably because most people have a focus span of 30 minutes to an hour. So, if you want to get a fresh idea or deep work, you need to take breaks!

The Pomodoro technique is a practical focus management concept for maximum productivity.

A study was conducted among university graduate students on their work focus while using Pomodolock, a timed app locking system based on the Pomodoro technique.

The results showed that using this technique helped students achieve their tasks faster.

A timer in hand
Timer (Source: Unsplash)

The Pomodoro technique is effortless.

  • Choose a task you want to focus on.
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes and get to work.
  • Take a short 5-10 minutes break.
  • Go through the same cycle four times, then take a longer break of about 25- 30 minutes.

But remember to take complete breaks during your break time. No checking emails, work documents, etc.

Pomodoro based AppsFeatures
MinimalistPomodoro timer with task due dates and priority sorting
GlanCreate a to-do list and complete Pomodoro sessions with chosen break timings
FocusListPomodoro timer with stats to see a calendar view of your past activities.
Be FocusedPomodoro timer with customization options: task management, the ability to set break and work session durations, goal tracking, pie chart reporting, and 3D touch
Clockwork TomatoCustomize timers, sounds, colors, style, and behavior with more than 50 options

2. Maintain Work-Life Balance

Your work hours, breaks, and personal time is well separated from the office.

But, while working from home, the line between your professional and personal life can get blurred.

Especially if you tend to receive updates from work off-hours or work all day. This also applies to freelancers who end up working all day and night.

Having a fixed routine is essential for our brain and bodies to work at maximum productivity.

No work-life balance can leave you burned out, emotionally and physically. You can get tired of working and be left with no motivation or productivity.

work-life balance
work-life balance (Source: pix4free)

Here are some tips for maintaining a work-life balance.

  • Follow a schedule. Work certain hours, take breaks, and not work past your designated hours.
  • Do not check your work, updates, or emails during off-hours.
  • Learn to refuse. Refuse to help someone, or do work favors while feeling burnt out.
  • Take frequent breaks and fully utilize the break to recharge.
  • Spend time with your family, friends or some time alone. Do not think about work during that time.

3. Stretch and Exercise Frequently

Working in a fixed position for a long time with no movements can also make you lazy. This is most likely due to your body being fatigued.

Exercising improves the blood circulation in your body, keeping you active and aware the whole day.

According to the research, the introduction of exercise routines in workplaces improved subjects’ productivity by 8%.

Only 15 minutes of exercise daily also can improve your focus and productivity. If you do not have much time, you can take breaks every hour and do some stretching.

You can do some stretches like Forward Fold stretch,  Seated Back Twists, or Bound Angle Pose in your break time to prevent stiffness.

4. Plan Things Out

Planning things out helps you get the work done faster. You know which work to prioritize and the timing required by planning your work.

This reduces your work anxiety and stops you from being overwhelmed at your work.

When you are confused about how to approach your work, you get no motivation leading to more procrastination. You can quickly get burned out.

lazy working from home
Planning (Source: Unsplash)

Here are some ways to planing things out

  • Set realistic goals.
  • Divide your work into manageable chunks.
  • Use a planner, sticky notes, or dairy to create a flow of work and place them where you can see. For example, paste your sticky notes on the wall, or place your dairy on your desk where accessible.
  • Sort your work by priority, deadline, difficulty, etc., as you wish.
  • Use planning apps to create a to-do list.

Here are some helpful planning apps that help you with productivity.

Planning AppsFeatureCompatibility
TuskAllows you to set daily tasks and one time tasks.
Statistics of Task completions are available.
Allows you to time the task and send reminders.
Android
FridayIntegrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meetings.
To do list and notes for planning
Windows
Any.doTo-do list with tags, geolocation-based reminders, subtasksWindows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android
Pagico
Dashboards, timelines, checklists, colorful tagsMac

Read about; How to Use Sticky Notes Creatively for your Home Office?

5. Remove the Distraction

While working from home, you can easily get distracted with TV, pets, a comfortable setting, and the freedom to use your phone all day.

This makes you less interested in work. It is evident since we have always associated our home as a place of comfort and the workplace as a professional setting for work.

If you happen to have toddlers or children in your home, it can also be very distracting to work from home.

Work Distraction
Work Distraction (Source: Pixabay)

You can keep them occupied by using some sensory activities while focusing on your work.

If you lose your focus quickly, some tools and apps might help you focus better.

  • If you live in an area with lots of noise, use noise-canceling headphones to work in peace.
  • You can also use Sound Proof Foam Panels in your room for insulation.
  • Distraction blocking apps like Freedom allow you to block apps and websites at multiple media (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome), so you won’t spend your time on social media while working.
  • If you keep scrolling through your phone and avoid working, use a Mobile Phone Lock Box With Timer.

6. Play White Noise While Working

Some of us function better when there is some background noise. That is why many people also keep their TV running in the background.

You can use white noise to work if you fall into the category. White noise is noises that fall between 20-20000 Hz frequency. It promotes calm behavior and increases focus.

According to various Studies have proved that inattentive children had improved focus when listening to white noise.

You can find many playlists of white noises on youtube. Pick a noise, use headphones, and work with complete focus.

lazy working from home
Play some white music while working (Source: Unsplash)

7. Reward Yourself

Working from home can be tedious. Repetitive tasks topped off with isolation can make you very demotivated towards your work.

You can get praises or colleague approvals for your excellent work in a workplace setting. You might even get employment rewards like a trip or celebrations.

So, to keep yourself positive, you need to set rewards for yourself at home.

Rewards do not have to be bigger things, they can also simple as doing something you love after tasks completion or a treat for yourself.

8. Get Help When Needed

You can get overwhelmed by your work when you are working alone.

Moreover, you will have less communication with your colleagues, and team works might be a hassle while working remotely.

You should talk to your colleagues or boss if you need help. Use platforms like zoom, google meet, etc., and get ideas or help.

If you are a team leader, organize meetings to ensure everyone gets help.

lazy working from home
Communicate with your colleagues (Source: Unsplash)

9. Create a Professional Working Environment

Working from your home while being a couch potato is like a dream. However, it’s too comfortable, and it can make you lazier.

You need three things for a professional work environment; dress up, workspace, and mindset.

You don’t have to dress up in formals while working at home, but you at least need to get out of your pajamas to have a productive day.

Setting up a workspace with desk and tables help you work with more focus. Alternatively, you can turn your couch or anywhere into a workspace but make sure it is ergonomic.

lazy working from home
Designated Home office (Source: Unsplash)

Read about; How to Work from Home Ergonomically without Desk?

10. Be Kind to Yourself

Lastly, you need to be kind to yourself. If you are too harsh on yourself and constantly overwork, you are likely to be demotivated and burnt out faster.

Allow yourself to take small but steady steps. Mental health is as important as physical health for productivity.

To protect your mental health, take sufficient breaks, meditate if necessary or call a friend.

Do not overwork yourself simply because of the remote working module.

11. Avoid Procrastination

When working from home, you have lots of time to overthink, and you are more likely to procrastinate.

It is important to consider why you procrastinate and the habits and thoughts that lead to procrastination.

Procasting Things
Procrastinating Things (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Here are some ways to prevent procrastination.

  • Set deadlines for your tasks.
  • Write down your plans or create a to-do list.
  • Start your tasks on a set schedule.
  • Use incentives like watching an episode of your favorite show after task completion.
  • It’s a good idea to break down large projects into smaller ones.

Some productivity apps can also help you overcome procrastination.

Anti Procrastination appsFeaturesCompatibility
Trellocreate 'cards' which can be added to 'boards' and assigned to different team members. You can add comments, attachments, photos and much more to the boardsMac and Windows and phone
Rescue timeRecords how long you spend in certain programmes and on specific websites so that you can understand what's going on.PC and phone
Forestgamified stop procrastinating app
Plant a tree on your virtual forest by completing timed tasks.
iOS, Android
FinishAllows you to enter your tasks and due dates, and Finish organizes your work into timeframesAndroid

The Bottom Line

Working from home can be difficult at first. However, the tips in this article can help you perform better.

It would help if you kept yourself from being distracted by social media or your phone while working.

But, these might also help you work better by using focus apps and for zoom meetings or such.

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