Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, people have been ousted from their typical work environments due to stay-at-home quarantine orders and transformed into remote workers quite literally overnight. Thanks to the unbelievable power of the internet, working from home is made easy and may very well be the element standing between businesses and bankruptcy. On an individual level, working from home allows you to stay safe while maintaining your career and stream of income.

For many, the reality of working from home is that it can be a confusing mix of work and play. Ultimately, without the right practices or measures in place, your productivity levels can plummet. It’s incredibly easy to get too comfortable on your couch or give in to the temptation of your fully-stocked refrigerator—there’s no denying that. But with some pointed effort, you can refocus and train yourself to reach peak productivity from the comfort of your own home.

We’re here to give you the rundown on how you can increase your work from home productivity in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Establish a space

The most important thing you can do for yourself and your mindset is to create and dedicate a home office space that effectively blocks out distractions by design. If your home is a crowded space with kids or roommates, be sure to choose a location that’s as far away from the noise as possible. You’ll want to be able to close a door, open a window, and customize the space so it’s ready to take on your day’s work.

When you have a clearly defined workspace, it becomes infinitely easier to carve out a solid work mentality and make good on your work goals. Upon entering your workspace, you should feel motivated to grind it out. Outfit the area with a standing desk or an ergonomic chair to better ensure you’re treating your body right for those many hours at work.

Pro-tip: Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your workspace! A barren workspace could actually leave you feeling more stressed and distracted, so you might consider decorating with a bulletin board, a potted plant, or a tapestry to infuse a splash of warmth.

Step 2: Gear up with productivity tools

Tapping into your peak productivity while trapped within the comfort of your own home is no simple task. Outside of your regimented workspace, the freedom of choice may overwhelm and distract your workflow. Maintaining laser-focus during your workday will likely prove to be your biggest obstacle, but with the right tools in your tech arsenal, you can overcome the odds. Just as a car technician would use body shop estimating software to serve their clients, you should gear up with market-relevant tools to streamline your productivity.

If your job is largely dependent on client or colleague communication, consider downloading the following business communication software tools:

  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Google Hangouts
  • Redbooth

If your job has you running through a never-ending list of things to do, downloading business-grade task management software may be your one-stop-shop organizational answer.

Some of our favorite project management tools include:

  • Trello
  • Followup
  • Jira
  • Workzone
  • Boomerang
  • Asana

Step 3: Set goals

Working from home can cause a confusing shift in your goal-setting tactics. The goals you set likely depend on your company and clients, but it’s important to make a few personal work from home goals as well to motivate yourself to stay on top of your responsibilities. Whether that means challenging yourself to stay away from your smartphone for the entire workday or earning a new certification to impress your superiors, make a running list of your goals and commit to achieving them.

Step 4: Track your time

If the days seem shorter and you feel like you’re not getting enough done within your 8-hour workday, tracking your time is an excellent way to accurately measure where you’re dedicating your efforts. Even if no one is asking how long it’s going to take you to complete a business project, doing so can help you understand your work habits and the time of day where your productivity is at its peak.

Using these four tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of working from home. How do you tap into your zone while working from home? Let us know in the comments below.