How to be productive when working from home
During this mysterious time with COVID-19 going on, people are working from home more often, even permanently. I feel a change coming, for the better of course. There can be pros and cons to this though.
Like I said before, working from can come with distractions and with the kids running around, and the dog barking to go out, it makes it that little bit harder for you to focus. You find that your time is being torn between getting things done and trying to fend off any type of distraction. This is the norm now, but once this COVID-19 settles down you will have the benefit of a quiet workspace.
Productivity Tips For Working At Home
Set Your Office Up for Productivity
Wouldn't it be great to have a spacious room, a desk you can walk around, the view of a lifetime just outside your window and a balcony to enjoy a cuppa joe in the morning just before you kick start your day and get the job done! Well...
This isn't the case for everyone but you should still organise your workspace in a way that you love and enjoy. When it comes to setting up a new office space in your house, look for the corners, or if you live in a flat, it may be best to put the desk behind the sofa to utilise space. Make sure you pick the right colours, you don't want to be changing anything again for a while. It's best to work near some natural light, so stick to a window. To buff up the view you could add some decor or some plants which can spice up the view. Be sure to have everything you need and keep in mind that essentialism is key here. You only want what is essential on your desk, no clutter.
Noise is considered one of the most distracting aspects when it comes to working from home. It may be that you live on a busy street and hear the cars speed past or that dog next door that tries to bark but instead yaps. These can be distracting when your mid focus with your work. Try using headphones! I'm not talking about putting your favourite music by the way.
A study shows that having a blend of soft music mixed with soothing nature sounds like wind blowing, raindrops pouring or even waves crashing, has a surprisingly effective strategy of calming a particular part of your brain which helps you focus. Many free apps can provide you with this service so be sure to give it a go.
Create more value at work
Looking back, can you pick a habit or one action that you see yourself doing on a day by day basis, which stops you from being productive? Can you remove it? It's hard to break a bad habit but once you do this you're on the right track to being more productive. Be sure to replace it with something else, but make sure it has value and benefits your work.
It may be that you receive a lot of emails and you find that it takes most of your morning up just to get through them. Why not put these emails on mute for the morning to help you focus on the bigger project of your work. You can always reply to the email in the afternoon.
Keep distractions close but out of sight
Everyone needs a break, staring at a screen all day isn't the best for your eyes and your brain needs a break once in a while too. It's useful to keep some of the things you enjoy close by, so when it comes to that 5-minute break you can read that book or play the flute or even just catch up with someone on the phone. Having short breaks throughout the day has been proven to boost productivity.
With everyone working from home it can be easy to lose touch with your team. It's important to stay connected and book in a regular catch up with team members to see how they're coping and have a catch-up, not just about work but life. There are many platforms for this, Skype, Zoom, MS Team so on...
The crucial thing is to keep in touch with the people you work with, you don't want them thinking you have left the business because you haven't spoken to your team in the past 2 weeks.
Dress like you're going to the office
Many of us, including myself, have fallen for the trick of working in loungewear. It's easy, I get it. It's not like you have to be presentable at home but this type of behaviour is a trap.
Force yourself to get up, shower and get ready for the day as you would if you were to go into the office. Doing this only tricks your brain into thinking you're going into the office and puts you in 'work mode'. Also, dressing the part makes you appear more professional and gets you ready to take on the day and be productive.
Being that you're pretty much home most of the time, getting outside becomes a priority you must include in your daily activities. We all need that Vitamin D. If you're a pet owner you have no excuse but to walk your dog but for someone who may not own pets, can make it hard to go outside after a day behind the desk.
Make sure you get outside, research shows that spending time in nature, helps you relax and lowers your stress levels. It's also a great way to get some exercises and get the daily steps in.
After a reasonable day’s work, put away your electronic devices and work tools just as you would store carpentry tools after building shelves or baking ingredients after making a cake. Keeping work reminders out of sight keeps them out of mind and helps you relax and recharge your batteries.
Be sure to adapt to the new norm, I feel change is coming and for the better. People are realising that working from home its benefits. Plus it is better for work-life balance as a whole. Who wants to be getting up at 6 am to get a train into work to start at 9 am when you could have just pulled out your laptop at 7 am... Think about it.