Millions of people could very soon find themselves working remotely from the comfort of their own homes due to the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent social distancing measures put in place to flatten the curve. To these people I say fear not, we are here to share some pearls of wisdom from people who’ve been working from home long before quarantine became a part of our daily vocabulary. Read on for 7 tips that are easy to implement and will help you to be as productive as possible while working from home.
This Is Not a Holiday, Set an Alarm!
People often think that working from home means staying in pyjamas all day and skipping a shower-or 5-a week. Whilst this may the case for some, The Harvard Business Review released this interesting study
on the effectiveness of those who work from home and just how productive they are. In order to boost your productivity, start your day well by setting an alarm
and get up as if you were going to the office
. By all means take your time, have breakfast in your pyjamas, but do get up, take a shower, get dressed (yes real clothes) and brush your hair. You will feel so much better for it and set your day up right.
Plan Your Day With To-Do Lists
There can be many distractions when working remotely. However, one way to keep yourself on track and remain productive is to write a to-do list
with the daily tasks to be completed. This will help you to keep track of what needs to be done and stay focused on each individual task rather than getting sidelined by piles of laundry screaming to be washed. You will not feel the need to remember a hundred different things at once and will therefore focus better on the task at hand. Monday
app can also help with structuring your work day. Needless to say, the satisfaction of crossing items off your list is pretty good too.
Allocate Time Limits
This point is very important. When completing your to-do list, it is important to allocate time limits to each activity
and tasks to be completed. This also includes your lunch and regular breaks
. You will notice how much more efficient you become when you only dedicate a specific amount of time to a task and stay focused for the entirety of that time. This will also help you to avoid the dreaded ‘tv binges’ that can happen when taking a lunch break at home. A worthy side note here, allocating timing to individual activities and indeed your work day, can also include getting up and starting work earlier, thereby finishing work earlier
in the evening. Working from home means you’re the boss and entirely autonomous
Create a Dedicated Work Space
If possible, create a space in your home that is dedicated solely to working. This may not be possible for everyone especially if you live in a studio apartment for example, but even making a dedicated ‘work-corner’
can improve concentration and work output ten-fold. Our brains do well when we compartmentalise; bed for sleeping, table for working etc, so help yourself and carve out a few feet for your cosy new office space to ramp up the focus.
Get Some Fresh Air/Do Some Exercise
I cannot emphasise enough, the importance of taking breaks and getting fresh air if you can. Go for a walk, grab a coffee, go for a run or take a yoga class, just do whatever you can for a change of scenery. You can even use your would-be commute time to do this. In times of quarantine (like what many are currently experiencing as a result of Covid-19
), utilise the numerous online resources being made available to get a workout in. Some of which include yoga classes
, personal training programs, meditation resources
and much more. Breaks are ESSENTIAL for good work output
Log Out Of All Social Media Accounts
This may seem brutal but with no accountability whilst working from home, sometimes more extreme measures can be useful. By logging out of your preferred social media networks
, Twitter, Instagram
etc), you will save precious time that could be otherwise lost, scrolling endlessly through news feeds. Being greeted by a log in page instead of the usual updates, reminds you that you’re working and provides far greater enjoyment when you catch up on everything social in one of your breaks.
This is an important one. A frequent misconception is that people doing ‘home-office’ or working remotely, are basically faffing about all day and therefore open to all communication resulting in Charlene interrupting your afternoon, calling to tell you about her cheating boyfriend. This is where boundaries need to be established. You can calmly inform loved ones that you’re working/busy until 5p.m. and will gladly call them back then. Productivity is the name of the game, so make it as easy as possible for yourself to get the best work done.
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