In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is affected differently, and some are having it worse than us. I know it’s a privilege to be able to work from home, and my heart goes to those who have lost their jobs and who are not able to work remotely.
To those who are allowed to work from home, I know it’s quite challenging to be productive because of the potential distractions. Being at home means you have two sets of responsibilities to suffice; work responsibilities, and life responsibilities. Drawing a line between these will be a tough task. So here are some tips on how to work from home efficiently.
Get into a Morning Routine
Our routine before was automatic, and now that we’re working from home, that has changed. The fine line between lounging and working should be definite, and so having a morning routine creates that line for you.
Plan your morning routine to set you for a productive day. If you love coffee, you can add that to your routine before entering your work time. You can think of your morning pattern as a buffer between your lounge time and work time.
Limit your Phone Time
Most of us are guilty that after waking up in the morning, we look for our phones and end up scrolling for hours and wasting so much time. Allowing yourself to waste time can set your brain for distractions for the rest of the day, so try your best to resist the urge to check your mobiles after waking up.
Dress up for Work
According to one study from Kellogg School of Management at Northern University, “clothing affects how other people perceive us as well as how we think about ourselves.”. So this means that changing out of our lounge clothes and into our work attire can boost our productivity.
Dressing up for work does not mean that we need to wear that uncomfortable set of heels and heavy blazers, it just means that we need to look and feel more professional to face our work tasks for the day.
Create a Workspace
Spaces affect our mood and mentality, so having a separate space for work is very effective with your productivity. In that area, you should set some rules to only do limited activities; for example, you can say that you are not allowed to open your social media sites on your work desktop.
If you don’t have a separate table for your workspace, you can still utilize your bed to be your workspace. A tip for this is, when you work, you can sit perpendicular from your usual sleeping position to help you separate lounging and working.
Another tip to having a productive workspace is always to declutter your spot. Unnecessary things on top of your desk can lead to distractions and stress, so try to declutter consistently.
Another space you need to declutter is your digital workspace. Try to clean up unnecessary applications and files from your computers; this can help your computers to run faster, and also help you be more focused on your tasks.
Create a To-do List
Creating a to-do list can help you stay on track of your priorities for the day. It is also very satisfying to cross out the tasks that you have accomplished. Personally, crossing out items from my list helps me become more productive because it empowers me to push through and complete everything from my list.
A tip for writing your list is to keep the tasks attainable; this means that you can breakdown bigger tasks into smaller and manageable assignments.
Don’t Forget to Have a Break
It is essential to rest your mind during your work time, especially if your tasks require logic and creativity. Sometimes when we’re stuck with our assignments, we usually find the solutions when we’re in a more relaxed mental state, so don’t forget to set some time to stretch, have coffee, and grab some snacks.
Set Dismissal Time
A challenge to working from home is maintaining your work-life balance, so it is essential to set a specific time to separate the two. When you set a dismissal time, you also set a break from your office time and jump in to your home time.
Communicate with your Team
Now that you’re working at home, it would be best if you filled the gap of personal interaction with cyber communication. Keep your colleagues updated on your work tasks to keep the team in sync.
There are many available distractions at home; a common one is our mobile phones. Try to make it hard for yourself to access your phones while working. You can put your phones further from your workstations to keep you more focused on your work from home responsibilities.