Working from home has become the norm for many of us during the pandemic and it looks like it might just be here to stay for a lot us too! It’s great to have the flexibility that comes with working from home, but it’s also a totally different ballgame and something that we need to adapt to as it certainly comes with its challenges. Whether you’re a work from home pro or are still struggling to get accustomed to this new way of life, here are some top tips and reminders to help keep productivity high on a work from home day without compromising your wellbeing:
1. Try to get into a routine. It can sometimes be tempting to sleep in on a home office day and just roll out of bed and get straight into work, but it’s far more beneficial to get into a routine and have time to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. It’s also nice to have some time to yourself before diving into work. Use the time that you would usually spend commuting in a positive way, you could try yoga, meditation or even just spending extra time treating yourself to a lovely breakfast! Did someone say pancakes?
2. Create your designated workspace. Whether you have an office room or not, you should avoid working from your bed or sofa as these should be your spaces for relaxation. Try to create a working space with a desk/table and a comfortable chair and make it YOURS, add items to make it an enjoyable space to be in, this could be your favourite plant or some artwork but try to keep clutter to a minimum because, after all, a tidy space = a tidy mind!
3. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Making a plan for each day can be really valuable and help to give your day some structure but be realistic about the how much you can get done. Make your to-do lists reasonable and be flexible! If you give yourself too many tasks to complete in one day, the thought of even starting the first task can be so daunting that you’ll be more likely to procrastinate and have to rush through your tasks later on. Figure out what works for you for instance, some people like to work to a schedule and adopt time management practices such as the Pomorodo Technique (work for 25 minute intervals, followed by a 5-10 minute break).
4. Take a proper break! When you’re working from home, it can be strangely easy to just keep working through lunch and not step away from your desk for a proper break and change of scenery, but studies have actually shown that taking time away from your desk can directly increase productivity and creativity! Going for a walk or spending time outside is even better for your well-being, soak up that Vitamin D!
5. Hydration, hydration, hydration. Okay, you’ve heard this 100 times before but it never hurts to be reminded. An easy way to ensure that you’re drinking enough water is to buy a time marked water bottle. Fill it up in the morning, set yourself a challenge and make sure that you finish it before the end of the day. You might just notice that your concentration is better, and it will help to keep headaches at bay, particularly when you’re on screens all day!
6. Limit distractions. Of course, we can’t always control everything but do try to control what you can. If you have a particularly demanding project or are under time constraints, you could try removing distractions; let friends/family know not to disturb you, close the door, put your phone on airplane mode or in another room and switch off that TV!
7. Try a productivity tool/app. Utilising productivity tools can be the extra push that you need; they give you incentives and motivate you and there are so many to choose from! Try an app such as Forest, where you plant a virtual tree that takes, for example, ten minutes to grow, and if you can stay off your phone long enough, the tree will finish growing and be added to your on-screen forest, but if you return to your phone too fast, the tree withers and dies. It’s a light-hearted way to avoid digital distractions and gives you a sense of satisfaction!
What tips do you have to stay productive at home?