Working from home has become a vital benefit for employees, but how do you stay focused and productive? Here are tips to ensure you work effectively amongst the midst of self-isolation or dedicated working from home.
1. Get started early
At home, it's increasingly tempting to stay in bed or snooze your alarm when you don't have to face commuting to the office. It’s important that you make the effort to get started as you normally would.
Waking up early will make you stay productive as you get to work on your ‘to-do list’ immediately. Otherwise, you'll allow the dull feeling of mornings wear down your motivation for the day.
2. Get dressed for success
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay in your pajamas all day. Jump in the shower first thing and put on something that makes you feel ready for the day. Starting the day fresh can put you in the right mindset to work.
3. Choose a dedicated workplace
Next, choose a dedicated work-space where you’ll fester for the day. Make sure that immediate distractions are out of the way such as the TV, your bed or any pets laying around. Sit upright at a desk and that your phone is out of reach during working periods. This will limit the feeling of putting off work and will help you stay focused enough to tackle your tasks for the day.
4. Keep work behind a door
Moving on from the previous point, make sure that your work is behind a door. Having a border between your place of work and rest creates a physical barrier between distractions and the temptation to slack off your work. By committing your work in a specific way you can replicate an ‘office feel’ and allow you to step out once you take your designated breaks.
5. Stay focused
Keep your phone and the temptation of social media far away from you. There are many apps designed to limit your time on these apps and keep your eyes on your work. For example, try downloading Offtime, Moment and Appblock. Nowadays, your iPhone can also block certain apps within a time limit so there are no excuses!
6. Structure your day as you would in the office
Working from home, you are effectively your own manager. To maintain productivity structure your day like you would in the office. This can help keep track of tasks and help shift them into priority order. Additionally, not having meetings and calls to break up your day can make you feel lethargic. To fight off burnout make sure you take a scheduled lunch break!
7. Don't stay stagnant
For remote workers, 22% struggle to shut off from work and enjoy free time. Make the time to go on walk breaks or grab a coffee from your favourite cafe. The benefit of working from home is that there are more areas that you're familiar with compared to your usual office. An advantage of going outside will help avoid feeling confined to your work.
8. Take breaks
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean your usual breaks don’t exist! Take time away from your laptop to have breaks and eat your lunch. Allow your brain to disconnect from work and come back to your desk fresh and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Use this time to eat, chat with a friend or watch an episode of your favourite TV show.
9. Collaborate and communicate
Working from home can often make you feel lonely as you are not surrounded by friends/co-workers. Try and schedule at least one video or voice call and speak to a colleague about work progress or deadlines. Having human interaction can kick-start your brain juices and help solve teething issues. Even chatting to fellow colleagues via IM and Google Chat can bring vital interactions to your work space.
10. Stay accountable and stick to your goals
Finally, make sure that you actually stick to your goals and that tasks are completed. It’s important to hold yourself accountable and treat your working from home day as a usual day at the office. Conducting your workday at home doesn’t mean you get to slack off, harsh but necessary if you’re looking to get a productive day out of it.
Overall, by following these tips you can ensure that your working from home day is as productive as possible. Make sure that you are creating a space where you can focus, get your creative juices flowing with no distractions. Finding the balance is key, reach out to colleagues when feeling stuck or benefit from a chat and enjoy your time away from the office.
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