Working from home has become a significant adjustment for us in this time of social distancing. While we have been in this situation for almost a year, slumps are bound to happen from time to time. It is keeping us from getting anything done all day. This setup has blurred the line between work and life that we often find ourselves working longer hours to make up for the lost time. With that in mind, this article covers some tips to help you be more productive while working from home and achieve that coveted work-life balance.
1. Designate a workspace.
Experts suggest that by working in the same space every day, your brain starts to associate that area with work. This results in less distraction and deeper focus. It’s ideal to have an actual home office with complete office supplies, but any available space would work, as long as you sit in the same spot each time. When you relocate, the process will restart each time.
2. Set regular working hours.
This can be a challenge for many, what with all the distractions that come with working remotely—household chores, kids, etc. The key here is to set your working hours during your prime time and stick to it. Do you usually wake up and exercise before work? Clean the house and prepare meals for the day? The more consistent you are with your daily schedule, the better.
3. Avoid distractions.
Habits like sleeping, scrolling down your news feed, or playing video games in the middle of work can easily snowball and hamper your productivity. Keep the good habits and avoid the bad ones even before they become one. Learn to manage your breaks and make sure you’re spending it wisely.
4. Schedule your breaks.
Similar to how you would schedule your work, it’s also necessary to take your breaks and take them in full. Give yourself enough time during the day to take a break from the screen—eat lunch, walk your dog, exercise, or simply go outside for sun and fresh air. Short and scheduled breaks every few hours is necessary to keep your head clear and focused.
5. Get your family involved.
Your friends and family don’t just drop by your office to hang-out and interrupt your work. You have to explain to them, particularly your family members living in the same house, that although the work location has changed, it’s no different from when you were working in the office in a sense that it requires privacy and concentration. Let them know when you can’t be interrupted as well as when you are available.[adsense]
6. Continue socializing.
Staying in touch with your officemates is just as important when working from home as it is in the traditional office—maybe even more so. It has been easier with the use of business messaging apps and other communication programs like Zoom and Skype. The only problem is that you may socialize too much, and to avoid that, you have to set limitations during working hours.
7. Take leaves.
When you’re sick or want to take a time off for your mental health, file for a leave. If you’re working as a freelancer who doesn’t get paid for sick days, you may be inclined to try to power through your sickness. Keep in mind, however, that health is wealth, particularly in this time of a pandemic. Resting now will help you restore your most productive self later.
8. End your day with a routine.
Just as you should build a morning routine, you should also create a habit that would signal the end of your workday. It can be anything from signing off on your business communication apps, logging off your computer, attending a yoga class, or taking your dog out for an evening walk. Whatever you do, do it consistently to indicate the end of your working hours.
In a span of a few months, the pandemic has shattered the 9-5 work culture. Today, everyone works differently, and at a time they feel most productive. You don’t have to be too harsh on yourself if you ever find yourself working one minute and booking flights the next. Instead, remember that even when you were in an office setting, you used to do the same thing. So, cut yourself some slack, stretch a little, and get back to work.
The shift into remote work setup has been stressful. As you focus on keeping yourself productive at work, don’t forget to take a time off for yourself too. Take advantage of this restrictive time to bond with your family, clean your home, or catch up on hobbies you’ve never had the time to do for a while. Balance work with life; otherwise you risk burning out. How do you stay productive while you’re working from home? If you have any more tips to share, feel free to comment below!