Covid 19 has given most people a chance to do something they’ve been curious about: working from home. It should be simple, right?
I’ve been working from home for the last few years and it took some time for me to figure out how to balance being at home VS working from home. These two are absolutely not the same.
When working from home we should always be looking for ways to increase our productivity. More work done in less time means more time to kick back, relax and have some at-home fun. Here are a few suggestions that can really make a difference:
1. Keep a daily routine
Some people who are new to working from home will scoff at the idea of anything resembling a daily schedule. The truth though, is that it can really boost productivity and prevent work from spilling over into our spare time. By starting and stopping work at approximately the same times every day, we ensure we’ll have plenty of time to recharge afterwards, which is ultimately great for productivity.
2. Always plan ahead
Something as simple as a daily to-do list does wonders for our productivity! Sure, in-the-moment what to do next has a certain charm, but it leaves us spending too much time on deciding, and too little time on actually working. Keep a daily to-do list and decide on your tasks for the next day before your work day is over― you’ll notice the difference almost immediately!
3. Stay healthy (well, duh! That’s why you’re home!)
It’s impossible to stay productive in the long run if we treat our body and mind poorly. We don’t have to become a health nut to get some real work done, but we should at the very least try to schedule some exercise a couple of times per week, even if it’s just going for a walk around the block or down the driveway a few times. It’s also a good idea, if you plan to do this long-term, to invest in an ergonomic workplace, including a good chair to sit on, as that helps reduce fatigue and keep you energized throughout the day.
4. Eliminate distractions
Yes, some people are able to watch TV while they’re working. They’re probably a minority, however, as most of us find it difficult to focus on two things simultaneously. (Watching Walking Dead while writing a work report?! That might be a disaster.) Let’s just turn off the TV, set our phones to silent, close our Facebook tab and shut the door ―our productivity will skyrocket!
5. Get out into nature
If we spend all week cooped up in our home offices, rarely seeing the outside world, chances are we’ll feel a isolated and our work will suffer as a result. Get outside. Sit in the sun and listen to the birds. Meditate for a few minutes. Use a meditation app if you aren’t a meditator. My favorite is Insight Timer.
6. Talk to your colleagues, friends and family
Use your social media to stay in touch. Use Facetime or Skype to catch up with loved ones and friends. And use Zoom for office meetings. Pick up the phone and call someone!