It’s true that plenty of people fantasize about working from the comfort of their own home, foregoing their daily commute in favour of more sleep, family or social time. But working remotely can be a double-edged sword — sure, you get to stay home, but it can be harder to focus on actual work. And if you’re forced too like we are right now, it can be easy to lose focus and well, not actually get sh*t done. Whether it’s a pile of washing that suddenly looks more appealing than your to-do list, or a binge of that one Netflix show you’ve been dying to watch, staying productive at home can take a little extra effort.
So grab a coffee and put on some pants to read our tips for boosting productivity in the age of Covid-19…
Map Your location
Try to find yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with work and leave when you’re off the clock. This cannot include the couch, and definitely not the bed! If at all possible place your workspace somewhere with natural light, and keep it clean, tidy and organised. A tidy workspace helps keep a tidy mind, which helps make your day more productive. Oh and office plants are optional, but definitely encouraged!
Have A Plan
Some experts advise that when working alone, it helps to keep a more structured daily schedule than usual. Usually our time and the structure of our day are influenced by other people, and some might have a hard time dealing with a complete lack of it. Your new ‘normal’ may include multiple breaks throughout the day, either to play with a pet, meditate or take a long walk around your neighbourhood.
Re-think Your Usual Communication
Whether you’ve chosen to WFH or as part of a company-wide initiative, it’s important to go beyond email and use other digital tools that can better replicate an office experience and provide for clear communication. This is when you need to level up communication using other tools besides face-to-face conversations. Check in on each other regularly using chat apps like Slack and videoconferencing services like Zoom.
When you need to work without distraction, get rid of it as much as you can. Turn off your phone, and IM and email notifications too. If possible, shut off the Internet and get typing – you never know what ideas may hit once those WhatsApp pings aren’t assaulting you on a regular basis!
Try Not To Down Tools
Don’t stop working if it’s a hard day. There’ll be times when you haven’t got any illuminating new ideas, or just don’t feel productive. Train yourself to do some work anyway, even if it’s just writing a few notes or re-organising your to-do list. Stop completely and next thing you know, you never get back on the horse.
Clock Off For The Day
Don’t go back into work mode when you’ve finished. Had a great idea for a post or a feature? Fantastic, write down the basics on a piece of paper and set it aside. Know when to stop and allow for a little self-care time. You can have a bit of leeway here, but make sure that you don’t end up letting work run your day 24/7.