COVID-19 has drastically affected our daily lives. Many people have lost their jobs, and the health of the global economy has plummeted. We need to be able to work to pay our bills, to send our kids to school, and to buy food, medicine, and other necessities. But how can we continue to work if we are restricted from going out?
Working from home is often the best solution for coping with the present situation. This new normal comes with some changes to your habits and daily routine. Here are 10 tips for making working at home as productive as possible.
1. Create a Schedule
One of the most significant advantages of working at home is flexibility, but it’s still important to maintain boundaries. Create a work schedule and stick to it. The best way to balance your life is to establish when you will be working—and when you will stop for the day.
Using a time-tracking app can help you maintain a consistent schedule and determine the times of day you are most productive. You can download the time report and assess your activities to see when you are at your best.
That said, you also need to consider when your boss needs you most, and what time of day most of your clients would require your service (if you work in a position where you serve others).
2. Assign a Workspace
Working at home doesn’t mean you should use any part of the house to do your job. Studies show that designating a specific workspace in your home can increase your productivity. Around 43% of employees working at home agree with this sentiment.
Intentionally working in the same environment every day will tell your brain that it is time to go to work, helping you to shift into the right frame of mind. Your brain will know that a certain room, desk, or chair is meant for work. Likewise, rooms that are typically used for relaxation will continue to be associated with this purpose. This will help you direct your energy in the right ways.
3. Plan Your Workflow
Before you start working for the day, it is important to know what your priorities should be for the day, how long it will take to complete each task, and what you should work on if you have any downtime. Make sure that before you sign off each day, you have planned out your work for the next day, starting with the highest-priority item.
4. Schedule Breaks
When planning your workflow, don’t forget to include time for breaks. It is essential to take a break after working for two to three hours to restore your energy. Working continuously without breaks can easily burn you out. Give yourself some time to rest. Taking a fifteen-minute break every two to three hours is enough to give your mind a rest and replenish your energy.
Make sure to clear your mind during breaks by closing your eyes for a few minutes and eat healthy foods to keep your brain in good working order.
5. Reduce Distractions
One of the disadvantages of working at home is that it comes with a lot of potential distractions. Your children, housemate, pets, or even noises outside can distract you from your work, which can lead to significant losses in productivity. Set up ground rules whenever you can, and before you start working for the day, advise those living in your home with you that you cannot be disturbed during the workday.
To reduce noisy distractions in and outside of your home, you can use noise-canceling headphones or play soothing music.
6. Stay Connected with Your Colleagues
Working from home doesn’t mean working in isolation. People need the social aspects of work even if they aren’t working onsite. It is important that you talk to your colleagues regularly to ensure that projects stay on track and the morale of the team stays high. Check on your coworkers at least a couple of times each week by calling them, emailing them, scheduling a video chat, or meeting with them in person when possible.
7. Complete One Task Before Moving onto the Next
Many people believe that working on several projects simultaneously is the best approach to dealing with a long list of tasks, but research indicates that multitasking can actually reduce your productivity. Rather than expending your energy focusing on all the assignments you need to finish in a day, it is best to focus on and complete them one at a time. This will allow you to give your full attention to one task and then proceed with the next one once you have completed the first.
8. Set Deadlines
Setting deadlines for your tasks encourages you to be efficient with your time so you can work quickly without affecting the quality of your work. Setting a reasonable deadline for every task keeps you motivated, helps keep your work on track, and allows you to see if you’re becoming overloaded or trying to meet competing deadlines
9. Exercise and Eat Right
When working at home, it’s easy to focus only on external factors rather than taking care of yourself, too. We sometimes forget that we need to get enough exercise and feed ourselves high-quality food to keep us energized and alert. It is best to consume foods that contain healthy fats, protein, and leafy greens. These foods will fuel your body with the energy you need to keep you going.
10. Clean as You Go
Before leaving your work area for the day, make sure to tidy up so you can begin work in a clean and well-organized workspace the next day. Practice cleaning as you go so it doesn’t become too much of a chore over time.
Working at home can be quite a challenge, but by making some changes to your daily routine and workspace, you can adapt to this mode of working more easily. And if you have some work-from-home tips that have worked well for you, feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.
Author’s BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. A content writer who has experience in small editions, Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of business. If you are interested in an entrepreneur or lifestyle writer, you can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn. She has good experience and knowledge in the field.
CMOE guest authors are carefully selected industry experts, researchers, writers, and editors with extensive experience and a deep passion for leadership development, human capital performance, and other specialty areas. Each guest author is uniquely selected for the topic or skills areas they are focused on. All posts are peer-reviewed by CMOE.