These are my simple effective tips to help you stay productive and on top of your game:
These are exceptional times, and it’s likely that you’re having to make do with whatever home office setup you can create. It’s important to carve out a space in your home which can be used to set up your desk and chair in corner you can cordon off as your “work space”. Having the luxury of a spare room is rare but that should not stop you from working productively. In fact, for many years I used to have my office desk set up in a corner in my bedroom. Have everything you need within easy reach. So much time can be wasted trying to find stuff.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say have a set routine, I don’t however agree with that. I think you need to allow fluidity. If you have never worked from home, you are going to have to learn to juggle various things like kids, their home-schooling, cooking, cleaning etc. Setting a rigid schedule which very often will be thrown off guard will leave you feeling frustrated. Hence just have a morning practice of when you need to start your work day and let everyone in the house know that. Even small children understand it if done regularly. My 4 year old knows when mummy needs to start work because he has seen it since he’s a baby. He may interrupt me multiple times in the day but at least I know I am going to go in and start my work day at a good time.
Also important to have a closing evening practice. It can be easy when you’re working from home for your work life to seep into your home life, so having a ‘close down’ routine can really help.
I like to have a rough time I plan on finishing up for the day. At that point I’ll close open tabs and programs on my computer, tidy up my desktop, and have a little refresh of my desk. It seems like a small thing but clearing your space of cups, mugs and rubbish helps you to finish one day, and prepare for the next.
Work can pile up and sometimes it seems the best thing to do is to work through breaks. However, nothing could be further from the truth. And, there is plenty of science to back up the claim that productivity increases when you take breaks. Here are some of the most interesting facts about why you need to schedule in some regular breaks:
Breaks, even just mental breaks to daydream, can help you make connections and improve brain function.
If you never allow yourself time to recover, you’ll find your motivation to work plummet.
Research states that putting on nice clothes helps you be more productive. It helps boost your confidence, makes you feel more powerful and in control. It also increases your ability for abstract thinking, helps you earn more money and enables you to see the big picture.
Time to change out of your pyjamas and sweats!
When you wear nice clothing, even at your home office, you feel better about yourself and are more productive.
If this is the first time you will be working from home, then it may seem odd in the beginning but the key is to steer through with communication, especially with your work colleagues- your boss, colleagues, direct reports. Plan the way you will communicate, how often you will stay in touch and reach out to each other. Planning the communications will really help you feel more in control of the situation and ease the oddity of not meeting your work people daily. The plan is likely to change as you go and that is fine, the key is to have a communication channel always open. For yourself and your colleagues.
We are passing through extraordinary times, if you are finding it hard to adjust, its’s very normal. Please don’t be so hard on yourself. We end up setting the bar so high and then feel disappointed and reprimand ourselves when we can’t reach it. One example to help you is -If you find yourself working one minute and daydreaming the next, don’t reprimand yourself harshly. Instead, ask yourself whether you did something similar in office. If the answer is yes, cut yourself some slack, then get back to work.
Here’s the funny thing about working from home: yes, you can get lazy if you’re not focused, but the very opposite can happen too. Work can consume your thoughts and time. It is so important to have something you consciously do outside of work. Outside of work but inside your own home. Watch a movie, playtime with kids, happy hour with your partner or spouse, anything to focus on outside of work. Remember self- care is key if you want to stay sane and continue being productive
You have always prided yourself in doing things, in achieving and handling everything yourself. However, if you are finding it hard to adjust to the current scenario, cut yourself some slack and remember it is ok to ask for help.
The right support can make your life so much easier. If you’re ready for that kind of support, let’s talk!
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