Working from Home? Here’s How to Supercharge Your Productivity
No doubt about it, working from home policies existed long before the coronavirus outbreak and quarantine scenario. But this is the first time so many companies around the world have instructed their employees to work remotely, in a global attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
If you’ve worked from home before or this is the first time your company is adopting this policy, you’ll soon realize that creating a productive and healthy WFH environment can be quite challenging.
From my very own personal experience, I can tell you that making the transition from in-office to home was not easy. It did require a lot of effort on my part but in the end, I managed to find a combination of work and healthy habits that really worked for me and helped me get things done.
If you’re also required to work from home, voluntarily or not, here are some very useful tips to help you get things done successfully.
Working from home tips
When you’re working in an office, there’s always someone you have to talk to or report about your tasks. At home, you might be the only person holding yourself accountable for the things you do throughout the day, which might not work if you want to complete your work on time.
Creating accountability by making a list with specific tasks and their due dates and progressively check them off as you succeed in completing them.
Take advantage of your flexible schedule
Whether you’re working in an office or from home, moving is equally important. Whereas the 9 to 5 office life limits your movement and exercise, when you’re working from home you can take your own breaks to stretch your body, increase circulation and calm your mind.
Whenever I had tasks that required me to spend most of my day at the computer, I opted for these tricks to remind me to get up from my chair and just move around:
- Schedule alarms at certain points of the day
- Take advantage of your living space (walk up and down the stairs in your building, if any; take a 10-minute walk in the park nearby etc.)
- Work in a standing position (it strengthens your core muscles and improves posture)
Create a routine
In certain cases, routine can be a dangerous thing but when it comes to working from home, without it, you’ll be spending your entire day in your PJs, scrolling mindlessly on Instagram or Facebook.
That’s why it’s important to try to recreate the same pattern you followed when you had to go to the office. Start your morning with coffee or whatever beverage gives you the right boost, change into real clothes (loungewear is not included) and start working.
Don’t forget to take your breaks, eat your lunch and finish working at a certain hour of your choice (for higher productivity, it has to be the same hour every day)
When you’re working from home, even the most boring chore can become a distraction from the one real task you need to accomplish. Whether it’s washing the dishes, doing the laundry or cleaning your fridge, procrastinating can be really tempting.
In order to avoid all sorts of distractions, I wrote down all the chores and household activities that needed to be done and prioritized a few of them to fit certain windows in my working schedule. That way, I was aware of the things I needed to do every day and focused on doing them within a reasonable period of time.
Get out of the house
Spending a lot of time in front of your computer or in the same place can really do a number on your creativity and productivity, not to mention your overall health. Even if you are an introvert, like I am, it’s not healthy to isolate yourself from the world.
I used to go to the gym, go grocery shopping or work from a coffee shop close to my place. Given our current situation with the novel coronavirus outbreak, it’s best to stay away from large crowds but you can still go outside, in a less crowded place in the park and work there for a while.