Keeping productivity high during a pandemic and especially during a lockdown can be hard to endure. If you have never tried working from home before, separating your professional life from your personal one can be a real challenge as well.
Now that we are in the midst of a second wave, many of us may have to face a new lockdown, which can negatively affect not only our productivity but also our state of mind. Even if you are lucky enough to continue working as normal, you might still have to work from home from time to time.
October has shown us that remote work is here to stay.
According to a survey of 127 company leaders by Research and advisory company Gartner, “82% of respondents intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace. For many organizations with employees working both onsite and remotely, adapting to a new, more complex hybrid workforce is [a] challenge.”
Now, consider the time you worked remotely during the first lockdown as your “trial period” of this new world of work. Then ask yourself what worked for you and what didn’t. Is there a way to boost your productivity even if you cannot leave the house? Is there something you would like to change regarding your routine to make remote working, well, work for you?
Here are 5 tips that will help you to better manage your time and boost your productivity while working from home:
Create a designated workspace
Creating clear boundaries between your personal life and work life is key. Having a separate space at home that is designated only for your work time, will help your brain switch easily into the work routine and help you stay more focused. You do not have to have a fancy office at home. All you need is a desk and a comfortable chair.
If you feel more comfortable working from a couch or any other area that inspires you instead of distracts you while at home, go for it. You know yourself better than anyone else, so you are the one that can make that call. The main idea is to know where you can be your most productive self and stick to that routine.
If you are living with other people, try to avoid common areas such as the living room, or any space that is usually filled with people.
You can also try to work from a coffee shop, a library, or any place that you see fit. This way you will be able to change the scenery and also test where you are the most productive. Some people can focus more if they have complete silence around them while others work best when there is some background noise. You get the idea.
Use Google Calendar to organize your day
Have any important events, meetings, classes, deadlines, and so on? Google Calendar is the way to go. If you plan your whole month in advance, you will be able to clearly see your monthly, weekly, and daily schedule all at once.
The good thing about Google Calendar is that it offers you the option to save daily events in blocks of hours. This way you can really see how much free time you have left.
We all complain about not having enough hours in a day. Turns out … we do. Just give it a try and you will see that no matter how busy your schedule is, you will be able to find some free time during each day for reading, hiking, watching Netflix, going to the gym, and any other activity you have been putting on pause with the excuse of not having any free time for it.
Another important thing is to stay hydrated. What you can do is keep a reusable water bottle with you all the time. Doing so will remind you to drink water throughout the day. If you want to spice things up, you can add fresh mint or some slices of lemon, lime, and cucumber to your water to give it some flavor.
Plan out your meals and snacks
Creating an eating plan ahead of time may seem extreme, but it is such a lifesaver. This will prevent you from getting stressed about what you will eat and help you shift that energy towards your tasks instead.
If possible, try to prepare your meals in advance. If that is not an option for you, what you can do is make a list of things that you are likely to eat for breakfast and lunch. These will be like a home “menu” with several alternatives you can choose from.
Once it is mealtime and you have no idea what to eat, you just go through that list and pick the food that you are craving or the one that is the easiest to make if you are running short of time.
If you are a big snacker, try to eat snacks that are not only healthy for you but also help you boost your memory and concentration. Nuts and dark chocolate are common favorites. Here are some other Productivity Snacks to Get You Through Your Work Day.
If possible, schedule calls after lunch
Getting most of your work done before lunch will set your day in the right direction. But we are human, so guess what happens after we have a big lunch, and there is a bed nearby. Yes. Your bed will keep inviting you to take a nap.
What can you do to avoid that? If it is possible, try to schedule your calls or any meeting after lunch. This way you will re-boost your productivity and feel more energized to continue with the rest of your tasks.
Waking up and having to attend video or audio calls right away can take a lot of energy from you. If there is no way to schedule the calls after lunch and you have to have them in the mornings, try to wake up at least 1 hour before your meeting: take a shower and drink some coffee or tea. Do yoga, listen to your favorite music, or just take the time to relax and breathe in.
Extra tip – Be thankful
Wishing every day for the home-office to end is not the right attitude. Both worlds – working from the office and working from home – have their positive and negative sides. So instead of focusing on the downsides be thankful for all the positive aspects they have.
Working from home allows you to stay closer to your family and pets. You can use the time you spent commuting to read instead. While working from home, you can wear presentable but comfortable clothes instead of uncomfortable ones for eight or more hours straight. Not to mention that you do not have to wear heels or closed shoes…
There are so many things you can be thankful for, so why not focus on them and enjoy working from home while it lasts?
Note: 5 more tips are coming your way next month, so stay tuned!
Photo Credits: All images by unsplash.com