How to be productive working from home:
Are you working from home during the COVID-19 crises? No matter how much we might dislike it, our work habits are sometimes subject to change. This should often be for the better, like after reading amazing tips for working more efficiently. Sometimes, we don’t know how they will change – a different workplace being a great example of this. And finally, there are things that we know change them for the worse – like the recent coronavirus pandemic, which pushed many people into creating an office out of their homes.
This might not be unusual for you. After all, many people make a living working from home. If you are not one of them, however, then do not stress! All you really need to do is just learn a couple of new skills as well as figure out how to adapt. For example, you will need a new workplace, a good timeline and to learn how to do an overview of a project. That’s why in this article, we present to you the best tips for doing your work in your home.
It’s all about the location
Believe it or not, the old real estate saying “location, location, location” holds true to this very day! The location where you will be doing your work is one of the most important, essential things when working from home. You simply cannot just plop down and do your job wherever for multiple reasons.
For starters, this situation is all about making new habits. Without habits, you will not be able to be as efficient as you usually are. Less efficiency means you are being less productive, which will definitely make your boss unhappy.
But finding a good location has many other perks as well. You should create a place where you feel comfortable, but where you will also be able to work unobstructed. So, locate a room (or a part of your room) where you will be away from any distraction. Sadly, this does include your family members and pets, who might be curious about your job – but will only serve to take your time and attention away.
Another thing to consider is that, if possible, you should use this spot exclusively for work. So, avoid setting up your home office on the dining room table. Not only will you need to pack it up when it’s time for a meal, but going back to your permanent spot will mean you are doing business. Otherwise, you will associate it with eating, watching TV or hanging out with your friends – which will lower your productivity.
Make sure you create good timelines and plans
The second essential thing you need to have in order to be effectively working from home is a good schedule. There is a reason why you have a work plan while in the office – once again, it is about creating working habits.
Once you are working from home, you will be surrounded by so much temptation. You might not feel like working when there are countless shows to binge on TV. Or you might decide to catch up on your book, or just get a few more hours of sleep. All of these things are tolerable – but you should do them in your free time.
To fight this, you should create a solid schedule and make sure you stick to it. Every day, start and end your work at the same time. Take your breaks at the same time. This way, once you set up a place for work and a good timeline, you will create a working habit with ease. Then, when the time for work comes, you will feel an itch to get back to it, and this will make you productive.
Remember to keep track of everything!
Having no boss can sometimes be relaxing, however, this can easily lead to you being unproductive. Creating a tight schedule will help with this a lot, but you will also need to keep track of everything as well.
This might be a difficult task. After all, everyone can easily get lost in the time they spend on an activity. And so, you might lose yourself watching television while deadlines are slipping away. As they near, your priorities will shift towards them, and this can lead to the whole project integrity going down hill.
To stop this, make a review system while working from home. Every day, look over what you did. Create lists of tasks to check upon and see how successful you were. Having goals to achieve and monitoring them will give you a great insight into how effective you are. These decisions will further help you set up your pace. If you are running late, you will want to speed up. If you have ample time for a project, then you can either take some time off or do your tasks even more thoroughly.
It’s important to stay fresh while working from home
No matter how it sounds, you should remember that the fact that you need to turn your home into a workplace does not need to be depressing! There are many advantages you can pull out of this situation! For example, one of the most important ones is that now you have more ways to relax and unwind.
This should be an essential part of your schedule. People can sometimes get so lost in their work that they forget to take care of themselves. So, if you always hated a densely packed work day, now you have the chance to make them a little bit less tense!
Even if you do not want to do that (and who doesn’t?), you can choose to spend your breaks differently. So, instead of having a huge lunch break, you might want to take a couple of smaller breaks throughout your work hours. The best part of it all is that you can do anything from home. You might want to just take a quick stroll to grab your mail or go for a walk with your dog. Since you are your own boss now (metaphorically for some), you can choose how you spend your off time!
Make sure you are fighting the isolation!
What you need to keep in mind that these times can be very stressful. A lot of people are just sitting in their homes, with little to no time outside. This can affect you in a variety of ways, so pay extra attention to how you communicate with people.
Yes, it is extremely important to keep our distance, but, at the end of the day, most of us crave social interaction. Luckily, there are many tools for instant communication that can help with this! What’s more, tools like Nifty can both help with communicating with teammates as well as getting a good overview of your project. So, by using it, you will be able to both fight the isolation and get some work done.
What’s more, using smart tools will help you work with your teammates and share resources, basically replacing the interaction you used to have in the office. This way, you will still be able to do some work, stay in touch, while maintaining the safe distance.
If you need it, don’t be afraid to ask a buddy for help
Again, we cannot stress just how much of an effect isolation can have on your psychology. No matter how annoying your colleagues are, working from home and being cooped up in your room will eventually build up the stress.
A great vent for this is to find someone you can chat with about the situation, your problems, or just anything in general. Your family members can be great when it comes to sharing how you are feeling, however, sometimes, your colleges will better fill this role. The math here is simple – they will be going through exactly the same thing you are. This way, they will understand you better – and the best of all, they are just a video call away.
Choose your technology carefully when working from home
When you need to make your home into an office, there is one disadvantage that you cannot easily correct. Simply put, you will not have the same equipment that you did at your work. Sadly, technology has grown and developed in ways that it affects the way we do our business. Just take our tips for example, and see how many rely on using tools and various software!
This is why, when starting to work from home, you need to have good tools to help you. You might need a good desktop computer or a laptop, as well as a stable internet connection. However, things do not need to be this extreme. Sometimes, even a smaller thing, like a project management tool will go a long way in helping you be more efficient and productive!
Find ways to ease into your work
You might not have considered this before, but you probably have a routine that helps you ease into your work and get in the right mindset for it. Believe it or not – your commute helps with this significantly. You might be listening to music or reading a book on the train to your office!
Luckily, this is easy enough to do at home as well! All you need to do is consider how you prepare for your office, and just repeat it at home. You might take a stroll through your street or garden if you walked to your office, or just sit quietly with your headphones on. Whatever you do, it will help you be more efficient when you finally sit down to work!
The same also applies to finishing your work. You probably have a way to unwind, and you should try to do it at home as well! This way, you will hit the reset button and get back to your life stress free, leaving your work anxieties behind.
Sometimes, this can be as simple as changing your clothes
When working from home, you might be tempted to stay in your pyjamas all day. However, this is to be highly discouraged! Doing so will just leave you feeling groggy, sleepy and thus unproductive the whole time. So, before you start working, change your clothes!
You do not need to dress up for work, even your everyday stuff will be enough. But it is important to follow through your daily routine. You might need a shower, or to put some makeup on. It might seem silly or simple to do this in your house, but it sends your brain a simple message – it is time to stop sleeping and to start working.
This way, you will also feel like taking care of yourself. When sitting at home, we often forget about this, and this can lead to us feeling under the weather. So, by doing something as simple as changing clothes, we get a small – but worth it – morale boost!
Do not forget to exercise regularly
Another thing that people often forget when working from home is to exercise. You might not think you are an exercising kind of a person – but you usually do at least some walking while going to your office. When staying at home full time, you cut this out – which is not a good thing for your body.
Exercise serves to boost endorphins. This is a happiness hormone that will make you excited and enjoyable – at least in small doses. Meanwhile, working from home can easily make you sore. So, even the act of stretching for five minutes will shake up your body and get it to produce endorphins. This way, you will stay fresh and healthy – even with the smallest exercise.
To conclude, working from home will come with a set of challenges – but with a set of advantages too. When it comes to the difficulties, it is nothing that you cannot handle with a good plan, a thorough schedule and a supportive environment. Another important thing to keep in mind is to stay healthy – both mentally, through communicating with people, and physically, with smaller stretching exercises. This way, you will be efficient and productive – even from the confines of your home!