2020 has been a weird year so far. And with corona virus going on, most of us are in a self quarantine these days. And a lot of us are having to work from home and are finding it hard to be productive.
Worry not, my friend, I have some tips for you. I have been working from home full time for the last 2 years and I have tried quite a few things to be more productive.And here is everything that I find super helpful:
1. Make your Bed:
I can not stress this enough. Making your bed first thing in the morning is the key to being productive throughout the day. Making your bed indicated that you are not allowed to work from your bed during the day.
When you are working from your bed, taking your work late into the night is so easy and setting boundaries become so difficult. And then it becomes difficult to switch off your brain when you are going to bed int he night.
Treat your bed as a sanctuary that you retire in, at the ned of the day. Do not work from your bed, I repeat, Do not work from your bed.
Even though it is so tempting, but making your bed in the morning will do you good. I promise.
2. Change out of your Pajamas:
Just like making your bed, it is super important to change out of your pajamas. Of course you don’t have to dress professionally like you would in an office setup. But just change into some comfy pants and a basic t-shirt.
Changing out of your PJs into something else, indicates your brain that it’s time to get into work mode and that will help you be more productive.
3. Have a Designated space to work:
Having a designated space to work allows your brain to kick into work mode. I swear this has helped me a lot. Walking into the office space gets me into work mode and ready to tackle my to-do list for the day.
Even if you don’t have a separate office space, having a designated work desk is great too. This way you will will be able to make a space for work and then once your work is done, you can go to bed and not take your work with you.
Having said that, sometimes a change in your work environment is all you need to be more productive. Maybe rearrange things on your desk. I also like having 2-3 areas in my house where I can work.
I work at my desk for most time, but sometimes I work from my dining table when I want a change in my work environment. And in the evenings, I usually work from my balcony, which is quite relaxing as well.
4. Have a Routine in place:
Even though you are not going to “office”, still following a basic routine is great. Have a set time when you start working for the day, just like you’d when you are in office.
Have a set time to stop working too.
Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean that your work should extend into your family time and other things.
I sometimes find it super hard to shut off from work, because I feel that I am “in the zone” and can get so much more work in another hour. But switching off from work and taking care of your mental and physical health is equally important.
So set a time for yourself when you will stop working for the day. I find it super helpful.
5. Have a to-do List:
This is my favourite tip to be productive when working from home and in general too. To-do lists are a great tool to be productive. Ticking things off your to-do lists acts as a great motivation too.
To-do lists are also great because you don’t forget any important tasks. I usually have a running to-do task list where I keep adding everything that I have to do. Then each day, I can check that list and see what can be done that day.
It is a great exercise, specially if you find yourself doing things last minute or if you keep forgetting about things.
6. Set top 3 Priorities:
Another tip to have a productive day is to have your top three priorities set for the day. At the beginning of your work day, list three things that you absolutely NEED to get done during the day. And tackle these things first.
So that when you get nothing else done, you can be assured that you took care of the most important things.
7. Do not try to Multi-task:
Just because you are home and can do your work while watching your fav show on Netflix, doesn’t mean you should.
I mean you could, but your productivity will tank.
While the idea sounds great, because who wouldn’t want that. But It is counter productive and you are better off finishing your work and then really enjoying your show.
Multitasking sounds good but only for things when one doesn’t require much attention. So like listening to music while cooking is great. Listening to audio books while driving is a great use of your time too and is actually a smart thing to do to do more with your time.
But when it comes to working on something that requires your attention, multi tasking won’t do you any good. Can you imagine studying for a subject exam while listening to an audio book?
8. Create Physical barriers:
No I am not asking you to make a fort or something, but having some sort of physical barrier that indicates that you are busy is good.
This is super important if you have kids or a husband (essentially quite similar beings). Having a physical barrier like putting on glasses or headphones tells them that you are busy and shouldn’t be disturbed. I sometimes even put headphones on, without playing anything, just to indicate that I am working.
So even if I get up from my desk to go make myself some tea, I keep my glasses on, because I just want to quickly go, make tea and come back to my desk. And I do not have the time to maybe discuss of we should rearrange the furniture in our living room.
9. Consider a Digital Detox:
Scrolling through your phone for hours at a stretch is something we are all guilty of. There is so much information and content to consume online these days.
Now you don’t have to do a complete detox, but have some hours in the day when you are not using your phone.
Maybe keep your phone on silent in another room while working. So that you are not checking your phone every 5 minutes or every time a notification pops up.
I also like doing a small digital detox a few hours before going to bed and in the mornings.
10. Schedule Breaks:
Having scheduled breaks and planning what you are going to do in your breaks is an amazing tool to be more productive.
While working you know what work needs to be completed before your next break, and that gets me really motivated and “in the zone” to get things done.
I also like knowing how long my breaks are going to be. Whether it is going to be a short break for tea etc or it is going to be a longer lunch/workout break.
However, I avoid watching tv in my breaks during the day because I can never watch just one episode.
Some of my fav things to do during these breaks are:
- Stretching & some breathing excercises
- A light workout
- A DIY hair/face mask
- Playing with my dog
- Making myself tea
- 10 Minute Social media break (Timed)
- Calling my parents/friends
- Making myself healthy home cooked meal
That’s everything I do to be more productive while working from home. What are some ways or hacks that make you more productive these days?