A lot of people fantasize about working from the comfort of their own home and people are also getting this opportunity due to some circumstances like the Coronavirus which is happening right now in the world. Some people are getting to do work from home and they are happy with it thinking about a lot of perks. It sounds good because you can work in your pajamas, in bed and no one is watching you during that time, however, it’s easy for you to become your own worst enemy. Because when you’re not surrounded by coworkers, you’re free to drop those pesky inhibitions.
A lot of people start realizing that their personal life and professional life are conflicting with each other. It happens with most of the people due to the boundaries they don’t set between personal and professional life. Over time things become messy, you don’t have any schedule or any routine, you don’t stay motivated, you are not organized and you don’t become productive even after spending your whole day working from home in your comfort zone. This is a serious problem and it can make you more frustrated, stressed out and anxious.
The opposite thing can also happen when you work too much, focus too hard and start getting burned out. Both of the cases lower down the productivity of any employee. The key to overcome both of these challenges is to set the boundaries around your time and space. So when you’re working, you are working and when you’re not working, you’re not.. Let’s discuss some tips to boost your productivity while working from home…
1. Get Started Early
In-office your morning commute can help you wake up and feel ready to work by the time you get to your desk but at the home transition from your pillow to your computer can be much more jarring. Set up an alarm, wake up at the same time every day, do some exercise or workout and have your breakfast. These things boost up the mood and prepare you for the day to get your job done. It makes you more energetic and productive.
If it’s possible, get dressed properly just like you do for your office. It’s so easy to wear the same pajamas all day, not to get ready and start working instantly. When you dress up properly your subconscious mind sends a signal to your brain that now you’re ready to do your work instead of lying in your pajamas, being lazy and heading towards Netflix or television anytime. When you change your clothes and get ready for your work, you feel more positive, energetic and good about yourself.
2. Designate a Workspace
Where you work matters. Give yourself a dedicated workspace away from all the distractions. Instead of cooping yourself up in your room or on the couch — spaces that are associated with leisure time — dedicate a specific room or surface in your home to work. Choose a separate space away from the TV, away from the music or kitchen. One thing which is helpful to avoid distractions is to shut the door. Also, when you dedicate a workspace for yourself make sure you have everything there which you need for your work. Your laptop, your camera, notepad, pen, charger, headphone or some other stuff. When you have a designated workspace it makes you feel that you have a little office in your home. When you walk into that space you subconsciously know this is my work zone and I am turning on for my work right now.
3. Make A Schedule and Stick To It
Set a designated time that you are going to work. It may sound silly but during that schedule, you have to pretend that you’re not at home. You can start in the morning by 9:00-10:00 am and finish it by 6:00-7:00 pm. Whatever time you decide make sure that you stick to it. You must know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to do during office hours. For example, when you’re at work you’re not gonna play with your dog, watch Netflix or cook in the kitchen or doing some other household chores. The most important thing quit at quitting time even if you are in the middle of the project put it down. This will help you to be more organized and it will make you more productive as well.
4. Make A To-Do Lists
Remember that when you’re working from home, you’re your manager. So you must break up your fixed schedule with a simple todo list. It helps in being organized and productive especially when you’re overwhelmed with so may stuff. List out the task in your notepad or somewhere in your laptop which you are supposed to do during your whole fixed schedule. Also, make sure that you set a priority to every task you have listed down in your to-do list. For example, you can make a list of 3-5 tasks and give them ranking one by one. Divide your time according to that and go one by one. Try to find out the most productive hour in your schedule and you can prioritize your most difficult task during that time. Well, it depends on you how do you want to prioritize your task.
5. Take Breaks
Taking a break while doing work from home is as important as you take breaks in your office. Take lunch breaks at a fixed time and also take a shorter break like having some coffee, having your little tiny snacks or you can just open your window to get some fresh air or sunlight. If you avoid breaks you will be exhausted, overwhelmed and burn out.
Rather than just opening YouTube and watching some comfort clips, use your breaks to get away from your desk. You can go for 10-15 minutes’ walk or you can do some 5-7 minutes chitchat with others who might also be in the house. You can set timers for your break or you can follow Pomodoro Technique to stay organized and more productive.
6. Set Boundaries With Other People at Home
Working from home with roommates, friends or family present can be challenging. When you live with other people the separation is really difficult. It’s also a common misconception that remote work means you’re hardly working. Most people don’t realize you work from home unless you tell them, so tell everyone clearly who’s home with you that you’ll be working during certain hours and to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Communicate with the people you live with to establish boundaries and to avoid any interruption. If your kids are at home, let them know that when it’s okay to come in. You can put a sign on your door or you can use light outside your room on the door to give them a signal.
7. Be Real With Yourself
For most people, the difficult thing while working from home is to avoid the usage of their phones and social media. While doing your work it’s easy to switch to the other tabs frequently and get into it. You continuously procrastinate and put things off to later in the day or first thing tomorrow morning because you are not bound by office hours. So deep down it’s important to understand that when you are actively working and when you are just passing your time on other stuff on your laptop. People who have a job on social media also need to understand that when they are working and when they are scrolling, watching and reading some other random stuff not related to the work.
There is no point to sit in front of your laptop for eight hours and use your phone or other websites frequently instead of committed to your work. This sign clearly shows that you are not being productive. So be genuine to yourself and be loyal to your work. Your mind should know clearly that when you’re procrastinating and when you’re working. You don’t believe in a fact but if you work smartly you can get your whole work done within just three hours. All you just need to do is to sit and do it.
You can also use some useful tools and apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, Slack, Stack Overflow for Teams, Github for developers, Trello for managing the task, Skype for video conversations, Invision and Hangouts. These are some online handful tools available to help you while working from home. Harvest, RescueTime, Toggl, Forest are also some useful time management apps that helps in tracking your time and managing your breaks. These tools helps in making your work easier and boosting your productivity.
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