The Covid-19 virus has meant many of us have had to work from home over the last few months and to many, this has been a big learning curve.
Hopefully, this pandemic doesn’t last much longer but no one really knows what the future holds and maybe more of us will work from home as a result of this permanently.
There are many positives of working from home, I know I sure haven’t missed the commute or eating soggy sandwiches at lunchtime. But with that comes challenges, for me being productive while the children are banging on the “office door” has been difficult.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the productivity hacks that can be used to keep you productive while working at home. I’ve also interviewed a few other business owners who have shared their experience and tips too.
Set a routine and stick to it
When working from home it’s very tempting to slouch in your pyjamas all day but if you get into this rut your mental health and physical wellbeing could become affected.
To get around this you should pretend you are still going to work every day, so keep up that routine. Get up, shower, have breakfast, drink your coffee and put on ironed clothing.
By doing this you are going to feel much better and will mentally be more prepared for the work at hand.
Have a dedicated office space
At home, we have recently turned one of the corners of our children’s room into an office. This way every day I can lock the door and just get on with my work. If I were to sit at the table downstairs, then there would be no chance of me getting any work done.
I still get distractions from the kids banging on the door now and again, or the wife comes into getting clothes for the children but having a separate space can help.
Log out of your social media accounts
This tip comes from David at Firewall Technical, an IT company in Ottawa Canada:
“If you want to stay productive, social media needs to go, at least until 5 pm or whatever time you get off from work. What we did at our company was to log out of all our social media accounts when working. This way we are not tempted to check up on our notifications.”
Make a list of tasks and get them done
It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on the tasks at hand, so the best way I have found is to create a list of today’s tasks and then get them done one by one.
It may sound simple but when you have your tasks wrote out your mind will create the need to get them done. If you don’t write them out, you will bounce aimlessly between tasks and won’t be as productive as you could have been.
Keep your mind engaged
This tip comes from Ricky at Weeare, a marketing company in the UK:
“For me working from home is difficult because you lack the interaction that a normal office would give you. I feel many people struggle with this so you can either use online software such as Zoom to talk to your peers or if that’s no possible listen to audiobooks to keep your mind engaged.”
Take regular breaks
Not speaking to anyone all day and working away on the computer is going to get to anyone. To keep your mind healthy, make sure to take regular breaks, much more than usual too.
These breaks don’t have to be long, but they will help your mind refocus on the tasks at hand. A small break could be getting up to put some more coffee on or to even look out the window.
Use a tech stack and stick to it.
All businesses will have different software needs, but what I found when we first had to work from home was that everyone had a preferred method of communicating.
When meetings were set up people were signing into Skype, Zoom, Google meetings, Team viewer and many others. This was a huge waste of time and eventually, we all agreed to use one piece of software.
Prepare your food the night before
You don’t have to have soggy sandwiches anymore but you still shouldn’t be preparing elaborate meals on your day of work, this takes up too much of your time and makes you unproductive.
If you know a certain part of a meal takes longer to cook than the other parts you may want to cook it the night before.
Keep your home-life and work-life separate
Working from home in normal times can be difficult but during a pandemic, it’s made worse as the majority of your time is spent at home.
For this reason, you are going to want to keep your home-life and work-life separate as much as possible. This can be done by keeping your work equipment in a different room and only accessing it at certain times. When you pick a cut of time everything is then left there until the next morning.
Although working from home has a steep learning curve, the tips above can help improve the experience. If you have any suggestions or tips on what has worked for you, please leave them in the comment section below.
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