Tips for staying productive whilst working at home

wfh

More and more, people are taking advantage of the freedom and flexibility to work at home, rather than in the traditional office space. And now with coronavirus sweeping across the world, more of us will be finding ourselves at home. With that comes a certain mind-set shift to ensure we stay productive and on top of our work as much as we can. Here are some tips:

Create yourself a workspace – it’s tempting to grab your laptop and chill in bed whilst you work. But that won’t help get yourself into work mode – or help you switch off later at night. Find a space away from your bed to work peacefully, whether that be the kitchen table, the sofa in your living room or a desk in the bedroom. Having clear separation between work and relaxation will help put yourself in the right frame of mind.

Get dressed – similarly, getting yourself out of your pyjamas and into some everyday clothes shifts your mood from lounging to work mode. It doesn’t have to be a full on suit or tonnes of make-up, but putting on proper clothes can really help to boost your productivity.

Set up a group chat – how many times do you ask the colleagues sitting around you a question? I do all the time! If you’re lucky enough to have Skype, Microsoft teams, Slack, or another instant messaging services on your laptop, use it to your advantage to ask questions, delegate, or discuss tasks. Even WhatsApp could work. This will also help you not feel so alone if you’re not used to work at home.

Put away the distractions – whilst you might take more advantage of the freedoms of being at home, like listening to music whilst you work, make sure you don’t find yourself giving into more temptations – like scrolling through Instagram, getting sucked into a YouTube video spree, or online shopping – just because nobody is around to see you do it. Put away your phone if you need to.

Try the Pomodoro method – if you find it hard to stop yourself from succumbing to your distractions or you find yourself constantly finding something to do other than the work you’re meant to be doing, try the Pomodoro technique. It consists of breaking down your worktime into 25 minute chunks with short breaks in between. That way, you always know when you can check your phone or make a tea during your next break and focus on the task at hand when it’s time to work.

If you have any of your own tips, let us know in the comments below. Happy working from home!

 

Page 3: How to minimise stress

Stress is a symptom of too much pressure. It can stem from work or school, in family or society. A minimal amount of stress can help us perform at our best, but too much can quickly debilitate us – in worst case scenarios, lead to burnout and other health problems. It should not be a state of mind, an aspiration or a badge of honour.

I do not want to be the type of person who doesn’t prioritise their health. This week, I’m going to implement these strategies, which I’ve used in the past, into my daily routine:

Getting organised

Keeping lists of what I need to do at work and what I want to achieve to progress my goals helps me to track my workload and schedule my time. Key to this is prioritising, being realistic with what you can do in a day and scheduling in time for breaks or buffers between projects. When we’re realistic with our time, we achieve what we set out to do and can feel good about it.

My commitment: Create a to do list every morning before anything else. Prioritise the three most important tasks, and if you accomplish them, that’s a job well done.

Taking breaks

Being ‘always on the go’ may sound glamorous but is not maintainable. You can still work hard and take breaks – in fact, we often work much better when our mind is not tired. Some of my favourite ways to take a break at work, for example, is taking a walk in the neighbourhood, getting a coffee from the local coffee shop, meeting friends for lunch. It often helps to remove yourself from the work environment.

My commitment: Schedule in at least 30 minutes at lunch time away from your desk.

Nourishing the body

Eating well, exercising and pampering the body can work wonders for the mind. Giving your body the nutrients it needs gives you the energy you need. Exercising helps release the tension built up during the day. And pampering the body by taking a bath or doing a face mask helps slow the mind.

My commitment: Be a conscious eater; exercise at the gym three times this week; practice some yoga

Sleeping well

Sleep can be one of the first sacrifices we make with a busy lifestyle. But it shouldn’t be neglected. Ways I try to help my body get the rest it needs is going to bed at a similar time each night, listening to piano music before bed to signal to my brain that we’re soon going to sleep, and keeping work life out of the bedroom (if you work at home, have a separate space for work outside of the bedroom).

My commitment: Put your phone on airplane mode at 9pm; turn the light off at 10.30pm

I’ve also heard excellent things about meditation and mindfulness – I cannot vouch for them as strategies but this week I’m going to get up each morning and do 10 minutes of mindfulness.

Got any of your own tips, habits or commitments? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I’ll let you know how I get on with mine.

(Image: Pinterest)

Setting boundaries


Sometimes we find it hard to set boundaries. We fall into bad patterns, succumb to bad habits, and end up blurring the lines. Sometimes we let our work lives encroach on our home lives. Sometimes we let our lack of confidence erase our record of successes. Sometimes we let people walk over us when we should be kicking them out our lives. But remember to keep maintaining those boundaries. They are what will keep us on the right track to happiness, what we want and what we deserve.

(Image: The Odyessey Online)

Breathe in, breathe out


If it ever feels like too much, take a breath. Take a moment for yourself. Nothing is worth burning out, or working yourself into the ground, or living in a constant state of anxiety. Being overworked isn’t an accomplishment. Taking care of ourselves is too underrated. But it’s also imperative. Find the right balance. We don’t need to be superhuman to have superpowers.

(Image: WordPress)

Don’t let life pass by


Remember why you started and keep going. Look back at how far you’ve come and keep going. Imagine where you could be and keep going. Keep going, keep trying, keep hustling. Think how much you’ll have to show for it. Whether you end up making a u-turn, staring at a crossroad, or coming to a dead-end, just keep going. Don’t sit on the fence and let life pass by.

(Image: relatably.com)