You are likely to be just one of the many people resorting to a work-from-home arrangement due to current events. Generally, employees tend to mistakenly assume that working from home is a relaxed working structure. But, in reality, it is one filled with multiple distractions and challenges.
Here are seven tips that will help you organise your tasks and stay productive while working from home.
1. Create a Structured Work Schedule
When you’re working in a home environment, it is very important to ensure that your regular work hours are clearly set and defined. The productivity of your day ultimately depends on this and how well you address each task within your schedule.
Setting your regular work hours is a means to separate your professional and personal time. Including timelines and expectations for the work to be carried out as part of this schedule helps you avoid potential procrastination and confusion.
To avoid missing deadlines and dealing with related stress, it is recommended to create a checklist of what you need to accomplish within the day.
Your checklist should be comprehensive enough to include the:
- allocated time for accomplishing each task
- specified set breaks
- urgency of each task and its priority level
At the end of your work day, it’s important that you re-evaluate how you’re going with your tasks and determine whether you need to reschedule those tasks that may need more time to be accomplished.
2. Designate a Workspace
As mentioned, many misunderstand the complexities of working from home. Many believe that working from home in your pyjamas is an easy and convenient way of working. What they miss is that working from home comes with countless distractions.
To help avoid these distractions, you need to create a home office to carry out your work from or designate a small, quiet area for yourself where nobody is walking around and disturbing you. This will help ensure that you are getting actual work done and are in the working mindset.
Also, when you organise your workspace, you are setting boundaries for your personal and professional life.
3. Get Dressed
Another helpful tip is getting dressed up in the morning. This will gear up your mindset in making your day productive. If you plan on just staying in your pyjamas for the whole day, you might feel inclined to go back to sleep and not accomplish anything. Studies have suggested that your performance, productivity and mental-preparedness for work are linked to your choice of attire.
“Although a dress code may seem silly when you think about working from home, work clothes impact you on a business and personal level and can affect your career.” – Mason Donovan, The Golden Apple: Redefining Work-Life Balance for a Diverse Workforce
4. Allocate Time for Breaks
Taking breaks is essential to avoiding burnout. Too much work and stress is not healthy. Allocating time for breaks in between your work should be part of your daily working plan. This is a way to refresh and de-stress your mind and body as well as boost productivity, focus and performance.
5. Stay Healthy
Staying healthy is now more important than ever. Because working from home can cause feelings of isolation and mental strain, it’s important to use this time to make better health choices. Prepare healthy home-made meals for yourself while working from home and keep nutritious snacks on hand. You can also take advantage of time outside to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, and incorporate regular exercise into your day to help sharpen your physical and mental agility.
6. Listen to Music
Working from home allows you to create your own ambience. This is where music fits in. Creating a work-friendly soundtrack can boost your mood and increase your productivity.
It is important to ensure that the tunes you listen to while working don’t distract you from your tasks, but rather complement the job at hand and further your productivity and efficiency.
7. Reach Out to Your Colleagues
Working from home does not mean that you are alone even though it may seem like it. Always keep in mind that you are still working as part of a team to fulfil a common goal.
You can still stay in touch with your co-workers to collaborate on ideas, ask for help and feedback and to check in on how they’re doing. Remember that you’re in the same situation, and talking about your difficulties and challenges is a way to get support from someone who’s in the same boat as you. It also allows you to reciprocate this support during these particularly difficult and isolating times.
Working from home has become standard this year. But if you’ve found that your work-from-home experience has been testing, we suggest that you adopt these seven tips that can help keep you productive, healthy and social outside of your typical office work setting.