How to stay productive while working from home (in times of Covid-19)
These days many of us are working from home and depending on your own personal situation it could be a challenge to stay productive. We have good news! We have a long experience working from home and we would like to share the best tips and practices that really worked for us.
Working from home sounds like a dream come true in BAU times and the best solution in times of social isolation due to Covid-19. However, many of us are so used to being told where to be, at what time, and specifics on what we’re doing that managing our own time and getting what we’re supposed to done on our own is a brand new learning curve.
Here are some of our best tips to stay productive while working from home
1. Prioritize your tasks and don’t procrastinate
Without a supervisor to keep accountability while working from home, it’s almost too easy to say “I’ll get to this later” and add something to your list of things you’ll get done “when you get the chance”. Missing little details in projects, forgetting to communicate with everyone you need to as a remote worker, and leaving anything for the last minute is guaranteed to end up causing big problems down the line.
To avoid this, and have everything under control, make sure you have a task list that you can prioritize. If you have small tasks, that can take 5 or 10 minutes, do them right away! You will have the sense of fulfillment and check out tasks from your to-do list.
For bigger priority tasks, plan some time in advance and work on them consciously during a period of time you don’t have interruptions or distractions.
2. Avoid multitasking
In comparison to having a predictable schedule and routine with a lot of foresight of how your time is to be spent on specific tasks, working from home is much more fluid and can be overwhelming. It’s easy to look at your list of tasks or calendar of deadlines and get anxious with remote work. We have an overwhelming need to try to multitask and get everything done simultaneously to feel as productive as possible. Trying to multitask can result in a 40% decrease in your productivity.
Schedule strict times to focus on individual projects and keep your desktop clear of anything not related to that task during that time. A good method to break up your time is to fill time in between the blocks you dedicate to big tasks with the little 5–10 minute tasks like replying to a few emails or something personal like the laundry. Your day will feel more dynamic, productive, and focused.
3. Find your spot to work from home
Working from home doesn’t mean working from your bed or in your pijamas! That’s actually a very bad idea, both for your body and for your mind.
Find a good spot at home to act as your office and get dressed in the morning. Make sure your working space has natural light and is confortable enough. If you don’t have an office chair at home, you can use some cushions to avoid hurting your back. You can do small breaks to stand up and walk around your place or even work out.
In times of social isolation, keeping your mood up is key to stay productive!
4. Build playlists for different jobs (if you listen to music while you work)
One more quick tip for helping you compartmentalize your different tasks! What’s playing and the noise around you can have a strong influence on your mood and mental place for a task. Relaxing, simple, and minimal sounds are ideal for most people working on analytical tasks. Minimizing distracting sounds is best.
However, for brainstorming work, sometimes it’s best to have more upbeat music and a lot of visual stimulation. Optimizing your environment for what type of work you’re doing makes a massive difference in your productivity.
5. Time Management — Know When To Clock Out
One of the challenges of working from home is time management. There is no real “end of the day” but if you’re not careful, you will end up being in constant work mode. There will always be something else to do. In order to manage your time and set a work life balance, you’ll need to set time limits for yourself.
It’s easy to take a break and prolong a task when there’s no “5pm” nearing. If you decide a task is “due” at 3pm, you’ll be motivated to sit down and get it done. A little pressure, even with creative work, for many of us helps us quite a bit. Without a deadline, you’ll finish tasks late and your flexible schedule will seem more exhausting rather than a luxury.
Working from home has become a norm for many employees at least for now, but getting it right is important to maintaining quality work. Optimizing your environment to create a productive remote work schedule is a must. We hope these tips help!
Check out Hibox as one the best tools to stay productive while working from home. The all-in-one platform combines task management and internal chat so you’re always connected to your remote team members and collaboration comes effortlessly.