Finding it hard to be more productive while working from home during social distancing? Here are my personal tips
Thanks to the recent shelter in place for many cities, a lot of people are and will continue working from home in the next couple of week.
I understand this is a difficult time for many, but know that working from home is a privilege. A lot of professionals don’t have the luxury to work from home. Every day they are risking their health in order to serve or earn a living – these include, medical professionals, delivery guys, emergency responders, policemen, firefighters, etc.
Having said that, I’m not going to take away the fact that everyone has their own set of struggles. There are definitely challenges associated with working from home, especially when you have to manage a team or work on multiple verticals.
Having previously worked at a corporate and then starting my own company, I had to teach myself how to be productive while working from home.
So to all my friends who have to WFH, here are a few tips that have helped me over time:
Create a structure for yourself
Whether it’s in terms of creating a working space or creating a schedule. Structures help eliminate unpredictability and lets you focus on the main task at hand.
If you and your partner work from a small house, structure also helps to decide who takes what space especially while taking calls. My husband and I currently live in a one bedroom. We usually work together from the living space but on days we have calls, one of us works from the bedroom ( closed door) and one from the living space. We also use our air pods to minimize sound.
Avoid working from bed
It’s really tempting to work from your bed. I know. But if you have focus issues, this is not the best idea.
If you don’t have a workstation or table, create a small space, even if its on the floor. Perch your laptop on a couple of books and cushion yourself to make the perfect work area. Alternatively, you can also create a standing work station for yourself. Amazon has various standing work holders which you can buy.
Do what works best for you
I don’t believe that only a particular time make you most productive. If you don’t work for a particular time zone, then work when it’s most convenient for you – it could be a late night or early morning. In my case, I’m a night owl as I find that quietness helps me immensely with productivity. But different people work best during different times. Find out what suits you best.
Consciously take breaks
It can get demotivating to work from home sometimes, so learn to take short breaks. Else you’ll just be staring at your computer screen and wasting time. Walk around the house, grab a snack, dance a little or put on some fast paced music. It will help pep you up.
Ensure you have good posture
I can’t stress this enough. It’s easy to slack and ignore your body and form while working from home. Having a curved spine while working can have bad long term repercussions. Ensure you are straightening your back and stretching in between. It’s also important to stretch your arms, legs and move your wrists. Thanks to technology and constant typing, I have struggled with wrists pain, so trust me when I say, stretch – I speak from personal experience.
Dress your comfy best
Whether that means dressing up or dressing down. I don’t believe you need to dress up to be more focussed. I usually work in my pjs unless I have videos calls. For me, I use the time I would spend getting ready to instead work. But do what’s best for you. If getting ready makes you more serious, then go for it.
Create a checklist
This has worked really well for me. I love crossing my to-do’s. It brings out the competitive side of me and helps me increase my productivity while working from home. I usually write down all the things I want to achieve on a list and keep checking them off as and when I finish it. It acts as a reality check of whether I’m actually working or slacking.
Talk to someone
If you feel isolated or down working alone, call a colleague or friend and share your problems and challenges with them. Sometimes, knowing you are not alone in feeling a certain way, really helps
Also, at the end of my work, I like to treat myself with a glass of wine or some cold coffee. A home-imposed happy hour or makes me look forward to finishing my work.
Hope these tips help you to be more productive while working from home.
And if you have any questions below, leave a comment and I will answer it. Happy social distancing.
Also if you want to see what kinds of groceries I have prepped for this shutdown, check out my video below.