10 Tips to Stay Productive While Working From Home
Working from home...some love it, others say there's no way they could ever do it because they'd never get anything done.
Well, for most of us, due to the coronavirus pandemic, ready or not, you're working remotely.
So, if you have a job where you have been blessed with the ability to work remotely for the time being, here's some tips & strategies to help you keep up with your work & productivity:
1. Get organized
Try setting up a workspace that feels similar to your desk you’re used to working at if this whole work from home thing is new to you. Have a clear desk, and don’t let it get cluttered with papers…keep it organized because a messy desk will feel overwhelming & distracting. Maybe even have some oils diffusing, or a candle burning…why not?!—that makes it feel like a zen, relaxing place to work.
On the flip side, you could be living in a tiny apartment with roommates, where you don’t even have room for a desk *been there*, so just try your best to make wherever your work area is as organized as possible.
2. Prioritize your to-do list
Write down only the important things. I always try keeping it under 7 tasks because anything more than that feels impossible.
Don’t write down simple things just for the satisfaction of checking something off your list.
Stick to just the important tasks, focus on ONE TASK AT A TIME, get it done, & move along.
3. Time block
This has been a BIG time-saver for me. After I list out what I have to get done for the day, I’ll allot time blocks for each thing. Once I have my time blocks listed out for each task, I hold myself to ONLY focusing on whatever task it is for each block of time.
This might sound confusing, so to break it down, here’s an example:
Say I have two tasks I want to get done that I need to allocate an hour to for each. My time blocks could look like 1:00-2:00-task 1; 2:00-3:00-task 2. I'll set alarms for 2:00 & 3:00 on my phone to know it's time to switch and move on to the next task. Keeps it movin.
4. Take little breaks
Don’t sit at your computer for hours and hours without moving. If you get up for 5-10 minutes each hour, maybe stretch a little bit & walk around, it’ll actually help you to refocus. Set a timer if you have to for 1:50, 2:50, etc.
5. Turn off app notifications
Another one that's been a big timer-saver & productivity-enhancers for me.
This goes for all social media apps, emails, etc. And if your job allows for it, I highly recommend turning off text notifications. Even if you don’t respond to a text or read it, just seeing it pop up on your phone or computer will distract you. I’ve read that just seeing a notification pop up on your screen takes away at least 15 minutes of productivity…who knows how accurate that is, but, if it is…can you imagine how many minutes, even hours, of productivity we lose in a day when we don’t turn off our notifications! So, if you can, turn them off during working hours!
6. Eat healthy meals
Eating healthy, whole foods gives you ENERGY, which helps you stay more productive throughout your day. I can always tell if I didn’t eat enough or ate snack food instead of a good nutritious meal because my energy levels are crap compared to when I eat nutrient-dense meals. Have a balanced breakfast and lunch that consists of mostly whole, real food and avoid heavy dressings, creams, refined sugars & carbs.
7. Get outside & destress
If you can get outside during your lunch hour for a walk or just to take in some fresh air, take advantage of it! Exposure to natural light and blue sky can help increase your energy levels and enhance your mood.
8. Take a power nap
If you’re tired and can't seem to snap out of it, set aside 20-30 minutes to close your eyes. That’s the perfect amount of time for a nap *in my opinion* to leave you feeling refreshed when you wake up & ready to tackle whatever’s next on your prioritized to-do list.
9. Set boundaries with people at home
If you live with roommates, a significant other, family members, etc., it makes working from home even more of a challenge. Set boundaries by letting them know when you’ll be working so they know not to distract/bother you. This is my situation right now with Eric, now that he’s been working from home because of the Coronavirus pandemic. We work from separate rooms and *for the most part* respect each other’s working hours.
10. Don't completely self-isolate
Everyone’s different here…some thrive when working alone & others prefer to be around co-workers. I personally love working from home by myself and usually can be really productive, but human interaction is important and we need it. So don’t lock yourself away for days without talking to other people & connecting with others. If you can’t physically get out, try Facetiming friends and family, try a virtual happy hour with friends or co-workers, etc. Or try the new Netflix party thing with friends after work hours!
Working from home definitely isn't for everybody, but for a lot of us right now, we don't have a choice. Be thankful that you even can work from home, because there's also a lot of people who can't and are out of work right now.
You might not be as productive working from home, but hopefully these tips can help you in some way to stay calm & carry on with your work until we can get back to normal everyday life.