Working from home is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
The global pandemic COVID-19, the coronavirus, has caused more people to work remotely to help curb the spread of the virus. With people encouraged to stay at home, more and more people are continuing to work from home even as countries around the world lift their lockdowns.
Some of the benefits of working from home include:
- Business continuity
- Improve the performance
- Better work life balance
- Save travel time and thus the environment
- Greater professional involvement
- Better productivity
- Flexible work schedule
- Fewer distractions
Although the pandemic has seen more people around the world now working from home, a new majority are in the work-from-home lifestyle.
All remote workers, including those who have worked from home for the last decade, face similar problems. This is despite the unique challenges you are bound to experience due to your lifestyle, personality and the type of work you do from home.
Despite better productivity, you can easily run into various problems while working from home. But, that doesn’t have to happen.
When working from home, you have to draw boundaries between your personal life and work life, define work stations and think about when to work.
Whether you’re working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic or because you have a remote job, you need to develop routines and change certain habits to achieve success working from home.
Here are 5 tips to help you maximize your productivity while working from home:
1). Prepare Yourself Mentally for Today
Prepare yourself mentally for the day to achieve success working from home.
Do whatever you normally don’t have time to do during the day, first thing in the morning, because of the commute to work. Use this extra morning wisely to psychologically prepare for the day.
Meditation and other mindfulness practices can improve your general well-being, making you healthier, happier and more productive.
Studies show that meditation lowers stress, increases focus, and increases clarity, including decision-making ability. All of these benefits work together for your good.
Mindfulness practices boost the immune system, slow brain wave patterns and heart rate, and reduce stress. They also improve relationships and reduce health problems you can live longer.
Practice meditation to get your mind ready for the day’s workload and prepare for a successful day. Start your day with at least 12 minutes of meditation every morning to keep you pragmatic, mindful and energetic.
Other useful activities to start your day include exercise and journaling. Doing so will help dispel negative thoughts and free your mind, ready for your tasks or to-do list for any given day. If you are short on time, you may find one of the best journaling techniques to use bullet journal system.
2). Set Routines
Set a work schedule to work from home.
Create clear guidelines for how and when to work, and when to stop working for the day. This is a great way to achieve work-life balance. The flexibility of working from home allows you to start your day earlier or extend your day to meet your specific day-to-day needs.
Use an automatic time tracking app to keep you on schedule.
Apps like Rescue Time can determine when you’re most productive of the day, and when you’re experiencing the least productivity. With that information, you can focus on the tasks at the top of your priority list during your most productive time.
Create a morning routine to guide you to your desk each day and define when you want to start work. For example, you might start with a cup of coffee while going through your to-do list for the day.
Your morning routine can also include coming home from a workout or jog, and getting dressed for the day. This kind of routine is a powerful way to start your day. However, you can call your routine a “getting started” routine if you don’t normally start work from home in the morning.
Make sure you also end your day with an evening routine. Develop a habit that indicates that you are almost at the end of the work day. This could be joining an evening yoga class, walking your dog, or opening a messaging app for your remote work.
You can also turn on your favorite podcast or shut down your PC to signal the end of your work day. Whatever you add to your routine to round off your daily work hours, stick to it consistently.
Don’t be careless with your schedule. Stick to a routine.
3). Maintain Personal Hygiene and Dress for Success
Don’t just wear pajamas because you work from home. Instead, dress as you would for the office. Style your hair and makeup to look your best every day. Slip into a tube skirt and a nice blouse.
Take a shower and brush your teeth after waking up to start the day energetically. Your pajamas may be comfortable, but you’re likely to feel sleepy, lethargic, or unmotivated throughout the day.
Plan a short walk during the day or pick out your outfit the night before to motivate yourself to dress up for work from home. Dressing properly starts your day and motivates you to succeed. It’s also a great way to balance your work life.
Dressing as you would for the office makes you feel refreshed and ready to go to work. It’s also a great way to try out your new outfit.
4). Eat Well, Stay Hydrated and Get Enough Rest
work from the house gives you free access to the kitchen all day, meaning you can easily grab a snack during your breaks. It may be tempting to overeat because food is readily available.
However, working remotely from home allows you to prepare a healthy lunch. Plus, you get enough time to eat a healthy breakfast and dinner every day.
Stock up on healthy foods in your pantry and choose what will help you work better, instead of wasting your energy. Watch what goes in your mouth to eat healthy.
Add complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes, protein (such as eggs, meat and fish), and iron-rich foods such as green vegetables to your lunch.
Include nuts, fruits and fresh juices in your diet for added health. Food nourishes and energizes your body for the work you do. Eat in moderation and avoid overeating to prevent sluggishness during the day.
You should also drink plenty of water every day to keep your body hydrated.
While working from home, you should also pay attention to your sleep patterns to make sure you are getting enough rest. It clears your mind, refreshing it for the next day. Avoid binge-watching and stick to a healthy routine during the work day.
Develop the habit of getting at least 6 hours of sleep each night. Start your day early and avoid oversleeping.
A demanding work life can keep you awake when you should be sleeping, whether you work from home or not. Take short naps during the day, eat the right foods to maintain high energy levels, and get enough sleep to refresh your mind and body.
With peace of mind, healthy food to eat, regular exercise, friendship and enough sleep, you are guaranteed high productivity while working from home.
5). Take Your Downtime Just as Seriously
Despite working from home and having fewer distractions, working late can easily kill productivity.
Schedule short breaks throughout the day while working from home. Set aside sufficient time for short breaks from work. Take some time away from your phone and computer screens to do something different.
Lunch breaks can last as long as an hour while other breaks are around 15 to 20 minutes. Use apps like Smart Rest And Time has run out for Windows and Mac, respectively, to remind you when it’s time for a break.
The app locks you from your PC automatically to make sure you take a break from work. Take a walk around your house, listen to music, take a short walk outside or play with your kids (or pets) to reset your mind. Breaks can increase your creativity and production while reducing decision fatigue.
Develop a work-life balance to avoid overwork and over-commitment. Do breathing exercises and take short naps during breaks to increase efficiency and keep you more aware during work hours.
It’s easier to never really ‘log-off’ from work when working from home. Remove all distractions to make the most of the hours you log in. When the work is done, check it properly. Turn off your computer and remove access to email from your phone.
Rest is as important as mental examination.
You can optimize your productivity while working from home. With tips from creating routines to taking short breaks, find out what works best for you for maximum productivity. You also need to be healthy and keep your body hydrated.