Working from home is hard at any time, but it is particularly tricky during lockdown. Here are five ideas to help you be more productive when you’re working and relaxed when you’re not.
1) Define a space:
Working from home has its advantages: you can work in bed! Sounds like the dream, right? Maybe! But it might not lead to the best chance of actually getting work done. Find a good space to work from and try to work there as much as possible. Somewhere quiet and away from any triggers that may distract you, like the T.V. Try and set up a table and chair if you can. Most tasks will need you to be fully engaged and your bed or the sofa isn’t going to cut the mustard. Our brains quickly associate environments with activities. By defining a space, you’ll give yourself the best chance to get yourself into ‘work mode’ and stay focused. Equally, when you leave – or pack down – your workspace at the end of the day, it can help you switch off.
2) Get dressed:
It’s easy to not prioritise getting dressed, I don’t know why the dressing gown has never made it as office attire. Similarly to defining a space, getting dress helps to put you in the right state of mind. Work clothes for work then back to your pyjamas for rewatching The Office once you’re done. It doesn’t have to be as smart as you might normally dress for work but at least be presentable. It also adds to the routine of starting work which can help get you going each day.
3) Define a time to start:
Getting started is always the hardest part. You probably won’t need to be as strict with yourself when it comes to finishing the day but be disciplined by starting at a defined time. Set a time and hold yourself to it. When you take breaks, try going outside. Walk around the block or go and pick up some milk. That will help you from getting distracted with Netflix or…
4)…SOCIAL MEDIA, don’t touch it – not even a quick peek:
You know who you are; you convince yourself you’ll have a quick scroll through Instagram at lunchtime, the next thing you know you’re 4 hours deep into ultimate fail videos on Youtube. No social media. No excuses. Get your work done, then catch up with the Kardashians later.
5) Go easy on yourself:
Working from home is a great skill to master but lockdown brings extra challenges. Don’t beat yourself up. Make a plan and stick to it but don’t go crazy if you miss a day. Working from home can be lonely, so make sure to take some extra time to properly connect with people. Especially friends and family who may also be working from home. They’ll understand the challenges and may have some extra tips to help you out.
Good luck! While many of us are working from home at the moment out of necessity, it is a valuable skill to master. More and more jobs are moving from collective offices to individual spaces or becoming remote completely. Knowing how to properly motivate and focus yourself while avoiding procrastination can help you with everything from filling in your tax return to working at night on a side hustle.