How To Be Productive When Working At HomeReading Time: 3 minutes
Ever noticed how we tend to overestimate the amount of time we have when we don’t need to go anywhere? How coworkers can show up late at a Zoom meeting, even without leaving home? With the popularity of working from home on the rise, we have certainly seen its practical benefits. However, we also need to adjust our expectations when discussing productivity. The WFH phenomenon is not better or worse for being productive. It’s simply different. And here to stay. Find here a few pointers on how to stay productive when working at home.
Indeed, some of us are leading busy lives with a lot of things on our plates, on top of the unaccounted interruptions from external factors outside of our control. We can easily get overwhelmed by what to do first or how to go about things. Sorting out what’s pressing from what’s not is a key element to stay on track, not deviate from the overall goals and not go crazy. Set your priorities for the day. What’s important that needs to get done by the end of today that cannot wait for tomorrow? Address these first in order to be productive at home. You’ll sleep better by the end of the day knowing you’ve tackled priorities first!
What works for you? What doesn’t? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to check many items off your to-do lists and achieve great things by the end of each day. Without getting too philosophical, work around what you know about you. Awareness of your characteristics and living space will help you build the best possible work environment and organize your work. Play to your strengths and preferences and identify limitations that may affect your productivity. Do you have a messy office room? What time of the day do you feel at your best? Are you an early bird? Are you inspired by colourful backgrounds? Do you get energized when multi-tasking? Do you get more done through collaboration? Does music help? What distracts you? How can you avoid major disruptions? By making your tasks, study and projects work around you, respect your limitations and capacity, your planning will reflect your commitments while avoiding stressful overbookings.
A personal schedule is a good friend
A good friend has your best interest at heart. A good friend is there for you no matter what, and offers guidance and advice when needed. A personal schedule is that good friend. From the previous steps, you already know what makes a productive work day by organizing your life into slices of daily scheduling. The hardest part is now a matter of following it. It is only hard if you let it! Rather than fight it or waste precious time negotiating with it in your mind, trust that the schedule you have already decided on has been throroughly thought out, by you, based on all the necessary considerations such as your priorities, personal strengths and situational limitations. Surrender to it and enjoy a productive work day from home.
To be productive at home, take stock of the space, furniture, equipment and tools at your disposal and make sure that you have everything you need set up the way you need them to operate at optimal efficiency! If working from home is where you spend most of your waking moment, invest in that important space. Don’t keep old gadgets and ill-fitted filing systems unsuitable for your current tasks, and explore solutions that can catapult your work more satisfactory results. How about investing on an ergonomic chair to improve your posture allowing to improve your breathing to improve your focus? Adjustments can also be revolutionizing without spending a hefty sum. How about a syncable calendar or a time management app?
A computer might be more efficient than a typewriter to deliver quality work on time, but so is a healthy happy busy bee. Proper tools to remain productive at home also applies to your own person. A healthy body and mind greatly contribute to your productivity at home. Ever ruined your day when you don’t feel in shape? Do this everyday: eat nutritious meals, exercise twenty minutes, get enough sleep, have a fun chat with chums, knit or doodle or sing as a creative outlet, and think of three things to be grateful for.
A balancing act
A life in balance makes a difference. Being productive at home is about taking care of our own wellbeing. This means allocating reasonable time for work, rest and leisure respectively. Sure, we skip a meal or stay up all night to finish an important project due to a last-minute change of heart on occasions. But operating in starvation or in highly intensive stress levels in the long run is not sustainable. We cannot survive or thrive without proper rest or nutrition. Make sure to set boundaries and respect them.
For more tips on finding balance when working from home, check out some of the other articles on our blog!
Shirley is a Vacation Tracker occasional contributor. She’s held a few positions in communications, marketing and copywriting. When she’s not at her laptop, you can find her daydreaming about her laptop and chasing the sun while people watching.