Like it or not, working from home is becoming the new norm. For some of us, this is a dream come true. For others, it may turn out to be a nightmare. Either way, we must face reality. This pandemic is one of the worse crises in modern history, and it won’t be gone any time soon. However, working from home is one of the best ways for us to curb the spread. Check out our best work from home tips for a productive workday!
Finding yourself a strategic and comfortable spot to work is the most crucial step. With that said, I am not talking about your favourite couch and bed. In fact, those are the red zones that you should avoid! The best tip to be productive at home is to create a working environment just like your original working place/desk. And here is another good news. You are the boss! You can design your own office and space according to your style and preference. Be creative! To avoid distraction and protect your sanity, try to secure yourself a separate room that is away from distractions and your other family members. The last thing you want to happen is to join your family members to watch Netflix and be glued to it.
More importantly, we understand that not every one of us is privileged to have a conducive home environment for work. If having a room is too much, try to do your work on a table minimally. That is so much better than lying down on the floor/bed. Before you know it, you will fall asleep and lag behind your deadlines.
Finding a buddy
Working from home does not equate to 100% isolation. In fact, studies have shown that social interactions can improve our mood and productivity. Happy heart, great mind. I would personally recommend finding a colleague that you can hit up when you feel the need to chat during your breaks. Alternatively, you can always do your work on social video calls. Check out ZOOM or Skype. Just be sure to remind yourself and your peers to be disciplined during these calls. The working process will become ten times bearable because you do not feel too lonely.
Dressing Up for Work
This may sound silly, but this trick is super effective. The kind of attire you put on matters and sets the tone for the day. You cannot expect your brain to be automatically geared up for work when you are wearing your pajamas. As a matter of fact, say no to any form of clothing that makes you feel too comfortable such as shorts and singlet. If wearing a formal attire is too much for you, try on some smart casual. This is also the best way to keep you open for any urgent business video calls. And ladies, how about trying put on some makeup if you enjoy doing so? You wouldn’t want to waste all this money on cosmetics right? After all, who says you cannot be glamorous working from home?
Have A Concrete Plan
Freedom at home is not always something to celebrate about. Rather, you are also prone to procrastinating. While there is nothing wrong with having sufficient rest, you need to set your goals clearly for the day to keep you motivated and disciplined. Create your own game plan. Break down your plan into small steps. And when I say the plan, avoid writing vague and broad goals. For example, if you are a teacher, writing down “Complete all markings by tonight” is very broad. What if you have a whole pile of markings to do?
Keep your plan and goals as small and specific as possible. For example, “finish marking 30 scripts from class 4E1 by 6pm”. By doing so, our brain is fully conscious of our progress. Trust me, one of the best feelings is to check out the boxes of things to do. It is literally addictive.
Compartmentalising Work and Rest Time
One of the cons of working from home is that you are invaded by work at home too. Be sure to keep a boundary between work and rest. This is really important because you need to recharge. Can you imagine mixing work and family together? You won’t be getting the quality rest. This will compromise the creativity and quality of work that you generate. This can even snowball into you having a crankiness and a meltdown. The last thing you want is to lash out at other family members for no reason and produce bad works.
Follow your schedule
As we mentioned previously, follow the plan you created. When it is time to rest, fully forget about work. Remove anything that would remind you about work, including emails and texts. After doing that, do something fun! Watch a movie. Talk to your family members. Have a long shower. Do what you love! If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else (your work in this case)?
Never underestimate self-care. This is the key to doing well.
Protect your health
Speaking of self-care, be sure to maintain a good healthy lifestyle at home. One of the bad things about working at home is that you can get too comfortable. You are stuck within the four walls. And if you are the type who orders in, that will just put in you greater trouble. Staying active matters!
Find a slot to do short exercises. Do not let this pandemic be an excuse for you to not exercise. This would energise your energy and mood for work as well. You can still jog outside (without a mask). You can still take a short walk. Or it can be as simple as going down to the supermarket to get your groceries. That is a workout too. Basically, do not just rot at home with work!
If you are feeling overwhelmed at home, do not worry. This is perfectly normal. For some of us, home is perhaps the last place we want to be stuck in. For the time being, stay strong and healthy. Hope these tips will help you achieve the most out of the work from home arrangement.
Written by: Norazim