If you’re struggling to keep motivation levels high while working from home, you’re not alone. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been disrupting society for almost a year, we’re starting to see some of the long term impacts it may have. For many people, trying to continue with business as usual in the midst of a global health crisis is almost impossible.
But there are measures you can take to boost your productivity at home and give yourself the push you need. Simple things like making the most of your environment and giving yourself a schedule to stick to will help you feel more energised in these strange times.
With that in mind, here are our top tips for boosting your productivity while working from home. These are steps you can start putting into practice right now.
Set up your home office
First things first, you’ll need a designated space for working. We’ve probably all toyed with the idea of working on the sofa with the TV on in the background, or even slumped in bed. However, in the end, creating a home office environment can make you feel more in the zone when doing your job.
Designate an area in your home to work. You may not have the space to transform a whole room into an office, but even the corner of a spare room, or the end of a dining table, can work well. Keep all your work essentials within reach and make sure your office space stays clean and tidy.
Create a timeline
When working from home, it’s all too easy for your professional life and personal life to mix together. Creating a strict timeline helps to avoid this. Give yourself a dedicated starting and finishing time for work, to make sure you aren’t completing jobs well into the evening.
The more detailed your timetable, the better. Include any and all breaks for lunch, coffee, exercise and more. Give yourself plenty of regular short breaks where you can walk around the house a little, stretch, drink some water and rest your eyes.
Deal with distractions
It’s all too easy to find things to occupy yourself with when stuck at home. From kids running around to tidying to DIY jobs, sometimes it takes all the willpower in the world to stay focused on your screen.
That’s why it’s important to treat your working hours as working hours. Act as though you’re in the office, and save any tasks that wouldn’t be possible in that setting for later. Put your phone on the other side of the room to avoid mindless scrolling, and make sure your office is clean and tidy before you start work.
Multitasking is something we tend to associate with highly productive people, but more often than not, this is a myth. Multitasking requires you to divide attention between a variety of pressing tasks, meaning you can never give any of them the focus they require.
Try to deal with one task at a time, starting with the ones that are most critical. Most people have a particular time of day when they feel most productive, so consider scheduling your most complex tasks for this time.
Look after yourself
Your work won’t be of a high standard if you aren’t holding yourself to a high standard too. Waking up five minutes before logging on and working in your pyjamas might be tempting, but taking the time to engage in a full, enriching morning routine will benefit you far more in the long run. Wake up with enough time to enjoy breakfast and get dressed before work, and perhaps engage in some exercise too.
Remember, we’re living through a very stressful time, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and give yourself some slack. Make time in the day to do things you enjoy, be it cooking a tasty lunch or going out for a walk in the afternoon. Resting well is just as important as working hard when it comes to productivity.