Working from home… waking up late, sitting in your PJs, getting distracted – these are all quite common scenarios for those who may not be used to adapting to the home working life. Just a few tips and changes here and there, and you’ll be surprised how it improves your productivity and motivation to get jobs done!
Wake up on time!
It’s very easy to think about how lovely lie ins are, but waking up late will affect the rest of your day – tasks begin later, finish later, and with an early start, you have the whole day ahead of you! Make use of an alarm clock and find a reasonable wake up time that works for you.
If you find yourself tired in the mornings, are you going to bed too late? Do you find yourself distracted scrolling through your phone late at night? Perhaps switch your devices off by a certain time or read a book to get yourself in a sleep-mode.
PJs are the comfiest thing ever… right? Yes, but they can set you in the lazy, unproductive mood, as PJs are associated with relaxation and sleep. I find by getting dressed, even into comfy clothes puts you in a different mindset, associated with being dressed for work. Plus, it’s all the more motivation to get into your PJs after a productive day!
Establish a routine
All working days perform better when there’s a routine established. It may take a few days to figure out what times work best for you. It’s like the routine if we were going out to work, just within our home environment.
A simple routine can be…
Wake up, have breakfast, get dressed, start work at [set time], have breaks every so often, take a proper lunch break away from your desk, and work until [set finish time]. End the day with a fun activity, hobby, exercise, daily walk or relax/chill time!
Having a routine can help you get in the mindset of knowing what’s coming next and getting jobs done within the hours set for working.
Create a working space
It’s very tempting to work from the sofa, or in the comfort of our bed… again these areas are connected with relaxation and switching off, so it’s best to avoid working in those areas – particularly as there are distractions of the TV, falling asleep and so on! It gives you the inclination after work to come into these spaces to shift off from work.
Creating a working space that works best for you is important. It needs to be functional but comfortable. A desk is the best option, but some people may have restricted space, so perhaps the kitchen/dining table, or a makeshift desk will do.
It’s handy to have everything you need in the space to fulfil your job properly, and so it doesn’t give you an excuse to keep getting up to find more things, resulting in lack of productivity. Things like technology; keyboard, mouse, charger. Also consider stationery, pens, pencils, paper, calculator etc. How about drink coasters for your water and cuppa’s, a tissue box and so on!
Plan your day
The best productivity starts with a plan. Without this, it’s amazingly easy to get distracted, forget about the priorities and not have a clear aim of what you want to achieve. It doesn’t have to be the biggest, in depth plan… a simple to do list, or deadline sheet establishing priorities will help you maximise your time. Lists can be done on paper, through an app, or by blocking time slots in calendars.
Make tasks more manageable
It can be easy to feel inundated with a massive to-do list. Why not have two lists; one for the ‘must-do’ and one for ‘when I have time to do’.
Focus on achieving tasks in small chunks, they are much more realistic than big ‘chores’ that seem impossible. If you complete 5 small tasks, it will feel more rewarding than a big one with no near end in sight.
Remove all distractions
Oh, the joys of social media, modern technology, music and videos… easy distractions! If you find yourself not getting things done, perhaps look at why this is? Do you find yourself picking your phone up every 5 minutes? Are you opening new internet tabs to do online shopping or checking your emails?
Remove any possible distractions that may be preventing you from doing your work. There are ways of muting notifications, turning your phone off, or using do not disturb mode, or simply putting it in another room! Save the emails and online shopping for later… schedule time in to do this!
Save the YouTube videos or TV series you really want to watch for your lunch hour, or end of the day as a reward for completing your tasks.
Have regular breaks
It’s important to have breaks away from the screen every so often, even if it’s glancing away every 5 minutes to give your eyes a break. Get up from your desk to make a drink, or to stretch your legs! You’ll achieve more with breaks in between than working solidly and wondering why you’re typing nonsense or not really knowing what you’re doing!
If you find you’re not feeling productive on one task, switch to something else. Maybe you need a break from it? Some fresh air and clear eyes will do the trick!
If you’ve achieved all this, and actually get stuff done… then I applaud you! It’s simple changes that make the biggest difference.
Make sure you reward yourself in return! It’s a fantastic motivator and gives you something to look forward to. It could be eating a delicious cake, going for a walk, or watching your favourite Netflix series!
Keep safe everyone and enjoy your newfound productivity!