The world is staying home, but for many people that doesn’t mean a break from work. Thanks to technology, there are many office-bound workers who are able to continue their work almost as normal during the national Covid-19 shutdown. But while some may see working from home a welcome break from a bustling, noisy office, working from home alone can also be incredibly isolating and challenging. Some days you might be able to really buckle down and stay focused, while on others you might feel unmotivated and, frankly, a little lonely. So how do you optimise your home workspace and routine to ensure you are as productive as possible? Check out these top 5 tips to help make working from a breeze.
1. Create a clean workspace:
Obviously, not everyone is overly prepared to work at home. While some may be fortunate enough to have a separate home office to work from every day, many others will have to make do with finding a space in their lounge, dining room, bedroom, or even kitchen to get work done. But not necessary, to have a home office to stay productive, all you need is a clean, clutter-free space. Your kitchen counter or dining room table can work just fine, just be sure to clear off the dishes and get rid of any clutter as you will lose focus easier in a messy area.
2. Plan your workday and set boundaries for yourself
Whether you’re working from your kitchen counter or you’ve made your separate own at-home work station, planning your workday and setting rules and boundaries for yourself is key to staying productive. If you’re able to schedule your own workday, try planning your working hours and projects around the times you’re most productive. Not everyone is efficient from 9 to 5. Maybe you’re better off breaking up the work from 7 a.m.to 12 p.m., and then again from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. Do what works best for you to ensure you get the most done in a day.
Another great way to ensure you stay productive is to set concrete goals for yourself. Rather than trying to block out an entire day for one work task, try breaking up a big assignment into small achievable goals. That way finishing that big report by the end of the week won’t seem so daunting. Equally important is making sure the goals you set for yourself are doable in a reasonable time frame. Rather than trying to take on the world in 45 minutes, assign specific tasks for every hour to get things done in a practical way.
3. Move to a new location
If you find yourself losing focus, move your work station somewhere else. Some days you may find your apartment is noisier than usual or you’re feeling cooped up inside. If you’re losing focus, either get up and move around for a little bit or, if possible, move your laptop or work station outside to the garden, your balcony, or even next to a window with a breeze. The new setting and scenery will help you refocus.
4. Get dressed:
We’re not saying you need to don your best power suit, but changing out of your PJs into comfortable work clothes will help you transition from sleep to work mode. Lounging around in baggy sweats all-day isn’t the best way to get into the mood to work and be professional. Put on a pair of jeans or shorts and a comfortable t-shirt and you’ll be ready to tackle any task.
5. Don’t work where you relax:
As tempting as it may be to work from the comfort of your couch or your bed, it’s important to separate workspace from the spaces you use to relax. During this time, try your best to have a designated work area and a separate ‘chill’ area. If you’re working on your couch or bed, may find the distractions like napping and watching TV are just too tempting.
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