The global outbreak of COVID-19 has semi-crippled the working world. Those who are fortunate enough to take their work home could be struggling to adjust. Although working from home may seem like a blessing, some find it difficult to stay focused on tasks being surrounded by home-life distractions. If you’re fighting anti-productivity, here are five ways to make a smooth transition to a home office.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Working from home is especially difficult when you’re forced to focus in the common areas of your home like the kitchen table, living room couch, and the bedroom. These places usually are high traffic areas, especially for families with small children. Distractions are everywhere, so it’s highly recommended to create your own space in your home to give yourself an opportunity to maintain focus. This will also help you “break away from work” at the end of the day.
Stick to Your Routine
It’ll be hard not to sleep in or stay in your favorite pajamas. Although you won’t be commuting to an actual office, it’s wise to keep your typical morning routine to keep a solid pre-work mindset. Wake up on time, shower, grab breakfast and coffee just like any other work day. It’ll also be helpful to stick to your typical work hours because you might find yourself taking too many breaks or trying to do laundry and eventually extend your work day beyond five-o’clock.
A typical work day includes only a couple of breaks, which are engineered to decrease burnout and keep you focused. It’s important to understand your personal productivity threshold, this is the time to practice that self awareness. Also understand that sitting all day isn’t healthy, even in an office setting. Give yourself frequent, yet short, opportunities to stand up or walk around to stretch your legs and your mind. Take a walk to the mailbox, grab a snack, refill your water bottle, or let the dog out to influence circulation. A working body equals a working mind, thus improving productivity. If you struggle with knowing when to take short breaks, set a timer on your phone to stay on track.
Working from home may seem like a convenient time to catch up on your favorite shows, do laundry, or prep for dinner, but you can easily gateway into anti-productivity. Be sure you’re working to complete a task without breaking concentration, unless absolutely necessary because it might be harder to get back on track and fall victim to time. Social media, especially Youtube, can suck you into a non-productive hole that can hold your attention for longer than intended. Set your social media time for the times you take breaks.
Set Social Boundaries With Others at Home
This topic often gets overlooked, but may be the most important tip of them all. Distractions also come in human form, especially the little humans. People who frequent your work space need clear understanding that you are not to be disturbed during work hours, unless absolutely necessary. It’s important for them to understand that although you’re at home to let the cable guy in or let the dog out, they shouldn’t automatically assume you’re available to do so at will. If this happens, you might find yourself frustrated or irritated, which will definitely impede on your ability to focus.
More people are working from home during these times and adhering to these tips will ensure you stay productive while you work.