Self-isolation doesn’t have to affect your productivity. Thanks to COVID-19, many people are telecommuting and working from home for the first time. Here’s a few tips to help you make the most of the situation.
Set a schedule or routine
Decide when you will begin working each day. Set your alarm. Get up. Get dressed. Get to work. Don’t forget to allow for breaks. Believe it or not, some people get caught up and work more hours from home than they do when they are in their office. Make sure you take a lunch and get up and walk away from your desk during the day.
Schedule hardest work for your most productive times
You know whether you are a morning person or if you don’t really function until after 11AM. Whichever you are, make sure you plan to work on your toughest projects when you have the most energy. Capitalizing on your natural productivity periods will allow you to get more done faster.
Need music to drown out the sounds of home? Check out iHeart radio or Spotify, both have created work from home playlists to help get you through the day. Besides, we all know music makes everything better. Some people find lyric free music helps them to focus more and get in the work flow. If that’s what you crave, search for soundtracks and video game background music is generally lyric free.
Set some ground rules
If there are other people in your home, take some time and set some ground rules about how they should act while you are working. Children need to know when and why they can interrupt you. Just because you are home doesn’t mean you become the doer of all things. If you share household chores, make sure they don’t all default to you because you’re now at home.
Dedicate an office space
Since this is temporary, you may not have a dedicated office in your home to use. Pick a comfortable place where you can work. Make sure you have room for your computer, notes, and add a couple of fun touches so you enjoy being in that environment. Make sure the area is well lit and a location you can limit your distractions.
You really can’t overcommunicate when you are working remotely. Make sure your supervisors know what project you’re working on and its’ status. When you finish a project, let them know. This doesn’t mean you have to send a 5-page paper detailing your work, a short email will do. If you have people who report to you, set up a schedule to check in with them each week and make sure they know how much and how often you want to be communicated with.
Pick a finish time
When your workday is done, make sure you put your work away. Pick a set time to stop every day. It’s easy to leave the computer on all night and keep checking your email. Just like you leave the office, you need to give yourself a break while working at home too.
Don’t get sucked in to social media
Limit your chance for endlessly scrolling through social media. Turn off notifications and only check your phone at set intervals.
Make a list
Each day make a list of three things you’ll do. Those are your priority or must get done items. Next add two or three things you’d like to do but it’s not essential you need to finish that day. Finally add two things you need to address in the future. If you finish everything else on your list, this will keep you from twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do.
Finally, don’t stay in your pajamas.
I know it can be tempting to roll out of bed and stay in your pajamas every day. However, it’s been proven if you get up and get dressed, you’ll be more productive.