Updated: Oct 5, 2020
It's been just over two months since the UK officially went into lockdown; with many of us having to adapt to the new norm of a work from home lifestyle without any visits to the office to socialise. Two months is a long time for the best of us to work from home, so it is so easy to lose your motivation and productivity during this time, especially when there is so much uncertainty of when the lockdown will be fully lifted.
Today I'm looking at the top five ways to keep productive while working from home.
Here are five quick tips to remain productive while working from home...
Get ready as if you were going to work!
Part of you has probably been thinking; I'll get up not long before I start work so I can have a lie-in and can just stay in my PJs or loungewear because nobody is going to see me, or if there is a Zoom call, I'll just throw a shirt on. However, I urge you not to do this. Wake up at the usual time you would when going to work. Get a shower and get dressed in to your work clothes, or a similar smart alternative. Style your hair if you tend to do that for work. Perhaps do some light exercise in the time it would take you to commute to the office so you don't have to worry about having to exercise after work when you feel more lethargic. Workout before showering, so you are refreshed to begin work. Doing all of this will allow you to feel more awake, boosting your productivity in your "home-office"!
Some people even advise going for a quick walk before work as if you were commuting to your office and doing the same again at the end of the workday. While this isn't something I have tried myself, I can certainly see the appeal and may be giving it a go in the near future.
Organisation, organisation, organisation!
Organisation is the key to success and the key to productivity too! Keep your workspace as tidy as possible; a tidy environment is a tidy mind. You don't want to start work the next day gazing at a pile of chaotic paperwork on your desk! You want to arrive at your desk, clear-minded and ready to start work.
Update your calendar regularly and schedule time for yourself as well as time to work. This will help you organise your time and stay productive as you will always have a plan for what to do next and won't waste time dilly-dallying deciding how you're going to spend the next hour!
In addition, listing (aka brainstorming/brain dumping) can also be a great way to stay organised and therefore, productive. Make a list of tasks you need to complete and organise these into your actual todo list or calendar afterwards. It's so satisfying to tick off all your list at the end of a busy day at work. This again will allow you to stay productive because having a list is like having a set of goals and ticking them off means you have achieved these goals.
Turn off your non-work devices
Our mobiles, tablets and laptops can be a tempting offer to quickly check your socials or personal emails; however, refrain from doing so! You will waste time going on your phone and will not be working at your full potential, and this will be evident to your employers (or in your business results!). You will lose your trail of thought and have to back-track to where you last were. While you are at your desk, have your devices switched off, on silent, or in another room so they can't tempt you to a sneak peek. This will boost your productivity and mean you will complete all your tasks in record-breaking time without any unnecessary distractions.
Take regular breaks
Make sure to take regular breaks each hour and stretch your legs. If it is your lunch break, try and get outside for a walk or bike ride. Don't sit staring at a screen for hours on end. Get some fresh air and sunshine. It will undoubtedly boost your energy levels, motivation, and your productivity will subsequently follow.
Stay hydrated and healthy
It's so easy to lose track of time when working and focusing on a task, but you must ensure to drink water and stay hydrated. You should aim to be drinking 2 litres of water per day. Try to drink more water than coffee too as although coffee wakes you up, water is a healthier alternative. Remember, drinking coffee does not count as part of your 2 litres! Staying hydrated will keep you alert and focussed and make you more productive.
The same applies with food. Try and have a nutritionally balanced lunch. If snacking choose fruits, seeds or natural health bars. You will not only feel healthier and ready to begin the next stint of work, but brain foods like fruit and nuts are great to get you thinking, motivated and therefore productive!
I hope these five tips help you to become better at working from home! Whether you're running your own business or undertaking work from your employer from the comfort of your home office, staying productive is key to getting everything done!