Working from home can be both comfortable and boring at the same time. There are things we leave behind, such as waking up extra early to make sure we make it on time or even have to dress up nicely. We can just get those five extra minutes of sleep and work in our pajamas. However, this “new” way of working from home that the global pandemic gave us creates new challenges for maintaining productivity and staying organized. Without the structure of an office environment, it´s easy to get distracted and lose track of time. But with a few tips and tricks, it is possible to stay organized and productive while working from home.
Create a dedicated workspace
One of the main keys to staying organized is to create a good environment. You are not in an office anymore, so you´ll have to create your own “office” at home. This should be a place where you can focus and minimize distractions. Ideally, it should be a separate room or area of your home that is used for work. A desk or a table where you can set up all of your work material and even decorate as if you would in an office. This will help you mentally separate work from leisure and make it easier to stay focused.
Set a schedule
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is time. It is really tempting to procrastinate and minimize your hours. This can lead to not getting all your work done and decreased your productivity. Setting a schedule and sticking to it can help you stay on track. It should include specific start and end times for your workday, as well as designated breaks throughout the day.
Use a task management tool
Keeping track of your to-do list is important for staying on top of your work. There are many different task management tools available, such as Trello or Asana, that can help you trace your task, deadlines, and progress. You can also keep it traditional and use an agenda or personalized calendar. Find a tool that works for you and make it a part of your daily routine.
Distractions are almost inevitable since we can associate being home with having time to relax and do other stuff rather than focus on our responsibilities. From household chores to social media, there are endless distractions that can pull you away from work. One way to minimize these situations is to create boundaries and communicate them to those around you. For example, let you family know when you need to focus and avoid taking calls or messages during that time. That is also why having a specific schedule is so important: there should be time to do everything, but at a certain time. Having things that can distract you such as your phone or TV near you workspace can also challenge your self-control.
Take regular breaks
This part is crucial for both your mental and physical health. It can be tempting to work through your lunch break or skip breaks altogether, but this can quickly lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Instead, try to take regular breaks throughout the day. This could be a quick walk around the block, a gym session, or just a few minutes to grab a snack and recharge.
Communicate with your colleagues
Not being in your usual work place can be easy to feel isolated from you colleagues. To avoid this, make sure to communicate regularly with your team. This might mean scheduling regular video calls or messaging to stay in touch throughout the day. By staying connected, you´ll not only feel more supported and engaged, but you´ll also be able to collaborate more effectively with your team.
You might love or hate this way of working, but hopefully, with these few tips you can change the way you see this situation. Sometimes, a change in your routine can lead to a decrease in productivity. It just takes a little bit of courage and chipping in to make it comfortable enough to be as productive as possible.