Are you reading this right now while you should be working? Unlike the Netflix binge you indulged in, this article is useful for you.
With most companies thinking of permanently shifting to a Work From Home (WFH) model due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of us will have to adjust to this new normal permanently. Gartner’s survey of industry leaders found that 80% have plans to let employees work remotely post-pandemic, at least part of the time.
That sounds like a great plan, but when the bed is just five steps away from your work desk, it is hard to separate the personal and the professional. According to a survey, 65% of employees in India said that while they took advantage of remote working, they would be more comfortable heading back to their office now. However, with the second wave of COVID-19 hitting the country hard, it seems like remote working is here to stay.
So how to keep yourself motivated and keep your productivity levels up while working from home?
Find a curated list below some of the internet’s most popular, tried, and tested tips that can help you remain motivated during your WFH. So breathe in, breathe out, and let’s dig in!
1. Set working hours
If your office hours are from 9 to 5, make sure you follow that as religiously as possible. Of course, you might have to feed the cat or clean the kitchen, but try not to waste hours on Twitter by telling yourself, ‘Oh, I’ll just finish this at night’.
Even if you are, let’s say, involved in freelance content writing, make sure you set your working hours to train your mind to be highly productive during those hours.
2. Create a dedicated workspace
Have you been working from your bed during the pandemic? That is a hard no and awful for both your back and your productivity. So invest in a desk if you don’t already have one, and set up your workstation with an ergonomic chair.
Creating a dedicated workspace allows for a separation of your personal and professional space. You unknowingly condition your mind to enter work mode every time you report to your workstation.
3. Dress for work
If your job requires you to dress up, fantastic, but if it doesn’t, then make that extra effort to get out of your PJs and put on proper attire. Various surveys have shown that not dressing for work has negatively impacted work productivity for many. So time to put on something flashy and get to work!
4. Try the Pomodoro technique
Have you heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s a technique where you break down your work into short intervals. The traditional method includes 25 minutes of work, followed by a 5-minute break, but you have full liberty to set your intervals.
For those with a short attention span, this technique helps you remain focused for shorter intervals and enables you to make the most of your work.
5. Create and follow a daily routine
The lockdown has made people lose track of days, and many have been functioning in a haze, aimlessly, with no sense of purpose. Creating a daily routine to follow can help you work towards specific goals and keep you disciplined. This way, you can track whether you are achieving your daily tasks.
While some people secretly rejoiced when their gyms closed down, most were upset. No matter which category you belong to, you have to agree that it is super helpful to sneak in a quick exercise routine during your day.
Releasing those endorphins can help you remain energized throughout the day and kick the lethargy to the curb. So make sure to set aside 30 minutes of your time for a fun exercise routine.
7. Communicate with your colleagues
Nobody understands what you are going through at work better than your work colleagues because they are going through the same thing. So make sure to open channels of communication with them that go beyond work.
From cribbing about your boss to having a virtual wine hour, socializing with your colleagues can keep your morale high and let you know that you are not alone.
8. Take long breaks
If you are taking a five-minute break every once in a while, that’s great, but it is highly recommended that you take some long breaks. If you are working long hours, it will get harder to focus and stop enjoying work. So take a 30-40 min break, water your plants, watch a YouTube video or simply enjoy a stroll on your balcony. This helps you come back to the task at hand with a revitalized mind.
Self-care is the number one method to prevent burnout. Read a book, book a home spa appointment or simply order your favorite snack to indulge in some good old self-care. The important thing is to take time out for yourself and de-stress by doing something that brings you joy.
10. Keep your workspace clean
Experts believe that keeping your workspace clean can accelerate your productivity. So throw away those old pizza boxes, fold the clothes neatly and put them in a cupboard and don’t keep your clothes lying around, or let the dirty dishes pile up on your work desk. A clean and organized workspace has a positive effect on your productivity and your mental health.
11. Get fresh air
Fresh air, a bit of sun, and a cool breeze can often solve 99% of your problems. Being cooped up at home day after day can be taxing, so make sure to go for a short walk daily. This will ensure you get some exercise, your daily dose of vitamin C, and a healthy boost to your mood that will improve your productivity.
12. Seek out upskilling opportunities
If there are things you have wanted to learn but haven’t had the time, this is your chance. A new language, how to code, making better presentations – find something that interests you and start learning. This helps you upskill and grow as a person and makes you feel extra productive.
13. Take mental health days
Despite remaining positive and functioning optimally, there will be days when you don’t want to leave your bed or look at your emails. Cut yourself some slack and take a mental health day or a sick leave. You won’t get any work done if you feel awful the entire time, so rest, recharge and see your therapist if it gets too overwhelming.
14. Pay attention to your emotional needs
Don’t ignore your emotional needs. Try reading a book or watching a movie to channel your emotions, or maybe pick up your phone and call your friends. Keeping yourself isolated from others might damage your emotional health, so seek out what makes you happy and make time for it.
15. Regulate your social media usage
WFH means the absence of supervision, and when nobody can see what you are up to, it can be tempting to keep scrolling through your social media. While social media can help you feel connected, it can also be a major distraction and affect your productivity. Use various digital tools to monitor your social media usage and make sure it does not hamper your productivity.
If you follow even half of these tips, you will definitely notice an uptick in your productivity. So keep your chin up, and begin work with a positive attitude each day. You got this!