ENSURING I’m keeping Productive and Working Hard While I’m at Home…
In the UK, we’ve just entered week six of being in quarantine and so far, it’s been okay. Obviously I’d love for us to be all healthy and well and enjoying time together. But an unexpected side effect is that I’ve actually enjoyed working from home and the lifestyle it brings. It has made me consider speaking to my work about the posibility of doing this in the future once we’re back to normal.
One side affect that I’ve not enjoyed is the lack of productivity. At first, I threw all my effort into working from home. Gradually I eased off the pedal and found myself around week three losing my concentration. Productivity levels were down and I needed a boost. Thankfully, I managed to find some productivity hacks that have raised my energy and I’m back into my usual swing. And whilst it’s not 110% Monday- Friday, I feel like I’m back to my usual levels, like when I was back at the office.
So if you’re finding yourself at a bit of a loss, here are my top productivity hacks to use while working from home…
HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE.
My number one tip is to have a morning routine. It’s the productivity hack that is going to get you ready to start your day ay work. I’ve spoken recently on how you can start a new routine and how I’ve found introducing working out in the morning into my day. I honestly live by the quote that ‘The Secret to Your Future is Hidden in Your Routine’. It’s so true! So make sure you get yourself up, showered, dressed and you’ll feel more ready to take on the day, without even having coffee in you!
As much as you can, stick to the same routine that you normally have. A bit difficult if you normally spend an hour commuting to work- like I usually do. So rather than pretend to drive myself to work, I take what I usually do in the car, which is listening to a podcast and simply do that during the time I would usually be on the road. Normally I’m doing blog work for an hour, but I like to spend that time listening to a good marketing podcast, getting my creative juices flowing ready for the day ahead. So during this time, treat your mornings as if it was a pre-quarantine day and you’ll be ready to tackle your work with gusto.
STAY OUT OF THE BEDROOM.
Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a spare room to have as an office. However, the one thing I would encourage is to not set one up in your bedroom. You need that tranquil space where you can turn off your brain at the end of the day and that’s your bedroom. It’s also really tempting to sit in bed with your laptop, but you will not work. Believe me, I’ve tried it with blogging, you don’t do any work. Get yourself into your living room or kitchen and leave your bedroom as somewhere you can escape.
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE.
Much like if you were in the office, you need to give yourself accountability. Just because you don’t have your boss in your home, doesn’t mean to you can slack on the time of completing them. Make sure you set your own deadlines and tell your boss, so you have someone to hold you to account to meet that deadline.
Now the dreaded phone. Personally, I cannot put my phone on one side due to my job. I have to have it available to check and respond to comments and queries on Instagram. However, one of the productivity hacks that I have found that has helped me is turning off my notifications. No pings or buzzes means I only pick it up when I need to. Plus, it’s really helped me to switch off and use my phone less even when I’m not working.
TAKE COFFEE BREAKS.
Much like at the office, you need to take a break from your desk. Getting up for a walk around the home or making a tea or coffee is essential during this time. Also, don’t be afraid to take time to do Zoom catch-ups with your team. There would have been times at the office when you would have sat and have a catch-up with your colleagues, so make sure you’re doing that as well.
One thing I would also recommend is to not eat lunch at your desk. It’s tempting but you will not be productive during this time. Take time to sit in a room separate from where your computer is and enjoy having a lunch break. It will do wonders for your mental health, peace of mind and productivity.
FIGURE OUT WHEN WORKING WORKS BEST FOR YOU.
Working from home gives you an opportunity to try out flexible hours and working when it’s best suited to you. Another one of my productivity hacks is to speak to your boss about the possibility of breaking up your working day. For example, is it better for you to maybe start at 7 am rather than 9 am and have a good chunk of your afternoon/ evening to yourself. Perhaps you do your best work in the afternoons and want to try a 10 am start? Or maybe you need to try doing a couple of hours in the morning and the rest of the afternoon? The answer will always be no until you ask. Most bosses are being really flexible during this time. And if the outcome is excellent work, I can’t see them saying no.