As COVID-19 spreads across the world, the entire nation, apart from a few professions like healthcare workers, is in quarantine to mitigate the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. While the lockdown may be relaxed in the next few weeks/months, working from home will become the norm. Everyone dreams of working from the comfort of their home – no more congested and lengthy commutes. Instead, the time could be spent on cooking, exercise, and self-care. But, working from home is a double-edged sword. It comes with its own set of unique challenges. You may be tempted to do things around the house like – laundry, catching a new show on TV, mindlessly surfing social media networks on your mobile, or just chilling out on the sofa. All of which leads to a loss of productivity. Plus, the isolation without colleagues to interact with can make you lose your edge. Staying focussed on your work while working remotely from home requires some extra efforts. Here, you can find tips on how to boost your productivity and improve your mental health while working from home.
1. Set up a Dedicated WorkspaceOne of the biggest mistakes first-time work-from-home employees do is that they do not have a designated workspace for work. They try to get into work-mode from the kitchen table, the bed, or the middle of the living room with the TV running in the background. To get into the work mode, you need a dedicated workspace where you can concentrate on work without any distractions. Make sure that the place is well ventilated and well-lit so that you don’t feel tired or lethargic. If you’re uncomfortable or always getting up for things, then you are likely to find it challenging to work continuously without fidgeting. So, set up a dedicated workspace or corner in your home, that is comfortable and has everything you need for work.
2. Get Dressed Up for WorkWith the quarantine, every day seems just like the one before and after. To get the most out of your workday, you need to get ready for work. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a formal suit and tie. But, make sure that you take a bath, comb your hair and wear comfortable clothes so that your mind gets into the work-zone as soon as you start.
3. Lay some Ground Rules to Minimize DistractionsOne of the biggest challenges of working from home is the frequent distractions. With schools closed, your children are likely to be at home, always demanding your attention. If both you and your partner are working from home, then set different time schedules for work. So, one person can work without any distractions, while the other person takes care of children and household duties.
4. Set SMART GoalsOne of the biggest perks of working from home is that you enjoy more flexibility. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to adhere to deadlines. It’s easy to get off track. To avoid losing productivity:
- Set up goals for each day – decide what you want to accomplish in a day.
- Be specific – set tangible goals that give you a clear idea of what you should be working on.
- Assign priorities – arrange your to-do tasks for the day/week based on priorities.
- Set a deadline – if you don’t have a deadline, you’re likely to keep procrastinating.