It was all fun and games back when Working from Home was a once in a blue moon luxury to us. However, with the ongoing pandemic and WFH compulsion, the monotony has started to bore us and it is affecting work productivity as well.
It is not all roses now, rather it’s my neighbour banging everything against the wall just when my meeting starts, or the kids playing hide n seek around my work space, spilled milk on my desk and me staring at it in a state of horror as it reaches my laptop.
With all these happenings surrounding my work space, the only thing that is not happening is work. Working from Home, except that you are unable to focus on work? That’s a bummer.
Well, brace yourselves. I bring to you Top 10 Tips To be Productive While Working From Home. If not much, the past year or so of working from home (WFH) has taught me this much, and I am penning it down for you.
Read up and take notes while you are at it! We might be doing it (read: WFH) for a while now.
1. Create Your Workspace – The Farther from Bed, The Better
You have got to have a proper workspace, there are no two ways about it. You cannot work from your couch, waiting for your productivity to kick in. Only thing that is going to kick in is muscle cramps and weird backaches this way.
Invest in a nice office chair table set, or revamp any existing table into a workspace. Include all elements that generally enhance your productivity. Like I need good light to be able to work better, a water bottle on the table, my draft pad and pretty looking stationery. Add all your essentials, and get in the work zone.
And friends, my pro tip is; the more distant from bed, the better. It is important, or you would just keep falling back to your bed and dozing off. Gone is productive work and crucial meetings then, and we do not want that.
2. No Entry Zone – Put Up a Signboard if You Need To
Your workspace needs to be a quiet area, without any constant distractions, or destructive kids wandering around, if I may say so. You cannot rent a new place to work, but sure can find the most quiet corner of your home and set some rules straight.
Go ahead and put that ‘No Entry Zone’ on the door if you need to. Do not take non-work calls. Inform your homies to forget that you exist during your work hours. You would get so much work done, if your wife/husband and kids don’t come asking for something every other minute. Entertaining your kid’s homework query might be helpful to him but will waste your time till you can settle back into the work zone.
Interruptions and concentration at work cannot go together, so do whatever necessary to keep you from the disturbance. This is a tiny productivity tip that will turn out to be very fruitful, you shall see.
3. Maintain Regular Hours – Choose Your Productive Hours
If you have been working previously, you would know your peak productivity hours. For some, starting up early in the morning works great, whereas others’ minds work better in the later hours of the day. Some have to comply with the company’s hours.
Whatever the case, choose the hours that suit you and your team, and maintain them regularly. You have to stick to a strict routine to be able to increase your productivity while working from home.
Manage your lunch/day plans around the work-hours and not vice versa. Prioritize the work schedule, and you’ll be making the most of the work-hours this way.
4. Task List – Set Small Targets or Goals
First thing to start your day, after coffee of course, is to jot down a task list. List down all that needs to be done, and set small targets or goals for each part of the day.
Get done with the calls and meetings in the first half, get back to emails before lunch break, work on the project after break, update the team and so on. Plan out your work day mindfully, and try to follow it. Improvise, where you may.
Setting small goals and targets throughout the day is a very effective productivity tip. Meeting them makes me feel more accomplished, I have a sense of control over my work tasks, and I am geared up to get on to the next goal.
I am sure it will work out just as good for you when you work from home too.
5. Have you Snacks Ready – No Runs To The Fridge During Work
Being distracted by the thought of yum food, and wanting everything just when you have sat down to work is in our dear nature. Let’s not fight that, but make an effort to manage it.
Have everything you would need ready and on your desk before starting work. All your favourite snacks, a water bottle, daily supply of morning coffee and lunch meals, have it all ready, planned out and prepared a day before.
Do not waste time making yourself snacks and fulfilling your cravings during work, leave that for the breaks or for after work time.
Not only will it minimize distractions and increase your work productivity, but also keep you from yelling out ‘where’s my coffee’, ‘Pass me my sandwich’ and annoying and disturbing your homies all day too.
6. Background Noise – Any Noise That Would Keep Your Mind from Wandering
In silence, we often tend to lose our focus from work and shift it to either some random thought in our mind, the birds chirping or kids playing outside the window. Anything, but the task at hand. And constantly losing focus, poorly affects the work productivity.
Having background music/ or noise of any sorts, keeps our mind from getting diverted. It works like a charm for the mind, where the mind settles with the background noise and is too invested in it to focus on any other noise.
Well, this is the effect background noise has on my mind, let’s hope it’s the same for yours. It is worth a try, trust me.
7. Take Proper Breaks – Refresh Your Battery
While planning your work day, do not forget to plan proper refreshing breakings. From lunch breaks to talking to a friend on call or taking a quick walk around the street, they can all turn out to be really good breaks. Anything that involves leaving your workspace for a while, is a pleasant and effective work break.
Stepping away from my desk, and walking around my house is a great way to refresh my mind’s battery. I come back to work, high-geared and with a refreshed mind, ready to ace the next task.
Do not exhaust yourself sitting in front of the screen for continuous hours, do take your well earned breaks, only to come back and focus on work better. It’s a great way to be productive, do include it in your work from home routine.
That’s all for now, folks. These productivity tips have made working from home easier and more fruit-bearing for me. I have found myself pumped up and my work to be high-yielding.
Inculcate them in your work routine and they are bound to do the same for you. Let me know what other ways have helped you to work from home more profusely and productively.
Let’s make WFH worth our while, while we are still at it.