As we figure out how to navigate unprecedented times, we’re also having to navigate a new way to work. For many of us, our commute has shifted from a ride in the car to a roll out of bed situation. If working from home is both foreign and challenging, you are not alone. We wanted to share some tips and tricks we have discovered for remaining productive, organized and focussed during these strange circumstances.
1. KEEP TO A SCHEDULE
One thing often reported when it comes to difficulty working from home is a lack of structure. It can be tough to hold yourself accountable, but a structured to-do list and blocks of time carved out for individual tasks can work wonders. Ticking items off a list can feel like a much needed victory and keep you motivated and organized!
2. DESIGNATE A WORK SPACE AND STICK TO IT
Living in the city doesn’t always lend to a spacious home office. Many of us are navigating the new world of telecommuting from small spaces with limited resources. A designated work space can be the kitchen table or a converted vanity, but keeping it consistent will tell your brain when it’s time to work! Hopping from room to room with a laptop may seem convenient, but it doesn’t lend to productivity.
3. IF IT’S A WORK DAY, ACT LIKE IT!
It’s so easy to slip into the habit of working from pj’s and not washing your hair. Stick to the daily routine you normally follow when getting ready for work, including showering, eating breakfast or exercising. Keep up whatever your brain and body is used to on a “normal” day. This will spark your mind to get ready to work even if your commute has shortened immensely.
4. KEEPING CONNECTED
Working from home can feel lonely and isolated. It’s difficult to feel part of a team when you haven’t seen another human being in days. Try to set up daily meetings using programs like ZOOM, to stay connected and have open dialogue with co-workers. Social interaction and collaboration is an important part of keeping the mind and creativity stimulated, particularly if you’re used to working as part of a team.
5. COPING WITH DISTRACTIONS
Distractions are inevitable no matter where you’re working, but it’s important to reduce these as much as possible. Low background music tends to be a good motivator and can trigger creativity, but keep the TV off. Give yourself a brain break every hour or so, walk around the house or grab some water, but avoid the news or anything that will take your mind out of your workspace. If you have the added challenge of working with kids at home, as many of us currently do, be sure to communicate this to your employer or team. Everyone has had to allow for a little flexibility these days, and you will feel better if these lines of communication are open.