Thousands of people are likely to be working from home for the first time ever due to Covid-19.
No soul-crushing commute. No managers or co-workers hanging over your shoulder. No one stealing your lunch from the office fridge. Remote work can be wonderful at times. But it’s not without its challenges.
The great news is, when you work from home, you avoid those pesky co-workers dropping by your desk for a gossip and other office interruptions. The bad news is you’ll likely have to deal with other kinds of interruptions and distractions, whether it’s the Amazon delivery person buzzing the door with your latest purchase, your pet seeking some attention or the TV staring at you while you work.
While working from home no matter how motivated you are, distracting yourself from what needs to be done with things that definitely don’t need to be done (which is usually anything but your work) can seem like the most appealing option.
Creating a home office, posting your schedule, and even just getting dressed can make for a more productive working atmosphere.
So, if you’re not self-isolating, but have been told to work remotely, what’s the best way to stay efficient and keep your spirits up while WFH?
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Maintain a schedule similar to what you followed when you were working in the office, including getting out of bed and putting on clothes other than wearing pjs. Follow this by following your usual set hours, including having a lunch break. This will help you stop procrastinating, because you will trip yourself into thinking you are in the office.
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Create a make shift office
Try to not work from your couch, instead designate a home office, preferably something with a door to separate yourself from outside distractions. Only use the home office space when you’re working, to help give yourself a feeling of being at the office. Additionally, set up the office with similar equipment that you would have at an actual office.
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Get rid of all the distractions
OK, this may seem obvious – but that doesn’t mean you’ll always do it. Even if your distractions are work-related, they could still be compromising the quality of the task you’re currently working on. Because let’s face it, nobody can tackle that many things at once and actually do them right. Complete your household chores in the morning, turn off the TV and avoid social media during working hours.
Focus on the ‘why’
Sometimes tasks can be impossible to tackle just because you have no idea why you’re doing them. So, before you resort to procrastination, ask yourself why a particular task or project is important – and why it needs to be done by a set deadline.
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Create a to-do-list
Putting things off because you have too much to do? It’s time to reassess your to-do-list. Find out ways to make a to-do-list that works for you here.
Give yourself an ultimatum
Not everyone has the natural willpower to get things done. That’s why introducing rewards and consequences into your work is a great way to push you to actually finish (or start) a task. Whether it’s allowing yourself a sweet treat after you finish one section of your to-do-list, or telling yourself that you’re only allowed to go on Instagram once you’ve got a particular project done – small rewards like this can often be the motivation you need to put the effort in.
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Give some productivity software apps a go
To make sure that you stay productive, why not spice it up with time-tracking software. There are many time-tracking tools, such as Toggl, Tick and RescueTime.
Text by Peigi Mackillop