As you all know, a lot of us are now working from home, whether that’s a job, university studying or schooling. It’s difficult adapting to these new circumstances and sometimes it’s hard to get into a routine.
I’ve decided to share some tips that will (hopefully) help those of you in lockdown to be more productive when working from home, but I hope it will be helpful not just in the present moment, but for anyone in the future too, such as for students and freelancers.
Set yourself daily goals
This is something that I actually incorporated into my daily routine at the start of this year. Whilst I have a calendar hanging on my wall with my events etc. for the day, I use a diary too – but instead of using it only for events, I write down everything I plan to do that day.
For example, a few days ago I wrote:
- Do a few hours of work in the morning
- Complete more of google garage course
- Tea & a book in the sun
- Yoga 6pm
- Watch an episode of TV I love
I write down this list as soon as I wake up. It sets me up with my intentions for the day and helps me stay on track, rather than waste time lying in bed or deciding what I should do next.
It is also nice to write positive messages to yourself if one of your goals for the day is something that is worrying you.
For example, a month ago I wrote:
- children’s literature seminar – I have my group presentation – I’m going to be calm, speak slowly, take a breath, and it will be great.
It helps a lot with confidence and placing trust in yourself!
Setting goals is also a great way of reminding yourself not to forget self-care!
For example, write down:
- Take a 15 minute break to meditate
- Watch an episode of TV with a cup of tea, away from my phone
- Read a chapter of my book
You’re much more likely to follow it if you write it down!
Allocate a work/study space
It can be helpful to allocate a certain space in your home to do work, so that your mind will associate it with productivity. This means that, as comfortable as it is, working in your bed is probably not the best idea. It will only leave your mind alert and wired when it comes to falling asleep.
A desk is often the best place to work – it encourages you to sit upright and you have a lot of space to put laptops, hot drinks, papers, pens, etc. If possible, use a different room to your bedroom.
Turn your phone off (or put it on airplane mode)
Assuming you don’t need your phone for your job, this is a great way to minimise distractions and focus on the task at hand.
How many times have you finished one task, decided to check your phone, and ended up wasting time on it for another fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes? Instead, you could have taken a short break to get a drink or snack and started on the next task.
As much as we like to think we can multitask (and when it comes down to it, we can), it drains your energy much faster than you think. If you want to make it through the day efficiently, ditch the phone and get your tasks done before you scroll through social media.
Get some fresh air
Sometimes it can feel very stuffy and warm when inside for long periods of time, so getting some fresh air can reawaken your mind. This is as simple as opening the back door into your garden to stand outside for five minutes, or even just opening a window and sticking your head out like a dog in a car.
Basking in nature is also really helpful for boosting your mental health, so if you can open a window or door onto nature, that’s even better.
When you’re stuck inside, it can become so easy to spend all day sat at a desk, but this is not ideal for your posture or your health! Try to get a bit of exercise into your routine if you can.
- Get up every half an hour to do some stretches
- Walk around when you’re taking a call
- Do a 15 minute workout (there’s lots of youtube videos on this!)
- Put on some music and dance to your favourite song!
This increases your energy level and therefore productivity.
Look after your wellbeing
We are all social beings at heart, whether we’re extrovert or not, so spending long periods of time working at home, with no social interaction, can make you go a little crazy.
Here are a few examples of ways you can look after yourself:
- Reach out to your family and friends and give them call
- Give yourself a break, whether that’s sitting with a cup of tea for ten minutes, or doing a meditation exercise
- Make sure you’re doing one thing you really love every single day, whether that’s reading, watching a film, cooking, or pursuing any hobby – this gives your day meaning
- Distance yourself from drama, world news or social media – these can get inside your head without you even realising
Increasing your overall wellbeing will not only help you to feel happier, but it will also increase your motivation to get work done.
I hope these tips are useful for anyone struggling to find the motivation to work.
Let me know if you have any tips of your own!
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