If you're reading this, you've given up on trying to feel "normal" while working from home amid these difficult times and are looking for any suggestions or assistance you can find. Well, look no further! This article brings you the 9 best-tested ways to manage time and health (both, mental and physical) while working from home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made what would otherwise feel like a luxury, into one of the most stressful ways of living. In the thick of the pandemic, many major tech companies have announced that their employees will be able to work from home indefinitely. A lot of articles all over the web mention the mushrooming productivity resulting from the shift to work-from-home lifestyles. Nevertheless, if you're still feeling like you're incapable of keeping abreast with the needs of the times, you need not get in a fluster.
"It's not about better time-management. It's about better self-management." -Alexandra
Listed below are the few best techniques to increase productivity and stay healthy while working from home.
1. Set a Routine
The famous American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker James Rohn quoted that, "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Human body functions per a routine. Every negative consequence to your body's health is in some way or the other a result of an unhealthy routine. Set yourself a suitable schedule and stick to it. Do all your activities - from waking up and eating breakfast to signing off and going to bed - at the same time every day. Once your body adjusts to this routine, it will itself feel the urge to perform the scheduled tasks.
2. Establish Your Space
Home sweet home is the one place that comes to mind when you think of 'comfort'. While being comfortable is the topmost pro of working from home, it can very quickly turn into a con if not measured.
You need to find a private space that you can customize as you wish. It needs to be somewhere in the house that is quiet and free of distractions like a television or a window facing a busy view. Make sure that the space is separate enough so that you can feel disconnected at the end of the day.
Having the perfect space is not just about being comfortable; having the right equipment constitutes a lot of your productivity. Invest in a chair that sits you at the perfect height according to your desk and also supports your back to a T. Keep in mind that your workspace should be 'comfortable enough to work in' and not 'cozy enough to sleep in'.
Declutter your device. Put unnecessary applications out of sight to keep you focused.
Clean or rearrange your workspace the night before. Doing so will trick your mind into getting up for work the next day and also save you the exhaustion of cleaning up right before you have to start working.
3. Regulate Your Energy
Your schedule shouldn't push your body to over-exhaust itself. Make sure the routine unfolds according to what your body is naturally comfortable with or what its internal rhythms are. Your working hours should synchronize with whether you're a night owl or an early bird.
Your body functions at different levels of energy at different times of the day. Notice the patterns and take advantage of the high and low energy times. You can plan to get more important and tedious tasks done at the time you're feeling on top of your spirit. Ease your mind and body by indulging in more placid activities during low-energy intervals of your day.
4. Get Dressed
Once you have your space and schedule figured out, what can get you out of bed and make good use of the time is getting dressed. It may sound absurd but, the biggest reason people tend to feel demotivated while working from home is the fact that they're detached from the routines of getting ready for work. Since you're at home, you could just walk two steps to the work-desk, in your pajamas, straight out of bed.
A lousy appearance can result in a lousy, uninterested attitude towards work. You will continue feeling lazy and as if you're still in bed.
As soon as you make the effort to get dressed for work, your body will feel motivated and energized, and most importantly - fresh! Doing this will give a great and positive head-start to your productive day.
5. Time Management
This point will describe the most important part of the article - managing your time while working from home. It is as easy as productive people make it look! All you have to do is push yourself to adhere to an intelligently set to-do list.
List your goals in the order of most to least important and work your way through it. One of the main causes of unproductivity and hence, stress while working from home, is the massive amount of time spent on tasks that didn't need any.
"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." -Stephen Covey
What makes time management most effective is sleep hygiene. If you refuse to give your body the rest it needs, it will not give you the energy you need to get things done. The most important part of your schedule should be a sound sleep of about 6-8 hours. If you give your system enough time to rejuvenate, it will not ask for any more while you're working.
6. Reward Yourself with Strategic Breaks
Very obviously, working non-stop will have a lot of negative effects on both - your work and your health. Make sure your schedule has enough breaks for you to get a breath of fresh air now and then.
Set alarms for 10-30 minute (or longer if you may) breaks between your work hours. During this time you can stretch, meditate, listen to some of your favorite music, take a walk around the house, make yourself some coffee, snack, and catch up with family and friends.
If you are one of those who feel guilty about taking breaks, you can use this time to finish up work that doesn't require a lot of focus or brain. Although, these breaks are never a waste of time unless you don't end up lingering for a bit too long. They can help manage stress and anxiety levels and, in turn, boost productivity along with taking care of your health.
7. Set Healthy Boundaries
Working from home reduces social interaction to a great deal. This might instill in you the need of being available for your colleagues, friends, and family members throughout the day. It can easily get more exhausting than one anticipates. To prevent it from getting toxic for your health, you must set a bunch of healthy boundaries.
The first step is to let your family and friends know about your schedule so that you are not disturbed or distracted while you're at work. Doing this will give you ample time to finish your tasks for the day and then attend to others with undivided attention.
You also need to stop working when it is time to stop working. Working overtime for no reason will only be harmful in the long run.
8. Stay Connected
The pandemic has snatched from all of us the fun and wholesome feelings of working alongside our friends under one roof. Being at home all the time can make you feel isolated. As much as working efficiently is important, as is human interaction.
Find time to sit down with family and spend some quality time. Arrange online meetings with friends to lighten up a little. In the thick of chatting, though, make sure to talk about everything BUT work!
9. Be Transparent with Your Manager and Colleagues
All of us are hurdled by obligations when we have to work around our family. Maybe you have aged parents or young kids that you can not avoid taking care of even while sitting in your separate workspace. It is a problem of the essence.
You must address such issues transparently with your manager and colleagues. Talk about skipping unimportant meetings. If you feel like you're more productive and comfortable working during non-traditional hours, arrange such a working schedule after discussing it with your boss and co-workers. It is healthy to talk about your expectations from your job and working environment.
The bottom line - notice the needs of your body and work accordingly. All our bodies have different ways of adjusting to our surroundings and any work schedule that forces you to work against it is toxic! Take care of your health and it will put an automatic positive effect on your levels of productivity.
We hope this article helped you. For more informative articles, follow our blog at Sleeping Sloth Productions.
Thank you, readers!