2020 has been full of adjustments for all of us, and working from home has been a big one. Working from home sounds like a dream come true, but the reality is that it’s just as hard, if not harder, than working from the office. Staying motivated and on track can be tough. Below are some tips to help you stay as focused and productive as you can through these challenging times.
1. Create a dedicated workspace
This may seem a little obvious, but it’s pretty tempting to bring your computer to your bed while you drink your morning coffee, or even to the living room with your favorite television show on in the background. But trust me, don’t do it! You’ll fall behind and end up working into the night to catch up. Creating a dedicated workspace avoids this problem. You’ll want to create an isolated area that’s dedicated to work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an office space, since many people don’t always have an extra room or desk at home. But it should be an area where you can separate your personal life from your work life.
2. Make a plan for the day and set goals
I have always been big on checklists, and I just love the feeling of crossing something off my to-do list. But having a plan or list while working from home takes it to a whole new level. I can’t imagine being as productive without it. There are distractions working from home, but mapping out your day and knowing exactly what you need to accomplish is really helpful when it comes to avoiding those distractions.
So, I know I said to create an isolated workspace. But let’s be honest, there’s no way you’re going to be at home and lock yourself in a room all day and strictly do work. Just like when you’re at the workplace, it’s important to get up, stretch, walk around, and even go outside and get some Vitamin D. These breaks will help you reset and refresh your mind so you can go back to your workspace and be as productive as possible.
A good way of doing this is to set break times when you create your plan for the day. Creating a schedule will help you stay on track.
Working from home is a challenge. A good way to stay on track is to make sure that you are communicating with your team and coworkers. Your supervisor should schedule regular check-ins (and if they aren’t, please mention to them that they should). Use these meetings to express any challenges you might be facing, and let your coworkers help you through them. This is also a great time to share the things you have been accomplishing throughout the day. Knowing that you are going to be sharing these things will also help to keep you focused.
5. Maintain social interaction
We’ve all been cooped up and social distancing for quite some time now, and we all know the need for social interaction is just human nature. If the phone and Zoom calls aren’t cutting it for you, and you can safely meet a coworker for coffee, grab your mask and computer and go work from the local coffee shop. A change of scenery is always nice as well!
If it’s not safe, or you simply can’t meet in person, take a break and call a friend or family member – chances are they’re craving some social interaction as well. The point is, don’t completely isolate yourself while working from home. It’s important for your mental health.