It is approximately one year already( omg the time flies) that here in Europe we have to deal with the Covid restrictions.
While the governments are taking measures in order to protect the health of the population, no one taught us, how to work from home.
As I know it can be challenging for many of you guys, especially if not practiced earlier, I decided to collect some wisdom from people I work with, to help you get over these challenging times.
Working from home is new normal
Covid-19 has forced the majority to shift online.
Companies, freelancers, or employees. You name it.
That’s a fact.
You can barely change that. What you can do is take care that you will get your job done.
I know that can be easier said than accomplished, but hopefully, my tips can help you.
Your manual to stay within these challenging times productive
If you are ‘lucky’ enough and still working in the same mode as before, just keep up! For the rest, I have created 10 tips on How to Stay productive when working from home. I will be happy if you get inspired and finish your work faster.
Tip 1:Get dressed like in the office
It can be very tempting to wake up and start to work. Undressed, maybe in your pajama or in your comfy hoody. This can be quite comfortable, yet very unproductive at the same time.
Because in your pajama you mostly relax, chill and dream.
That’s not the perfectly productive and working mood, right?
Get your pants and shirt on, make your hair(or makeup too), and get rolling, you will finish much more!
Tip 2:Keep a standard routine
It doesn’t have to mean to work in the particular hours, although it might help.
More importantly, start your day with coffee or tea, then breakfast and shower.
As you would normally do if you have to visit the office.
You will earn that ‘working’ mode by default.
Tip 3:Let music and headphones become your friends
For many obvious, but to be sure, I just repeat that. When you work, you have to be focused. The noise outside of your window, or inside of your home(if you live with more people) can be the productivity killer.
This tip can be skipped if you live by the sea and all you hear is ebb and flow or bird’s signing -:)
Tip 4:Make a plan of what you want to have done that day
You know that situation too maybe.
The following quote you are saying yourself every evening: I will do it tomorrow.
As soon as you are not going to write it down, you can easily forget it!
Additionally, it will help you with your workflow. You’d know what to expect. How busy your day might get.
It will help you prioritize as well for God’s sake!
Tip 5:Prepare lunch beforehand
Unless you are a doll on cooking, I would prepare the lunch beforehand.
It is a huge time saver because you don’t have to think about what to cook and you don’t have to spend time with the actual cooking.
If you are like me you spend enough time cleaning the table after lunch and making new coffee, so why add additional dash?
Plus this has an advantage. If you going to cook in the evening for the coming day, you can perfectly clear your head of working stuff. In that case, you won’t need a casual beer after working hours -:)
Tip 6:Design your days for specific activities
Here I do share a weekly schedule of one of my ex co-workers.
Mondays are Emails, Tuesdays are for Creative Work like Website Design or New Campaigns, Wednesdays are for Content Creation, Thursdays are for Strategy and Fridays are for Overall Administration.
Doesn’t mean he was doing content creation just on Wednesdays, but it gave him BASIC STRUCTURE and that helped him to stay focused and not jump from task to task.
I think you get my idea, right?
Divide your tasks over particular days and you will feel less overwhelmed.
Tip 7:Make a breaks
So simple and easy, yet many forget that.
Take two scenarios:
First. Working 8 hours with one 30 minutes break.
Second. Working 6 hours with 5 20 minutes breaks.
Which case you’ll produce better?
Try it yourself and let me know.
P.S: I prefer the second scenario. If you choose it as well, you might as well work less and achieve more.
A great way how to spend your break can be a short walk with your dog or alone. Fresh air in combination with physical activity will keep you healthy and fit.
Tip 8:Stay Offline for the Rest of the World
I know hard one. Especially, for the younger ones.
But if you are going to stay away from all the Facebook, Insta, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube and I don’t know what else, for the time you are working, you’ll be rewarded.
I don’t mean that your manager is going to give you a raise, but you’ll be faster done and you’ll be productive.
Just a quick reminder, your employer is expecting you not to be on social media while you are working.
Maybe surprise for many -:)
But seriously, you will be just much more productive if you avoid texting or checking videos while you working. (If you would have withdrawal symptoms, you can do it during your breaks though…)
Tip 9:Room set up
In case you work on something creative, you might like to change an environment once a while. With lockdowns in many places is that harder, but you can still ‘migrate’ within your house.
If you do that, it’s fine. (I am doing that time-to-time too LOL)
Just keep in mind that wherever you work, you should keep the place neat.
Let me break that down.
- One chair(or another sitting area)
- Table or another stable writing surface of the unnecessary stuff( pillow, while you are lying on the sofa is not the stable surface and yes empty box of pizza is also unnecessary stuff)
- Pen and paper( it can be annoying to always search for something where to write your notes)
Also recommended is a motivational prop next to you. Be that a picture, quote, or something else. To have the s++t done
Tip 10:Don’t force yourself
You know as well the days when you are unproductive as s++t.
Even the simplest things seem to be impossible to be done.
In case you are as well starring for half of the day on the content that normally would be done in one hour, is time to stop en do something else.
The stuff ain’t go out, however hard you might try.
Just don’t force yourself.
Oh, yeah I almost hear you screaming, but hey wait my manager really wants me to be done today, I can’t just have it undone!
In that case, I would recommend you to start your own business as I did a year ago. Since that moment I have no manager waiting on my ‘stuff to be done’.
You can see that it is easier as it ever was
Some people are…
…complaining about working from home.
But the same people were complaining when they had to commute.
It was stressful, time-consuming, noisy, non-eco-friendly, annoying…
The same group is complaining now.
That it is boring, unproductive, they feel isolated, have too much time…
You don’t have to complain as well.
Of course, the situation can be harder to manage, but when was it easy to manage?
There are always uncomfortable circumstances…
What you can do?
Try to enjoy it and get the maximum out of this time!
Learn new things, enjoy that you can sleep longer, that you can wear that crazy socks everyone would laugh at if worn in the office, those self-made launches.
…and don’t forget to share or like this post, if you like it. It might help others as well…
If you have your own tips on how to stay productive when working from home, please do share them with us in the comments below. Others can be motivated by your suggestions. One thing the Covid pandemic has taught us, that we can get through all this together.
Be nice to each other, be helpful, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It will be over at some time and we will be able to meet each other in another way as on the screen. Stay positive and productive.
YES! Great tips Julius! And also some refreshing reminders of things we take for granted or lose sight of along the way.
I appreciate how you’ve put importance on positive thinking, motivation and gratitude. Mindset is everything.
Stay safe people!
Thank you for stopping by Andrea and sharing your experience, that’s indeed important to stay humble and appreciate the fact we can work from home. It will be over one day, so we have to keep positive thinking.
Great article Julius. Even a year later some people have not become accustomed to working from home.
I have been working from home for several years and I would never go back to an office setting. I find I am happier and therefore more effective working from home.
This pandemic has taught many employers the many benefits of having remote workers and I see this trend continuing long after the pandemic.
For that reason, I will offer a few tips that work for me.
1. Identify your most productive time of day and do your priority tasks in that time slot.
2. Have a designated workspace that you can leave at the end of the day, this is important for maintaining good mental health.
3. Have clearly defined work hours and make sure you stop working at the end of those hours.
4. Find a work-life balance.
5. Eat a healthy diet, we work better and more efficiently when our brains are fed the nutrients they need.
6. Get regular physical exercise, this could be as simple as a walk around the block.
This works for me.
Have you adjusted well to working from home? I prefer it, how about you?
Thank you Deb for sharing your experience. Indeed those tips from you seem to be a very good point. I think number two is very important. If there is a chance; do as much as possible divide the space for working-living. At the same time, for students the hard one to achieve, as they sleep, eat, and work in the same bed almost LOL. But you gave us here really great insights, and I am sure people here will take that to help them.
Yes, I did adjust I think, even I do agree there are always improvement options, I do love it though…Half an hour longer sleep, own lunches, and walks in the forest nearby are just so much appreciated -:)