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Health and Wellbeing

08 Apr 2020

Staying productive while working at home

It’s suffice to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that the majority of businesses are asking their employees to work. Namely, from home.

Working from home is a very different environment to most people’s normal routine, with more opportunities for distractions, while businesses are still figuring out how to orient themselves in the new environment.

Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to lose your productivity at home. Below are five things you can do to maintain, and maybe even improve, your work productivity at this time.

Five things to improve your work productivity:

  1. Make a scheduled routine: Time sometimes seems to fly by and if you don’t have a schedule to keep up with, progress will quickly slow down. You’ll forget to make that important phone call, or realise you’ve run out of time to organise yourself for the Zoom presentation. By making a time for everything – when it’s due, and when you should start – it’s much easier to organise your day around your work. Some people find it better to have every single item planned out, others find it better to just have a checklist. Try out a couple of things and see which ones work better for you.
  2. Restrict social media distractions: Social media is made to be easy to access. Prevent this by removing any social media links on your bookmarks, logging out of accounts or even working in an incognito browser window so that it doesn’t distract you. Another good thing about an incognito browser window is that it won’t remind you about things you’ve searched up already. Set a reminder to check your emails three times a day; at the beginning of the day, just before lunch, and once more before you finish your work for the day.
  3. Make your “workspace” clear: Be sure to let yourself and everyone else in the house know where you work. By defining your workspace (and when you are working) everyone knows that you shouldn’t be disturbed. Putting your laptop on the kitchen table may not be the best solution, either. Try to find a comfortable desk and chair in a room where you can have some privacy and be involved with whatever you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to give some attention to the details also! Many studies have found various positive outcomes as a result of having a plant on the table.
  4. Plan your breaks: Working from home is completely new to most of us, so be sure to give your brain a rest and walk around, talk your house mates and enjoy the sun. The power of working from home is that whenever you feel as though it is a lot, you can stand up, walk around freely and breathe for a bit. A good way for splitting up your time is the Pomodoro technique, which uses 25 minutes of scheduled work, then a five-minute break. After every four breaks, have a 15-minute rest.
  5. Be socially involved: Given that your social exposure is minimal, be sure to make up for it by keeping up to date with friends and family. Plan video calls and online games with each other. The stress of being restricted in your house is real for many people, and dealing with it with laughs and catching up with others will increase your overall happiness as well as your productivity.

Stay safe, happy, and productive! •

Rajna Bogdanovic - Clinical Psychologist

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