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Many of us are currently forced to work from home, and this new way of life can be a real adjustment. We want to share a few pointers on how to stay productive (and sane!) when your home suddenly becomes your office:
Don’t put pressure on yourself to start earlier or finish later just because your desk is always within reach. Having said that, it is normal for your productivity to reach peaks and troughs throughout the day. If you feel most motivated in the morning, you may wish to start working earlier. This way you can make good use of the time that you would usually spend commuting.
Capitalise on these periods of productivity and plan your day accordingly. Tackle the more laborious tasks when you have a clearer head space and save the less strenuous stuff for when your motivation tends to drop off.
Everyone will respond to the change differently, so find what works for you. The most important thing is not to overdo it. Maintain balance and keep your work and personal time separate.
The drawback of working from home for prolonged periods of time is that you may start to feel isolated. Avoid moving all communication over to email. Instead, maintain regular meetings using Zoom or Skype for that all-important face time.
Don’t be afraid to reach out at any time for guidance or clarification. There are lots of instant messaging services that make it easier for you to stay connected all throughout the day. Make yourself available for quick calls so that casual discussions can occur just as they would in the office. These conversations don’t need to be limited to work matters, make sure you check in with others on how they are coping and share your own concerns or difficulties.
If possible, try to see another human on your breaks. The importance of socialising should not be underestimated. Isolation can affect your mood, making you more withdrawn, less productive, less confident, and less creative.
You will likely spend around eight hours working each day. That’s a huge chunk of time, so it is important to make sure that you have a good home setup.
Slouching on the sofa or in bed for hours is not recommended for your mental or physical well-being. Sitting in any one position for a prolonged period of time will put strain on the body. You will want to try and maintain good posture to avoid injury over time.
At a table or desk is the best way to work, and it is worth investing in a decent desk chair if you don’t have one already. But there is no need to spend the whole day at your desk. In fact, it is a good for your body and mind if you move around every so often. If possible, try to spend some time standing as you work.
It will help to keep your surroundings clean. A cluttered space creates a cluttered mind, and this is not a great way to work. You should also keep your workspace separate from your living space, if possible. Not only will this help you feel less like you are always at work, it also eliminates distractions such as the television or other members of your household.
You may not have another opportunity to spend so much time at home again for the foreseeable future, so have a little fun with it.
Being at home in your own space means that you can get creative with how you fuel your enthusiasm. It might be that playing music helps your imagination run free, or perhaps you feel most productive when working outside. You can doodle, brainstorm, or practice presentations. You can fill your breaks with activities that help you stay focused and relaxed, such as running, cooking, a quick yoga flow or a spot of mindfulness meditation. The working day is what you make it, so why not make the most of it?