You’ve been sent to work from home, you’re on a self-imposed quarantine, or you are on a mandatory quarantine, and you need to somehow be as effective at home as you are at the office. Sound familiar? It should, since the majority of the GLOBE is reeling from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
Most people I’ve spoke to have told me how they’re struggling to stay on task while at home working. Between kids being home from school, laundry that is awkwardly staring holes into the back of your head, or home projects you’ve been wanting to get to that you can see out of the corner of your eye, it’s HARD to stay focused.
Not to worry though! In today’s post I’m going to go over a few simple ways to stay on track during the work day (I work from home all day, every day, people, I KNOW that struggle).
1. Stick to your regular routine!
During your normal work week, you get up, you shower, make coffee, pack lunch (hopefully 😉 ) and head out the door to go to work. You have a commute and a clear divide between work and home.
To make the transition to working at home easier, set up a proper work area. This area should be in a space in your home that is as distraction-free as humanly possible. Work-only related things happen in this space, and nothing else. Of course, in the beginning days of working at home, you’ll need to give yourself a little grace. Distractions happen, but having a designated WORK area alleviates some of that. Once you train your brain to focus on your work, you’ll find this will get easier and easier.
2. Practice safe internet browsing
Laptops are lifelines when full offices are being asked to work from home, so keep them in tip-top working condition. One of the easiest ways to compromise a laptop is by downloading faulty third-party software, so pay close attention to your company’s emails and only install recommended programs for conference calls and communications. In addition to this, make sure all of your important work is backed up to an external hard drive. There is nothing worse than trying to log in, only to find out that some malware deleted all of your hard work.
3. Social Distancing, not Emotional Distancing
Practicing more kindness and having gratitude toward others and toward ourselves is a great way to feel closer, rather than feel farther apart. Most likely, you already know this from life experience. I’d just like to underscore its great value. Ask yourself what would it mean to practice more kindness, to be even more grateful? How have you been able to do so in the past? Now is the time to put all of this and more to good work in our present and immediate future.
Finally, as an added and needed bonus, I recommend this: go outside. Spend time in nature, whether it’s just a walk around the block, hopefully with the sun shining overhead, or out along a path by some trees or a body of water. Enjoy feeling the elements and feeling grounded and present and grateful to be alive. Nature helps.
Read More: Harvard
4. Time Yourself
You may not know it, but you are probably spending a decent amount of time on things that aren’t actually moving you closer to your goals for the day. If you set up a time tracking app for yourself, you will be more likely to stay on target, knowing that your hours and minutes are being counted.
When the day is done, you’ll see just where your time is being spent throughout the day, and it will help you make improvements as you continue to work from home!
5. Limit time spend on time drains
You know exactly what I’m talking about. Social Media. Netflix. Phone checking. Mindless scrolling. Uncontrollable news reading and following.
If you’re having a really hard time controlling yourself from checking or looking at these different things, set up an extension in your browser that blocks your access to certain websites temporarily.
I’ve used StayFocusd Google Chrome extension in the past, and it’s worked well. Here are a few more resources for you to take a gander at: Website Blockers
Overall, you’re going to notice that as you continue to work from home, you’re going to get better and better about being productive. It’s a learning curve in the beginning, but isn’t that just life?
Did I miss anything?
Let me know how YOU stay productive at home by leaving me a comment below.