Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, the government has encouraged employees to work from home in order to reduce the number of cases. A remote work lifestyle may be fun and easy for some people but many are struggling to adapt to this new normal.
If you find yourself feeling fatigued and unmotivated working in quarantine, these seven work from home tips will guide you to experience the same motivation that drives you in the workplace to the comfort of your home.
1. Kick-start your day with a routine
Start working right after you wake up is not a good idea to keep your productivity going. You need a daily routine to build a working mindset even before you get started. As a remote employee, you have the advantage to perform a powerful morning routine while others are driving to work.
These are some simple activities that you can include in your morning rituals:
- Make your bed
- Have a cup of coffee
- Have a healthy breakfast
- Take a morning walk
Choose what works for you and put these activities into practice. Note that your working hours are not the only duration that matters, what you do beforehand to be mentally prepared is vital as well.
2. Get well-dressed
To alter your lounge mood, you must get ready for work as if you’re going to your workplace. It doesn’t mean that you need to do a full face make-up or putting the blazer on.
Simply do your hair and wear your favourite casual outfit is enough to trick your brain into thinking like you’re going to the office (even when you’re not). The art of dressing well helps you to be in the right mindset to work and motivate you to tick everything off your to-do-list.
It’s indeed a luxury to stay in pyjamas all day long. But, working in sleepwear makes you want to jump onto the bed and take a nap anytime soon. Eventually, you’ll find yourself procrastinating and pulling an all-nighter to complete your unfinished tasks.
3. Have a decent workspace
Having a fixed workspace will help you to commit to working and keep your productivity in check. You can convert a spare bedroom or allocate a space in the corner to create a home office. A clutter-free desk and a comfortable chair promote great inspiration to work.
Keep all your needs such as notebook and stationery items within your reach as well. Even better, create a working space that allows natural light and good air circulation. This creates a fresh and calm ambience continuously so you feel less stuffy being indoor for a long time.
When you have a proper space to work, you’re far from the temptation to sleep on the sofa or bed while working. A personal workstation allows you to channel your concentration better and also creates a border to reduce distractions from your family.
4. Create a practical schedule
Everyone has different productivity momentum. The best approach is to organize your daily tasks according to your high-focus hours.
For example, if you’re more productive in the morning, focus on tackling massive tasks on this part of the day. Leave the simpler ones in the evening. This helps to prevent burnout and self-pressure.
You’ll be more aware of your priorities once you list out and arrange your daily goals. This avoids the sudden urge to do other things like household chores in the middle of working hours. Also, you’re less likely to jump from one task to another half-heartedly.
5. Eliminate distractions
Distractions from family members can be very difficult to handle. You can hardly focus when the kids are playing around or your mother is asking you to do housework.
Have an open conversation with your family members despite their age and let them understand how working from home culture is like. Set basic ground rules for your children and plan their activities ahead to keep them busy. This helps to avoid future conflict and misunderstanding.
Social media and television can be a disturbance as well. Keep boundaries between your workspace and the TV, log out from all social media platforms in your browser and turn on focus mode on your mobile phone to fight digital interruptions.
The focus mode enables you to pause the apps you find distracting and only allow important apps to have your access. You’ll be more driven to get the job done when you have something to look forward to on digital platforms once the working hours end.
6. Turn up the music
A psychology officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends those who are working from home to listen to music as it helps to improve concentration. Match the right music with your work style can boost your productivity throughout the day.
A music therapist, Kirsten Nelson highly recommends to start your day with slow and calming music then make a transition to fast-tempo songs. But, it still boils down to your preferences.
Some people like upbeat music better because it can hype them up and increase the work speed. If your nature of work requires you to think and you don’t want the song lyrics to distract you, it’s best to go for instrumental music instead.
7. Remind yourself that you need to take a break
In the office, it’s a norm to take a lunch break and go home when the office hours end. But when you’re working from home, there is no clear break and you unknowingly sprint from morning to evening.
Set an alarm for every small break including your lunchtime. Indicate this as your relax time to walk away from the desk, have a nutritious meal with your family, walk around the house or take a power nap. These small breaks help to relax your mind and you’re able to start fresh when you get back to work.
When it’s time to call it a day, take note of tasks that are yet to be completed then focus on your personal life. Even when you’re working from home, work-life balance is necessary. The last thing you want is to be overwhelmed by your workload and cramp them all at one time, or not doing them at all.
Everyone has a different approach to adapt to this new normal. Working from home is indeed a challenge but remind yourself that it’s okay to take your own sweet time to figure out which approach suits you best.