If you haven’t been following the news lately then you might not understand the current panic surrounding something known as either coronavirus or COVID-19. But, for anyone not living under a rock, it is a very real situation to currently be faced with. And for that reason, it has led to a lot of businesses choosing to allow their staff to work at home during this tumultuous time. Social distancing is a key strategy in facing this threat.
However, for many, that means working from home, perhaps, for the first time ever. Productivity and actually getting stuff done, then, is very questionable over this period. Those doing so need to work out the best way for themselves to work at home successfully. And fast.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the best ways that you can change your routine to work from home successfully during the current COVID-19 outbreak:
Start on Time/Early
The temptation to start working a minute or two before you start work at home is quite high, especially during a pandemic. The world is ending, I shouldn’t have to wake up early, right? Wrong. Now it is more important than ever to wake up early and start working on your projects with plenty of time to spare. Why? It gives you a sense of purpose, makes sure that you’re fully awake and there for the rest of your day. Track hours worked to ensure you are contributing enough time.
Even if you don’t want to start working early, get up and do something before work. Put on a pot of tea, read the news and make sure you’re feeling awake and energised for the day.
Good tip: only make your breakfast once you have been working for a while, or hit a wall. It gives you something to do and an escape from your desk when you actually need it.
Make the Most of Productivity
No one works from 9 to 5 without pause or lulls in their focus. Productivity comes in bursts, something which is incredibly important to understand when working from home. Let yourself be both productive and unproductive, but take advantage of the times when you are productive.
Make sure you tackle all of the hardest tasks during periods of productivity. That way, during times when you’re perhaps not as focussed, you aren’t undermining your own work. Being in the right headspace can really change the way we work. So, keep that in mind when choosing things to do. Evaluate your current mood and motivation levels, then set to the task that is an appropriate level for you in that instance.
This is one that many people who work from home swear by. The simple act of getting dressed can have a massive impact on your mental state, putting you into ‘work mode’ almost automatically. Of course, you don’t have to wear a full suit and tie to sit at your dining table. But, make sure that it’s semi-workwear that makes you feel like you’re about to sit down and get stuff done.
And, if nothing else, it makes certain that you don’t become a smelly, unshowered, slob during this period. As to get dressed you will almost certainly need to shower first!
Keep to a Routine
Routine is truly the most important part of any work from home life. The more structured your day is, the less stir-crazy you will find yourself by the end of it. So, shower in the morning, take a dedicated lunchtime and keep everything running almost exactly the same. Only by keeping yourself in a strong, structured, routine can you hope to actively keep your sanity.
A lot of people will be giving out tips during this tumultuous time and routine will be the most often lauded. So, keep it in mind when looking to stay as close to normal as possible.
Routines are also incredibly important for a healthy mental state. So, don’t neglect your routine even when self-isolating. As you may find your health suffer for it.
Do More, Not Less
If you’re worried about getting less done at home, then the best way to solve this issue is to actually commit to doing more. And you don’t have to work long into the night to make this happen. Or overwork yourself. Simply put an additional task on your ‘to do’ list every day, even if you don’t think you will get it done. By the end of most days, you may find yourself having done that task and much more without even realising it!
Set Up the Right Workspace
Many struggles to work from home because they’re simply not prepared for it. And in a lot of ways that makes sense; were any of us ready to face COVID-19? Obviously not and this has meant a lot of people adjusting to a new way of life. So equipping your home to work better to match your new everyday reality is incredibly important.
This means, if possible, giving yourself a desk or similar work surface that can help you get work done. Lots of contemporary furniture is multi-functional in this day and age, so it shouldn’t be a problem to choose a few pieces that work well across multiple parts of your home. A good way to
Put Your Phone in a Drawer
Finding yourself distracted by your phone is a very modern problem. But, one that many people who work from home face on a regular basis. This is where it pays to find creative ways to remove the phone from your grasp.
However, there is one simple and highly effective: put it in a drawer. It removes it from your sight, from your hands and from your mind in many cases. And eventually, you can start pulling it out for breaks in the workday, making it your ‘treat’ for concentrating so to speak.
At the end of the day, none of us knows how long or how serious this COVID-19 situation will become in the end. It could last a month, it could last several months, or it could last more than a year. It depends on what projections you believe at the end of the day.