With limited opportunity for library or coffee shop space to work in undisturbed, it’s never been so important to master the art of productivity whilst staying at home. It’s no easy feat to complete work when you are constantly surrounded by distractions and it’s even harder to maintain a good work-life harmony when you are forced to bring work into your home.
So, I’ve collated my top tips on how to keep productivity high at home whilst not blurring the boundaries between your work and personal life.
Plan your day and get into a good routine
Create a schedule the night before and include all the tasks that you want to complete. Some people peak in the morning whilst others will be most productive in the evening, the great thing about working from home is that you can plan around your natural schedule and preferred working hours.
Designate certain days for work
It’s ok to take a regular day off or have an assigned work free afternoon. This allows yourself the chance to step away from work and catch up (even if virtually) with your friends and family.
Set yourself targets for each day and every week
Having specific goals will ensure that you stay on track and keep chipping away at tasks that need to be completed. This is particularly helpful during days of low productivity and when motivation to stay at your desk dwindles.
Get ready for the day before work begins
Get washed, dressed, and fed before starting work for the day. The problem with having nowhere specific to be is that one small task before having a shower turns into a day spent in your pyjamas.
Define your spaces and separate work from home
Have an area dedicated to working, free from distractions. Turn your phone off, shut the door, and have a comfy chair set up for a day of work.
Let others in your household know that you are working and need a quiet environment
This will help to ensure that they keep the noise down and don’t provide unnecessary distractions whilst you are at ‘work’.
Prepare your lunchbox for the day so that you stay well fuelled
Your brain needs fuel to function and a pre-prepared meal will prevent you opting for a packet of biscuits rather than a nutritional lunch. It is also important to keep hydrated and so having a bottle of water at your desk is a great idea.
Stay online to enable easy communication between fellow students and tutors whilst at ‘work’
Keep your work emails active during working times to make the most out of your tutors and fellow colleagues. Everyone is in the same strange situation and are usually more than happy to help in any way that they can. It’s important to avoid feeling completely isolated during these unprecedented times and the virtual contact can help.
Take regular breaks
Don’t be tempted to rush through work in an effort to finish early. For every hour of work, have a 15-30minute break to allow your mind time to digest any information you have acquired. This will improve your overall productivity and keep your motivation levels high.
Make time for exercise
This can be as simple as a quick stroll to get some fresh air and avoid cabin fever. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs you’ll know fitness is a big part of my life and I really value it’s contribution to a balanced lifestyle. If you’re looking for inspiration for working out take a look at my no – equipment workouts or Megan’s How to keep fit for free. Or if you’re wondering whether to join (or rejoin) a gym or gym classes, take a look at what UoM Sport have on this semester. You can also take a look at my advice for getting back to the gym.
Know when to stop working and don’t go back to work once you’ve finished for the day
Keep to your schedule and wrap up work at a reasonable hour. Set defined times for work and when these pass, stop. Don’t let your work run your life.
Look at the positives
Whilst the current situation isn’t ideal, there are some silver linings. Be grateful for the ability to have a midday power nap and a later start to the day. This gratitude will motivate you to work harder and stay productive.
There is no reason that your productivity has to diminish just because you’re stuck at home during lockdown. The most important thing to remember is that positivity breeds success and so with the right mindset, you can accomplish anything.
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