With the Coronavirus pandemic changing how we currently live our lives, many of us find ourselves spending more time at home than ever. Today’s post will give you some productivity hacks to make the most out of your work from home.
First, lets give a productivity definition, according to the Cambridge dictionary.
Productivity: The rate at which a person, company or country does useful work.
By that definition, you can be productive when you’re working, cleaning your home or being creative. It’s about doing useful work at an increased rate. So whether you’re working from home, or trying to entertain the kids, or do at home school these productivity tips are for you!
This post includes links to a number of other awesome sites with more information on the science behind each of the hacks listed. I don’t receive compensation for sending you to these sites, I just think the extra information is interesting and wanted to share with you!
This one may seem a little obvious, but if you’ve been self-isolating or working from home for a while the temptation to stay in your pjs all day is strong.
However, wearing clothes that you don’t usually work in, will not boost your productivity. Dress with intention, to achieve the work you want to.
Your clothes often represent your mindset, so dress to work. If you wouldn’t show up to the office in your bunny slippers and fuzzy PJ top – don’t show up to your home office like that.
You’ll likely be too relaxed, and less likely to do your best work. Help your brain get into work mode by dressing similar to how you do for work.
If that’s a button down top for you, get it ironed and fresh. You’ll feel better and ready to start the day if you’re dressed. Most people don’t conquer the world in yesterdays tracksuit.
2. Find a Space
Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have a home office you can shut yourself away in. If that’s the case, do it! Go get to work.
If you have a home office and it’s not a space you want to be in, try rearranging the furniture. The ‘change of scenery’ may be just what you need to freshen up your mind and boost your productivity.
I did this last week, rotating my work desk so my husband and I could both use it at the same time if needed and I’ve been amazed at how much more I want to be in the space now I’ve arranged things differently.
If you live in a smaller place with no home office, set yourself up one, even if it’s just at the dining room table. Make sure you have all the pens and chargers you might need, before you begin, to prevent unnecessary excuses to get up and do something else.
If you have to share your space with other people come up with a strategy for minimising distractions. Wear headphones, or put up a little ‘do not disturb’ sign in front of you.
Those with small children trying to work at home during this time, I salute you. You have a challenge!
3. Limit Distractions
The wormhole of social media is easy to get sucked into at the best of times, but now you may find it even harder to avoid.
When I’m writing I like to sit my phone somewhere I can’t see it. Behind my laptop works well. The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is really true for this one.
If you have pets, they can be the best cuddly co-workers but they can also be a huge distraction. It’s way easier to go ‘awww’ over your dog napping in the sun, then actually get work done.
I shut my cats out of my writing space when I’m in there, otherwise they attack my fingers as I’m typing which for obvious reasons isn’t ideal.
Limiting distractions allows you to focus on what you’re trying to achieve and ultimately, be more productive.
4. Set a Routine
This is the productivity hack I struggle with the most. I love a good sleep in, and as the weather gets colder in Australia it’s way more tempting to stay in bed than get up and face the day. Can you relate?
However, I know that I work the best in the morning, so sleeping in isn’t really helpful in the long run.
Set yourself a ‘work day‘ and stick to it. Plan in a lunch break and snacks so that you can work when you’re most productive. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the same hours as you would usually work when you go to your workplace, but that may be a good place to start.
You can also use timers to help you stick to your routine. Set the timer and work for an hour on your set task. Allow yourself a short break and get some fresh air in your backyard or balcony. Grab a drink of water. Then get back to it.
A routine is helpful for your mental health too, as in this world that is mostly out of our control, our routine is something we can control for the most part.
Knowing you have a set time can really help you to keep going, and work towards that brief break.
5. Eat Well and Eat Cleverly
Whilst you’re working at home, or social distancing you may be less active than usual. Because of this I encourage you to choose snacks that will help you feel better and stay healthy. Fruit is a great snack, especially paired with a glass of water. Eating well will benefit your overall health, as well as the quality of your work.
When I stay eat cleverly I mean, don’t choose snacks that are going to mess up your laptop or work area. Not only is it not terribly hygienic, It’s really hard to be productive on a laptop that has Dorito crumbs jamming your keyboard.
6. Take a Break
Whaat? you say, eyes wide, gleaming with the possibilities You mean I don’t have to stay at my desk all day?
That’s right! Taking a short break is one of the best productivity hacks. Stand up from your desk every now and again and stretch. Go get a glass of water or a cup of coffee. If you can, go for a walk outside, even if it’s just to your yard.
The momentary break will give your brain a breather so that when you do return to your work you’re refreshed and ready to go.
What are your best productivity hacks? Share them by commenting on this blog.
This time is a difficult one for many, so I’d like to share my best wishes for health with you all. We’re all in this together. Stay safe.
If you, or someone you know is struggling at the moment here’s a few resources you might find helpful:
Beyond Blue call 1300 22 4636 or visit their site. This site has a bunch of fantastic resources and helpline numbers.
Thank you for reading today’s post. I hope you found some useful productivity hacks to help you work from home better!
Thank you to all the amazing photographers who allowed me to use their photos. You can click on their names under the photo to view more of their work on unsplash.com
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So many helpful tips! I’m trying to keep to a similar routine at home, although I do enjoy being able to go for a mid-morning walk. It’s a great way to refresh myself after a couple of hours’ work. I’m set up for work in our spare room so it really feels like I’m going to work as I wouldn’t otherwise be in there! You’re so right about the distraction of pets, too; in the mornings, my cats are banished but they’re allowed in during the afternoon because they mostly just nap then.
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I’m glad you found this post useful! I agree, going for a walk is a great way to refresh and reset. Wishing you all the best as you work from home in this unusual time!
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These tips are so helpful. On days when I work from home, I don’t do the first tip and the effects of that are not so good. It’s hard to convince myself to work when I am in chill clothes. Lol, I also refuse to do my morning routine. Thank you for these lovely tips. I will try them soon.
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