Steps to include as part of your work-from-home routine to help you maximise productivity and stay positive during the lockdown.
Remote working can seem like a bizarre concept to many especially if they’ve grown comfortable to the idea of a daily commute rush or spending the most part of their days in the office. And while “taking care of business” within the confines of home can be a welcome change for some, it can be dreadful for others, especially those who have to juggle between work and home responsibilities. This can severely impact the mental health of certain individuals, more so if they don’t have the ability to manage their stress the good ol’ way during the lockdown. For that reason, here are some tips you can adopt as part of your work-from-home routine to increase productivity and maintain a positive state of mental health. Let’s go!
Designate Your Own ‘Do Not Disturb’ Space
The main reason for mapping out your private workspace at home is one that isn’t usually thought of – zero disturbances. In addition, the idea of confining your workspace to a designated area of your home is to avoid mixing your work responsibilities with the activities of other members of your household. However, this largely depends on the amount or type of space that you must work with in the first place. A space that is both zen and thoughtful? We like!
Be sure to also consider the various disruptions that may be part of your environment as you work from home. And if you thought that the TV or game console at an arm’s length were the only distractions present at home, think again! In fact, finishing your work tasks in a space that reminds you of the home responsibilities that you have yet to complete, such as doing the laundry or washing the dishes can also indirectly be a source of disruption as well. It could throw your work productivity into major disarray. Trust us when we say that you should do away with the visual interruption triggers, stat.
Dress Up for Your Show Up
First impressions are a big part of important events such as a key pitch to a client or a sales meeting with your immediate superior. We’re talking about self-confidence which not only involves how you walk and talk but how well you dress as well, a key aspect of winning half the psychological “battle”. In fact, presenting yourself as a well-dressed individual will not only convey a show of respect towards your client or manager but also indicates a show of respect towards the information you’re trying to present to these individuals.
Under similar circumstances, “suiting up” in active wear daily can actually increase your determination to workout instead of letting your body be idle. This notion is further enhanced by a 2012 study from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology which concluded that choosing to wear your workout attire throughout your day can convince your brain that regular exercise is good for you. Get comfortable with wearing your active wear all day, errday, cuz’ it’s going to motivate you to stay focused towards achieving your individual fitness goals.
Schedule Your Day According to Your Usual 9-to-6
Your work habitat may have experienced a drastic makeover in appearance overnight but the work responsibilities still remain unchanged. And although working from home during the lockdown can also present you with the opportunity to find different methods of rejuvenating your mind and body, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should discard today’s work to be completed tomorrow. In other words, stay in control over your workload before your workload puts you at risk of mental health disorders.
One of the most effective ways to take control of your work responsibilities and attain work-life balance would be to stick to this important rule – schedule, schedule, schedule! Don’t forget to also set aside time that you intend to spend on non-work-related activities, as long as they don’t prise your attention away from your current work responsibilities. For instance, spending time with family members of the same household, working out, organising or being part of a charity drive, or even getting started on a passion project that has been in the pipeline for ages. Of course, there may be unforeseen circumstances which could also disrupt your schedule but the most important thing is to stay disciplined and make full use of the time you have in hand during the lockdown. As Geoffrey Chaucer once said, “time and tide wait for no man”.
The Show (Meeting) Must Go On!
Not being able to have regular physical interactions with your fellow colleagues or team members during the lockdown can, at times, cause a sense of loneliness when working remotely from home. Luckily, there are a variety of video conferencing platforms available online, all of which can help you to stay in touch with your peers regularly while you wait for the lockdown ruling to be lifted.
These platforms can also be used to stay updated on the latest company happenings, especially updates which do not necessarily need to be communicated via email. Video conferencing platforms can also be used to organise brainstorming sessions for coming up with new ideas and methods to generate income. Besides that, they can also be used as a platform for presenting a specific idea or proposal to a client without having to be physically present in the same room. TBH, that’s not too bad a deal at all.
Productivity is, and Always Will Be, a Priority
Working in isolation at home brings about its own set of distinguished benefits, especially when it comes to comfortability and flexibility. However, it is vastly different from working in an actual office, which can promote greater productivity, even if it involves you having to wake up at the crack of dawn, get dressed, and braving rush hour traffic just to get to the office on time. And if your office doors are still closed as a result of the lockdown, you can maintain optimal levels of work productivity by going about your daily work routine in the same way as you would on a normal work day at the office. For example, by “suiting up” in the same way that you would for work or setting up your workstation at home in the exact arrangement that you have at your office.
Alternatively, you can choose to incorporate your own office practices to help you get comfortable with your new work-from-home routine. For example, by starting your day with a strong cup of joe or penning down your day’s tasks in a to-do list. What seems peculiar today may turn into a routine tomorrow.
In truth, “home court” advantage was always on your side (quite literally) and it’s totally up to you as to how you intend to take advantage of the time given to you to complete your work tasks. Also, being grateful for the “little things” such as not having to go through rush-hour traffic can, in the long run, help you stay sane during the lockdown. Stay positive, and stay safe, everybody! We’re all in this together!