Coronavirus has brought dramatic change and uncertainty to all of our lives. Schools, shops, cafes, restaurants, and gyms have all closed for the foreseeable future. Life as we know it has been put on hold. And for good reason. The latest figures suggest there could be 240,000 US deaths by the time it’s all over. Only the stringent protective measures in place will stop the death toll rising even higher. For now, we’re stuck at home, let's try to make the best of it. But it isn’t easy—especially when there’s work to do. Knowing how to be productive at home can be a particular challenge.
After all, there’s less structure, endless distractions, and easy access to a million things you might rather be doing.
Want some tips on how to be productive at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Then keep reading.
1. Create a Designated Work Space
Your usual work environment is set up for one thing—to help you work.
Everything from the layout of the office to the equipment at your disposal lends itself to productivity. You’ve got everything you need to crack on with work. Moreover, there are minimal distractions to draw your attention away from it.
Think about setting yourself up a similar space at home to cultivate a designated work station.
Having a makeshift office will help you treat it accordingly. You’ll be able to compartmentalize better too—this is where you work, everywhere else is where you play. Productivity levels should get a boost in the process.
2. Start a Routine
Routines are fundamental to getting things done.
You know what you’re doing and where to be at any given time. You have a structure to your day, set timeframes in which to operate, and agreed-upon tasks to achieve.
This routine will have become well-established in your typical work life. You’ll have a set time to start the day, the same commute to get you there, a lunch break at a given hour, and so on.
Try to build a similar structure in your life while working from home.
Set yourself a schedule and commit to it each day. You’ll find it 10x easier to stay productive as you get into a pattern.
3. Pretend It’s a Typical Day
What does a normal workday look like for you?
What time do you wake up? What do you wear? What breakfast do you have? What do you listen to on the radio?
Answering these questions and doing the same things at home will maximize productivity. Your brain associates each step with the very process of going to work.
Now, you might feel silly wearing your usual work clothes in your living room. But carrying on as normal (just in a different working environment) will help you step into the same mental space that’s conducive to productivity.
4. Put Systems in Place
We can all be our own worst enemy sometimes.
You should be answering emails and doing admin. Instead, you spend an hour scrolling through social media and watching cat videos.
The same thing happens whether you’re at work or working from home.
At home, though, you’re in total control, which is bad news when you’ve got endless distractions and temptations around.
Use systems to protect yourself from yourself. For instance, you could sign out of all social platforms on your browser. The one extra step (logging in) required to check your feed could be enough to turn your attention back to work.
Need something more persuasive? Use Safesearch on Google, or something similar, to lock yourself out of certain sites.
5. Get Some Fresh Air
We’d normally suggest that you get outside for some fresh air every so often.
Alas, the social distancing measures in place for COVID-19 make that impossible.
Open up your windows to get some air in though. The house can get stuffy and stifling when you’re working from home all day. Feeling the sun on your skin and the air on your face can make a big difference.
Always follow the latest guidelines and regulations. However, if you’re in an unpopulated area, then a short break to get some exercise outside each day can work wonders for productivity too.
Just be sure to limit your exposure to other people and wash your hands when you get home.
6. Link up Virtually With Colleagues
Most of us aren’t used to working alone and from home.
We’d normally be surrounded by colleagues, with the buzz and hustle of the workplace around us. Transitioning to lone and remote working can be a challenge.
When the novelty wears off it can soon get lonely, which can impact your levels of motivation. Likewise, it’s harder to seek support with any problems that arise throughout the day.
Combat both problems by remaining in steady virtual contact with your colleagues. Arrange a regular check-in and daily conference calls. This will help maintain a semblance of normality and ensure you’re all on track.
Schedule a daily huddle with your team(s). Use collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams to facilitate chat, video conferencing and online meetings. As an IT service provider, we can help you migrate to Office 365 to take advantage of the entire suite and the power of the Internet for collaboration.
Click here to get free on-demand training for MS-Teams and the ability to use Microsoft Teams for 6 months free.
From now until May 31, 2020, we are offering half-price conversions to Office 365. If you are interested, please download our Ultimate Guide to Migrating to Office 365.
7. Keep Work and Home Tasks Separate
You might have a long list of jobs to do around the house.
There’s the washing to do, the trash to take out, the food shopping to get done, and so on. Normally, you’d be forced to do these things when you get home from work.
But now that you’re at home, it can be tempting to do them during the day instead.
Avoid the temptation! If you couldn’t/wouldn’t be doing something during a typical workday, then it’s probably best to wait until later. You’ll only distract yourself, disrupt your day, and find it harder to be productive.
How to Be Productive at Home During COVID-19
Knowing how to be productive at home isn’t easy when you aren’t used to it.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all of us to learn. With people's lives on the line, it’s a small and necessary sacrifice to make.
Hopefully, this post will help you remain productive and make the best of a challenging time.
Looking for support with your IT systems as you transition to working from home? Contact us today and we’ll gladly try to help.