Working from home can seem like a great option until you are juggling a hundred things at the same time. The home office environment sure does distract you if you do not plan your tasks and schedule them as you would generally do in the office. So many things can divert your mind like cooking, laundry, pets, and the aloofness that comes with working alone at home.
Working from home has its own intricacies requiring you to micro-manage every single thing that you do all day. Only then can you achieve the right balance of productivity while staying focused. You can make it less stressful on yourself with some tips for working from home.
Effective tips for managing your mind and work schedule at home
1. Fix the Spot
The first thing you need to do is assign a space in your home to set up your desk and organize it with all the essential things during a workday. A designated work area will be a signal for your brain to switch into the headspace for getting your office work done.
This will help you stay focused on your tasks and let you be more productive. You don’t need to go all out of your way; just keep it simple with the setup. A clean desk with a laptop, charger, notepad, pen, and a comfortable chair will suffice for your home office. And you’re good to go get that bread.
2. Keep It Systemized
You cannot deny the importance of staying on a specific schedule even when you are working from home. It will be convenient for you to finish your tasks on time with a set routine. Also, the routine makes it easier for your brain to get into the work mode.
Make sure that you create a pattern of habits to form into a routine. Anything you do out of order might send your brain into a frenzy. That’s exactly the reason to plan beforehand. You can put your whiteboards and pinboards to use to chart your schedule in a systematic form.
3. Don’t Over Do It
Now, this is a little sensitive matter for both the employees and the employer, but it is a more efficient way to have set working hours even when you are working from home. You should roughly start working at the same time as you do when you go to the office. This way, you are not breaking the normalcy of your schedule while doing the most in your working hours.
It is a personal responsibility as well to manage yourself to finish your work at the end of the day. One productivity killer is slacking off, which should be avoided at all times. If you find yourself stalling work for no reason, you need a reality check. When following strict work timing, it will be easier for you to finish work on time without overdoing it.
4. Workout Your Stress
Sitting in one place all day can kick in lethargy and make you feel low on energy. To beat this, you can start your day with a walk or a run. You can even scoop in an easy half-hour workout session in the morning before or after you start working. These days you can work out from the comfort of your home, all you need is some virtual assistance and your body weight.
A calming meditation or sound baths can also help you relax your mind. This will refresh your mind, and your body is going to thank you for the adrenaline rush. Exercising is linked to releasing endorphins in your body to make you feel happy and stress-free all day. Won’t that be a great start to your day?
5. Keep Calm & Stay Hydrated
While being engrossed in finishing that presentation or trying to fit in more projects, you can often forget that your body needs to stay fueled throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water, chilled or room temperature, whichever one you prefer by the side of your desk. Create a habit to keep sipping water while working.
You can make flavored infused water as well with strawberries, mint, or cucumbers to stay refreshed all day. If you are so forgetful not to remember to drink water, you can set up reminders or just hang a post-it. You can also use apps like WaterMinder and Plant Nanny to remind you of staying hydrated. Staying hydrated is life changing in many ways starting with the improvement in your energy levels.
6. Steer Clear of Over Analysing
Overthinking and overanalyzing can create an extra amount of burden on your head. Soon, you will feel clouded with overwhelmed emotions if you keep thinking about not being able to get through the day or the horror of deadlines.
It’s better to put this energy into work rather than dwelling on thoughts. Staying organized and prioritizing your tasks will help you take your mind off things that don’t need your immediate attention as such.
7. To-Do or Not-To-Do
Making a list of all the tasks you are assigned to, the in-between calls and client follow-ups are going to come handy. A to-do list will ensure that you are not leaving behind something or spending too much time on one single thing. Create a list in a way to complement the things you have to do on priority.
Also, make a not-to-do list in your head to stray away from the activities that do not go along with your work. If something not work-related is distracting you from
completing a task, then just toss it in your not-to-do list.
8. Dress Up
It’s often by default, our mindset to stay as comfortable as possible in our homes while staying in nightwear all day. Not only will this make you feel sleepy, but it also will add sluggishness to your workday. Working from home does not imply you have to be a lazy slob all day.
Now, you don’t need to spend a lot of time to get ready. Just put on some nice loungewear outfit that will help your body get the signal not to feel sleepy anymore. When you dress well, you feel more put together and ready to face the day.
9. Send off Distractions
When you are working from home you have to act in disciplining yourself and act responsibly with your time. This includes not scrolling mindlessly on Instagram or sending those mid-day work shenanigans on Snapchat. It’s a lot of effort for us being millennials and phone addicts, but this is the only way to get your work done. Though ironic, take lead from some of the online apps to stop your smartphone addiction.
You can put your phone on Zen mode, work mode, or use apps like Cold Turkey and Stay Focused to keep your hands off of your phone. If you have kids and pets in the house, try to give them a designated time throughout the day to tend to them, so your work does not get affected.
10. Resource It Right
It’s a no brainer for optimum productivity, you need to figure out all the things you need at hand to have a smooth sailing workday with the least possible constraints. Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection to stay connected with your colleagues and a working computer system or laptop.
If you need any other things like a camera, cords, hard drive, just keep it all within your reach on your desk. Keep a planner with all the details of required things and a checklist to be sure that you’re not missing something. Getting up again and again to fetch things can be time-consuming. Therefore, it should be avoided.
11. Know Your Tech
Establishing an effective communication system can be a struggle for you and your colleagues when one or more than a person is working from home. Apps for remote working like Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangout allow group audio and video calling and are perfect to create that office environment around you through the screens. If you need to share a screen you can use convenient applications like Screenleap, TeamViewer, and Slack.
You can also use Surfly for Co-browsing and join.me for an on-screen whiteboard. Make sure that you have the needed malware protectants and antivirus installed on your system to keep these meetings safe from hackers and data leaks. You can research other technological tools you might need for your home office.
12. Create a balance
Balancing your office at home and your personal life is very delicate and confusing but not impossible. Setting your priorities straight will help you establish some boundaries and stay in them as much as possible. There are some things like crying kids and their tantrums that are not in your control. Your pet might feel extra snuggly seeing you at home during the day time.
You cannot blame them for taking up this space; just try to stay focused and calm while managing your work and personal duties. It’s easier said than actually doing it, but you have to be stern in telling your family members to give you space to work. Hopefully, they will be understanding and wait for the time you get off work. Well, good luck with making your kid understand this.
13. Relax and Unwind
After you are done with your work for the day, try to find an hour or two to relax your mind from the chatter of work. Grab a book and tea to take your mind away from work and leave it to the next day. You can give time to the things that you have been ignoring for a long time, like organizing your closet or kitchen.
Painting and creating something artistic can also help you unwind with a creative release. You can also find fun coloring books for adults to help you relieve all the work stress. If you intend to work from home for a long time then hobbies, both old and new, will keep your mind to stay sane. Working all day stuck in the home won’t take a toll on your mental and physical health.
14. Set Multiple Alarms
Our brain likes the comfort of patterns and time to time signals to revolve around your productivity clock. You can set multiple reminders and alarms throughout the day for the time you have specified for each project or task. This will take your productivity to a new level. Consider setting the alarm for lunch and coffee breaks as well. This will make sure that you are not planted at just one place and get regular breaks to keep your mind fresh. You will notice an improvement in your productivity with short breaks with a refreshed brain.
Pick one alarm timing for your daily submissions and reporting as well. You still are accountable for all the work that you are doing at home. These alarms will keep track of time while keeping an account of your work. Besides, it will keep a check on the laziness levels that are common when working from home.
15. Reward Your Efforts
Finally, you braved through your workday at home and met all the deadlines. This calls for a celebration or just a little reward for keeping you going the next day. It is like creating a new cognitive mechanism in your brain to appreciate it with things you like to do. You can play with your pets and kids or take them on a walk after work.
A small nap can also make you forget all the tiredness of the day. Catching up on your favorite show or cooking a delicious meal for yourself can be rewarding. In case you are feeling lazy just order in some pizza or tacos for dinner. Appreciating your own self will make you feel good for staying in discipline all day. You deserve it.
There you have all the clever tips for maintaining focus while working from home. Hopefully, you will put on your work pants and not be a spoilt spot in your own productivity. Keep these tips in your mind while planning a workday at home, and you will get your work done without cribbing too much. You will be successful in preventing any kind of burnout which is common when you start working from home.
The balance is a little tricky, but you can form ways and habits to transition even while you are managing things from home easily. Remember, it is all about the dedication in your discipline while taking care of your mind and body. Try not to create pressure around yourself no matter what reason you are working from home.
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