Now more than ever many of us are choosing, (forced) to work from home. This may seem great, however there are many traps and distractions that can lull us into a procrastinated mess and effect our productivity . Yes, the lure of a quick look on Facebook or a little nap on the couch can start with thinking it will be for 10-15min. However, 45min later you come to asking yourself “where has all that time gone, and what the hell was I doing”?
In the current situation throw in the mix of children at home and sharing the role with your partner whom is also trying to “work from home”. It can be a recipe for disaster. So how can we get around all these distractions and maintain a productive day of work.
Here are some tips and strategies that can assist us to make the most of our “work at home” time.
1. Set regular hours, formulate a schedule and stick to it. If that means getting up at 7:30am, do it. Divide the day up into slots with allocated tasks. This may also mean sharing the child schooling / supervising responsibilities. Take it from me, this one is important.
2. Maintain current schedule. If you would normally have done some exercise, had breakfast and a coffee before work, working from home should not stop this routine.
3. Get changed into day time clothes. Don’t stay in your PJ’s. If you need a shave or to wash your hair, do so. If you were going to do it to go to the office, do it while the office is home. No, don’t stress about putting your suit on if that’s what you normally wear, just make sure you are dressed and ready to go.
4. Define your office space. It’s important to make sure you have a place that is work. Not family play or TV room. You need to be able to shut out other aspects of being at home as to concentrate on your work activities. This Is easier said then done if you don’t have a specific room you can turn into your office.
5. Keep your office space tidy. I need to learn this one. ☹ Whether working from home or not, studies show that a tidy work space is a productive and efficient work space.
6. Make sure you program breaks and stick to them. Step away from your work-space, go outside, walk up and down the street. Etc.
7. Sharing family duties. If sharing work at home with child rearing duties, make sure to have a plan where both of you are getting ample time for work and sharing the family responsibility role. Treat this time as precious. When else will you get to see your family so much.
8. Set up work hours, and stick to them. Try, where possible, to not get sucked back to work when your designated work time has ended. CLOCK OFF!
These are just a few ideas, there are many more strategies that can be employed to assist in making sure our working at home is productive and our work life balance and is maintained.