Thursday, November 19, 2020

Lifestyle: 5 Ways to Be More Productive While Working From Home

In 2020 one of the realities many of us face (if we are lucky) is working from home.

While it sounds so fun and easy - there are many challenges you can face when your office is only a few feet away from your bed! 

Not to mention the constant distractions and other jobs that pull us from our actual work!

For example - there's always dishes to wash and laundry to do (and toys to put away). Add to that a quick bathroom break that reminds you you're running low on toilet paper (there's no office manager tracking those things), which leads you to start making a grocery list and then think about what you're making for get my point. 

It's easy to get distracted when there's so much to be done and it's right in front of you!

After eight months of pandemic life there are a few things Kunal and I have found that work for us as we navigate the wfh life. I thought I'd share some tips and tricks that help us stay on task, increase our motivation and get more accomplished as we both work from our home.
1) Have a separate work station

Setting up a separate work station in your space (preferably away from where you rest/relax) is a great way to stay productive and mark the start and end of your work time. 

Set yourself up for success by preparing your environment - do you need pens, highlighters, post-its regularly? Keep them nearby to prevent yourself from having to run from room to room looking for what you need. 

2) Time Block

Take 5 minutes and think about your biggest goals for the day and write them down. Now think about your biggest distractions- for me it's meal prep, laundry, my other jobs like running my Instagram etc. If you wear many hats, it's helpful to block your time out. 

As a freelancer, I have quite a few things I need to get done on any given day. I find it helpful to make a list of tasks and then block my time in hour-long chunks (sometimes 30 minute periods works too). 

The key is to dedicate your work period to only ONE task. You lose steam switching gears, so focus on one thing for a given time, and you will get more done. 

3) Allow yourself to take a break

Surprisingly, many people report they take less breaks when they work from home. Make a schedule for yourself that is similar to when you worked in an office setting. Perhaps breaks at 10:30 am, 3:00 pm and lunch at 12:00pm works for you? 

Set those hard stops and actually use them to decompress - get some fresh air, get a snack and allow yourself a tech break so that you can be more productive when you get back to work.

4) Write it down

When you are working close to your kitchen, it's hard not to get distracted by the mountain of dishes on your coffee break.

 My tip? Write it down.

I keep a post-it or notepad near my work space and write down any tasks that come to mind while I'm working. That way, I know I won't forget and I can continue to focus on my work instead of having to take care of it right away. At the end of my work period or work day, I have a list of those pressing personal to dos and I can tackle them all at once.

5) Focus Mode 

This is by far the most life-changing of all my tips. I often work from my phone as well as my computer. If you're in the same position, there are even more things vying for your attention while you work. Learn to use your phone's "Focus Mode" and thank me later.

This week, my hubby introduced me to this feature on my Google Pixel and it's amazing! I can select the apps that I find to be most distracting and they are silenced whenever I turn on this mode. On some phones it is also called "Zen Mode" and on Apple Phones it's called "Screen Time".

When I am about to start a work period, I select "Focus Mode" and I can use my phone for my work without any distractions. It's increased my productivity and I feel much more accomplished at the end of each session. It's a great feeling and I enjoy my breaks even more, knowing I've earned them!

Working from home sounds relaxing but it comes with its own set of challenges. I hope these tips help you stay focused on your tasks while you navigate the wfh life too. If you have tips to share, I'd love to hear them! Find me on Instagram @angeliesood and let's chat!


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