6 Life Hacks To Maximize Work-From-Home Productivity
With working from home comes a good set of hindrances, though productivity steals the show
Working from home is the new normal, but it is not that normal as it seems. It can be challenging to adopt a new culture that has no office culture or a definite time of 9 to 5. The concept has largely been followed this year, thanks to the coronavirus, but it has its root back in the ’90s as well. AT&T is one such example. As per an article by HBR (Harvard Business Review), in September 1994, 32,000 AT&T employees stayed home to convey their work through telecommunication in search of an alternative workplace. It worked well for them, and now in 2020, it is no longer an option but a necessity.
With working from home comes a good set of hindrances, though productivity steals the show. According to my experience, the following techniques can help one stay optimally productive in a work from home set up.
Wake Up on Time and Exercise Daily
In a work from home set up, there are higher chances of a messed up morning schedule as you no longer have to catch a bus/train or spend time in traffic. The probability is high that you may wake up just before a Zoom meeting at 10 AM while your working hours start at 9 AM. Well, occasionally that works, but on a daily basis, you need to have a morning routine.
The best way to do it is to wake up early or at least at the same time around every day. Do exercise or go for a walk, and boost your day with your favourite drink. It will make you feel refreshed and energetic for the entire day.
Get Dressed Like You are at Work
This is pretty basic, but basics are always good. Take a bath, comb your hair, and wear comfortable yet presentable clothes.
Getting dressed up as you go to the office doesn’t mean you have to wear a tie or tuck your shirt in. But wear clothes that don’t make you feel mentally lazy. It is better to wear bright coloured clothes than wearing a grey T-shirt and pajama. Bright colours will keep you mentally energetic.
Follow Your Working Schedule
For increasing productivity, it is of at most importance that you make a work schedule. It can be challenging to follow a work schedule as you are no longer alone, you might have your family members or roommates to indulge you in a conversation every now and then. But stick up to your schedule and convey the same schedule to your family members or roommates. It will save you time and you would be able to deliver better performance.
Differentiate Your Work and Personal Time
Well, being productive doesn’t mean that you have to work more, but work smarter. Start your workday on time, and wind it up on time. If your office hours are 10 AM to 7 PM, stick to it.
As much as it is important to complete your tasks, it is important to have some personal time. If you will overwork, considering that it is work from home, or if you will entertain after working hours tasks on a regular basis, it will frustrate you in the long run. So, learn to say ‘No’ when needed and have a healthy balance between your work and personal life.
Have a Separate Office Space
To have the feel of working in an office, and avoid distractions, it is important to have a separate working space. Just have one of the peaceful corners of your home dedicated to your work, and you are done. This will also help you mentally as your mind would automatically shift to work mode if you work from a particular place rather than wandering in every room or working while lying on a sofa or a bed.
Have a Refreshing Break for 5 Minutes Every Hour
Taking small breaks every hour is essential. It can be eye-straining to look at the screen for a long time. Also, taking a five-minute break every hour will keep you away from taking irregular long breaks and losing interest in your work because you started binging your favourite show to “get refreshed”. It will keep you relaxed and concentrated. You can have a small walk, have chai/coffee, or talk to your family members to feel refreshed in your break. Doing eye exercises will also make you feel better.
These simple tricks won’t ask much time or effort from you. They are simple lifestyle changes as in the end, being productive comes with changing the way you act every day. Following these simple techniques have worked well for me and I hope you feel the same after implementing them.
Amit Kumar is a business leader who has built multiple internet consumer businesses in the last decade. He was earlier Managing Director of Kaymu (Merged with Jumia, Listed on NYSE). He likes to write about Leadership, Startups and Economics.