COVID-19 pushed us all into a crisis work from home scenario, and while this was an action taken due to necessity, many of us adapted to this situation well.
It has now been around a year that we are in our homes, and many of us are restless to go back to our jobs, which we sadly still can’t. This restlessness has inevitably affected our performance and productivity levels while working from home.
In this blog, we will look at ten practical steps that you can take to get your productivity back to the peak.
Actively Track Your Progress
People often don’t achieve their goals not because they aren’t capable enough, but because they feel like they have reached a stalemate and don’t really realize how much they’ve actually achieved.
Using Asana or Trello or one of the hundreds of productivity tools available can help you break down big tasks into small, manageable pieces and efficiently stay on the right track.
Using such productivity platforms helps you feel like you are working towards something relevant and meaningful and keeps you motivated to get things done.
Identify Your Peak Moments
Do you get more work done if you put in four solid hours of work every morning than if you spread it over 12 hours throughout the day? Then you know what your most productive part of the day is.
And while many preach about how productive working early in the morning is, not everyone is at their peak at the same time.
Analyze what part of the day you feel the most excited and alert. You can schedule to work on the most complex and critical tasks that require your utmost concentration during this time.
You can schedule your less-complex tasks to be completed when you are not as focused.
Change Your Surroundings
This is one of the simplest and the most effective ways to improve your performance and boost your creativity.
If you’ve been sitting on the same desk every single day, just change things up a bit; go out to work in the living room or your garden.
Revamp your work environment by moving things around. It’s not necessarily as much about the physical environment as it is about the atmosphere you’re working in.
Declutter your workspace. Maybe get a plant or just add a photo frame of your family to your desk.
Identify your distractions
Do you check your email every half hour? Or maybe you navigate to YouTube thinking you’ll just watch a single video, but then you get lost in the labyrinth that is this platform?
Identify what your distractions are and strive to eliminate them. If social media is your poison, then use software platforms like Freedom to block these websites.
You may not be able to switch your phone off, but you can turn off the irrelevant notifications and check-up at scheduled time intervals.
Talk to your colleagues!
Work From Home does not mean you don’t catch up with your office mates.
Please don’t include those daily zoom meeting when you see each other; I mean actual social get-togethers.
Studies have proven that team bonding activities can improve your team’s productivity and strengthen relationships.
At Jambar Virtual, we have tackled the social distancing issues by offering virtual team bonding sessions filled with fun activities. Organize team bonding sessions every Friday or during the weekends to help your team seamlessly collaborate even when you can’t meet face-to-face.
Set Goals and Track Them
Checklists are an excellent way to get started with goal setting and work toward accomplishing them.
I’ve found that it is incredibly satisfying to manually strike something off your checklist; you should definitely try it out before you reject it!
Click-up and Toggle are some of my favorite software platforms to set goals and manage your progress in real-time.
Work even when you don’t feel like it
Staying motivated, especially when it’s an afternoon and you feel extremely lazy to get work done, is probably the world’s most formidable task.
That wave of brain fog is challenging to push past; however, I have a process you can follow to gain at least some of the motivation back to get through your to-do list.
a) Get something to eat or drink.
b) Take a break from your desk. Go for a walk outside or do something fun for mental rejuvenation.
c) Refocus. Get back to work and start with the most exciting task to get yourself back on track.
Schedule time for breaks
Even machines can’t be 100% productive all the time; they need breaks to function efficiently and not breakdown.
Working non-stop for hours on end doesn’t mean you’re productive.
In fact, you may finish that 5-hour job within two and a half hours had you taken short breaks to boost your productivity.
However, it is vital to understand the difference between productivity breaks and procrastination.
So, how many breaks should you take while working from home and how long should they be? Well, that’s a tricky question.
The Muse says that the ideal schedule is to work for 57 minutes and take a break for 17 minutes.
While this isn’t written in stone, you can try this out and come up with a schedule that suits you, which brings us to our next point, that is…
Make your own work schedule
With all the tips and tricks you’ve learned until now, come up with something that works for you.
I wouldn’t rely heavily on the hacks mentioned in this blog; however, I would suggest you tweak them by experimenting with everything and analyzing the best ones you would like to keep up with.
Be prepared for the unexpected time blocks
Even after you have your perfect schedule filled with productivity boosters, you need to be flexible enough to accommodate any unforeseen changes/events.
Not everything will go according to your plan; understand what you can and can’t control, and accept what you can’t control.
It’s all about finding the right balance between everything.
Remember, remote work is here to stay. Therefore, it is crucial for you to understand your own self and improve your productivity and performance to get the most out of your remote work hours.
So, what are you waiting for? Go be productive!