With the COVID situation looking to not subside anytime soon, many companies have asked their employees to work from home. (They’re proposing the same in the Philippines, finally.) I think that’s great! As a remote worker for seven years now, I can say that there are truly lots of benefits to working without leaving your house. But, of course, it’s not without challenges; the first and most important being how to stay productive. Yes, your bed is a trap. Yes, your house clothes will make you feel a bit too comfortable. How can you possibly get anything done with all these distractions? Well, here are easy ways that have helped me stay productive while working from home.
Follow a schedule
Uh, boring. I know! But it’s really the first thing you need to work on. I work from 9-6, so I know when I should start and stop grinding. With this in mind, I have the motivation to finish all that I can during this period. It’s like working in an office, but you don’t have to see your colleagues (or bosses). Same, same.
Make a to-do list
It can be tempting to take on everything just because you’ve removed travel time to an office from the equation. You’d feel like you have all the time in the world (you don’t and you should always set boundaries). Having a list of things you need to fulfill each day is a good way to stay on track and keep being productive when you work from home. I list down mine based on the level of priority. But if that proves to be difficult to follow, I do tasks that can easily be finished first.
Assign a work station
We have a home office, though to be honest, we don’t really use it that much. But we still get work done simply by not being in our bedroom. Whether it’s your dining table or your sofa, the key is to find a place that’s conducive enough for work but not too comfortable that you won’t get anything done.
Putting Netflix on while drafting something just for some background noise? Not a good idea if you’re easily distracted. Avoid any and all distractions so you can focus on the task at hand.
Take breaks — lots of them
One thing that I found confusing at first when I started working from home was when to take breaks. The secret lies in having a schedule. Allot times for lunch and snack breaks or even walk breaks, if you feel like it. The good thing about working from home is you can do things that help your productivity without a boss or HR telling you it’s wrong or bad (like going on quick walks to clear your mind, taking a quick shower to restart, eating while working, and more).
We’re hoping the COVID situation starts getting better soon, but until then, if you’re asked to work from home and find it hard to be productive, heed these tips.