Very soon, the world will celebrate the first anniversary of the massive shift to remote working & video meetings. However, does this mean that this year we have really adapted to a new format of life and learned to separate work from home and personal tasks? For many people, this is still a challenge, so let's remember a few simple strategies to help you stay more productive working from home, stay connected to reality, and still make time for your personal life.
Equip an Office-Like Workplace
So, the first and simplest advice is to equip a workplace that will be as similar as possible to the one in your office. In other words, if you're still working in the kitchen or lying on the couch with your laptop, then it's time to fix that. Moreover, it is not as difficult as you think.
A small desk bought from IKEA, a simple fluorescent lamp, and a regular wooden stool will be enough to equip a work corner in your home. By the way, a stool is not only a more affordable piece of furniture compared to a leather chair but also a more practical thing that will constantly force you to keep your back straight.
Therefore, choose a well-lit and uncluttered place in your home and create a minimalist workspace. This is not only a budget option but also the best way to keep your desk clean and free of distractions.
Set a Schedule and Follow It
Creating a schedule is only half the battle. The other half is to actually follow it. The following tricks will help you here:
Use the alarm clock to wake up at the same time every day. Don't allow yourself to rearrange the alarm five minutes in advance five times in a row. Did you do it when you had to come to the office strictly at 10.00?
Explain to your family (as well as your dog and cat) that you will be very grateful to them if they do not distract you during work hours.
Discuss your working hours with your team and clients, and clearly mark the hours you are available.
Use the time you previously spent commuting to the office to your advantage, such as sports or education. The first will help keep fit despite the sedentary work, the second will not let you stagnate as a specialist.
Have Two Separate to-Do Lists
When you work from home, household chores will always grab your attention. In order to stay organized and have time for both work and personal tasks, create two separate lists and schedule time slots to complete tasks from each of them.
However, there is an important rule here! Do not move on to your personal list until you have completed all the tasks on the worklist, otherwise, you will simply lose concentration by constantly switching from one area to another.
Prioritize your tasks according to your work schedule. For example, you can get up a little earlier to have time to walk the dog before work begins, but postpone all other household chores until the end of the working day.
Conversely, two separate lists with precise to-dos will help you plan your days wisely, assess your abilities sensibly, and find a convenient time frame for each task.
Leave Your Home at Days-off
Working from home has many benefits. At the very least, this is a reduction in transportation costs (and therefore emissions), as well as the cost of office outfits, meals in an office cafe, and so on.
However, even the most rigid introverts, who preferred to work from home long before the pandemic, say that a change of scenery is necessary. The pandemic has certainly deprived us of many entertainment and travel opportunities, but this does not mean that you should be stuck at home on weekdays and weekends.
Thus, in order to stay productive on workdays and balance between work and personal life, use the weekend to change the environment. Spend the day by the lake, in the forest, biking, or find any other healthy outdoor activity.
Make it a habit, and then getting back home and getting started with your work will be even more enjoyable.
Conclusion - Give Yourself Time to Get Used to the Work From Home Mode
For almost a year now, working from home is more a necessity than a desire for many people. If you're also having a hard time balancing work-life, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
Give yourself a little more time and be loyal to yourself. Either way, the pandemic will not last forever, but the world will definitely draw valuable lessons from this situation. Perceive current reality as an opportunity to become more flexible, learn to be productive regardless of external circumstances, listen to your inner voice, and allow yourself a break when you really need it.