Working From Home Productivity
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Admit it – we all can be tempted! Who hasn’t put a load of washing on, swept the floor whilst on a phone call, stood in front of the fridge with the door open pondering what to eat next, taken the dog for a walk – three times a day? Well perhaps that is just me, but I still see that as my balance.
I am still up at 6.20am, walking the dog rain, hail or shine – it’s my commitment to her, logged on by 7.45 working away until the team huddle at 9, then it’s work, work, work. The days are long, productivity is high, output is higher, yet I am still keeping the balance.
Ensuring productivity whilst working from home is still the same as it would be it you were working from your office. It is about organisation. A to do list. A purpose list, an activity and mission statement for the day.
Without purpose - we flounder. So, what is it that we need to achieve today?
According to the Airtasker study, “telecommuters worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year than people who worked in an office.”
So are you finding it hard to stay focused or to achieve the outcomes you would normally when you are in the office environment? Here are my suggestions on how to achieve high productivity whilst working from home:
Set The Day Up
Before going to bed at night – lay out your clothes for tomorrow. Even if it is gym clothes, it keeps a positive habit going. Do a yoga class online, a walk around the block, put a load of washing on, what ever it is make a positive start to the morning.
Food is Fuel
Make sure you have your breakfast and fuel up with something that is a healthy start to your day. ensure you have a lunch break by scheduling it into your virtual diary or set an alarm for 1pm. Avoid the temptation for bad food that may make you sluggish, go for something lighter yet still fun. Comfort food is fun however too much of it is going to make the first day back in business wear a tad uncomfortable!
Start the day early
Aim to have your computer loaded by quarter to the hour just like you would arrive at the office. Aim to have one thing ticked off before the workday starts by checking your emails first. Or if you are like me, you have probably seen all the emails that are waiting for you because you check these on your phone before your feet hit the ground. Ensure you delete the unnecessary ones to take the clutter out of your day and flag the ones that need actioning that day!
Open your diary and make a list
I love lists, so nothing makes me happier than being able to highlight everything off my list at the end of the day – that to me is productivity! Write out your day in your diary or on a notepad and highlight or tick off what you have been able to achieve – it gives you a sense of achievement as the day rolls on.
Half time recoup
When your break is over ensure you have focus for the afternoon. What is going to make you feel like you have had a great day? Mark it as important and focus on it. Do not overcommit as you will feel deflated but if you can highlight more – then guess what you are an over achiever!
Tackle the task the right way
Many people find success using the Pomodoro Technique, which follows this method which I believe helps you stay focused, achieve higher outcomes and properly time manage:
- Choose a task.
- Work on it for 25 minutes.
- Put a check mark on a sheet of paper after the 25 minutes are up.
- Take a five-minute break. (This marks the completion of one "Pomodoro" sprint.)
- After every four Pomodoro sprints, take a longer break.
- Continue this throughout the day until your workday is over.
Know your limits
Most importantly, know your body and mind. If you feel flat and need to talk to someone – reach out. If you need to take a moment – walk away from your screen. We would do this in the office. It would look more like offering to make a team mate a coffee, a general chat with a colleague, a walk to the toilet down the corridor.
My last bit of advice is before finishing for the day, write a “to-do list” for tomorrow, clean your work area, and switch off! Leave work at the desk and mentally clock off. It is hard to find that switch when you are working and living in the same building (or for some the same room) therefore by mentally switching “off” work and switching “on” home life you will better balance your mental state of mind.
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