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Make Work from Home an Incredibly Productive One

Apr 20 2020 - Blog

As enviable as working from home may sound, it’s not all comfy-clothes-wearing, coffee-in-bed-sipping, shutting-down-work-early for Netflix. In fact, studies show that remote workers often log longer hours and report higher levels of stress.

Sure, you may have a deadline to meet at work, but look at all that laundry that needs to be folded… and what about that stack of dishes?

It’s a common myth that working from home allows you to be laidback and carefree — it can in fact be difficult, especially if you’re the type of person who gets distracted very easily.

Let us share these awesome tips we are using now to optimise your work hours and stay productive. Make working from home a really fulfilling one and you can be incredibly productive if you follow these simple yet effective methods:

1. Create a Good Morning Routine

Approach each new day as if you were heading back to office. Get up early, eat a healthy breakfast, get showered and get dressed! Say no to all-day lounging in pyjamas. Even if you won’t be seen by anyone, it’s a head-clearing ritual that prepares you for the day, creating necessary mental distance between home time and work time (the role your morning commute used to play).

Working from home saves you one or two hours of commuting to work. Utilise this time to go for a morning exercise at the park (keeping social distancing in mind) or a 30-minute home workout.

Successful people have good morning routines. Perhaps after adopting these work-from-home good habits, we’ll all become highly effective people? 

2. Put First Things First

Do you put your first things first? This means doing the most important things in life. It means being clear about your priorities and acting on them. Set priorities and develop self-discipline. When it comes to organisation skills, there’s no universal solution, so you’ll need to find out what works for you. To-do lists can be helpful. Whatever you decide, stay in touch with your teammates (and supervisor), then structure your day around your objectives.

3. Create a Workspace

Not everyone has a spare room they can flip into a kitted-out home office, but you need a specific space that signals to your brain that you’re on the clock. It can be a desk in a guest bedroom, a certain chair or even your bedroom with the door closed.

While the laptop life is appealing, it’s actually not ergonomically friendly. Sitting on the couch is not the best way to treat your body and can wreak havoc on your upper limbs and back, especially when done on a daily basis. Having a home office may not be possible for you due to space issues but designating a corner in your room also puts your brain into work mode and is so much more friendly on your posture.

And since you have already set your working hours, you’ll be able to easily step away and turn off the “work button”. Having a designated space also allows you to compartmentalize things physically and mentally. We don’t want to think about work constantly, right? Ever heard the saying, “Don’t take your work home with you”? This is the work-from-home version. Give yourself some breathing space!

4. Take Intermittent Breaks

Being grateful that you can work from home and honouring the control it gives you will allow you to have a healthy, positive perspective. Take advantage of the beautiful freedom you have and create a fulfilling life that you love and deserve. Take a 10-minute break to freshen up and to encourage the flow of new ideas.

5. Keep up with Social Interactions

Social connection is good for psychological health and task completion habits. Do what you can to bring your colleagues into your circle. Communication builds trust and staying social can help bridge the gap. Plan a virtual team lunch, a Skype coffee break, or a digital happy hour to nurture the feeling of togetherness. By continuing to foster positive relationships between team members, we can address some of the challenges of working from home.

If a colleague is feeling down and you’re giddy and goofy, that’s not helpful. Empathy matters. It builds trust and keeps the relationship going, even though the emotional cues are harder to pick up online. The shared experience — the synchronization — is what matters. So, use face-based interaction (video conferencing) when you can. Show support and you’ll get support.

By supporting each other, remaining available and keeping communication lines open, we can dismantle the barriers of remote work and ease the mental strain of social distancing. Staying connected is a reminder that we’re all in this together.

6. Adopt Kaizen (改善 / かいぜん) as a Mindset

Adopt this philosophy observed by many Japanese: kaizen. This approach to good living is based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap major improvements. Read more here.

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