Staying Productive At Home

Even if you’re used to working from home you may be feeling more distracted than usual. There are probably more family members that are usually at work during the day now home or little kids in your house that have questions about homework. Whether you are working from home now or in college trying to finish assignments here are some tips to get you on the right track!

1. Get Ready

Get ready for the day even if you’re not going anywhere. For me getting out of my pjs and putting on some jeans makes me feel less lazy. Also if you get ready now later on in the day if you have Zoom, Skype, FaceTime or other video conference call you will be ready.

2. Make a schedule

If you haven’t already, make a schedule of your day. This goes even for the little kids who may be starting school online now after all the cancellations. The easiest way to make a schedule is to follow your normal schedule you would have followed if you were at work normally. The same thing can be done for little kids. Make them follow their usual schedule they would follow at school to get their homework done by subject.

3. Find a work space

Find somewhere quiet with a flat surface that you can lay out the things you need to be productive, like notebooks, planners, a laptop, or maybe a book. Usually I try to find a place with an outlet nearby to plug my laptop in when the battery starts getting low. I find myself most productive at a table. For college students sometimes working on our bed sounds like a good idea but I know over time it starts hurting your neck to bend down if you’re using a laptop on your lap. It’s better for your posture for find a chair and a table. Also you feel less lazy if you’re not super comfortable in bed.

4. Write your To-do List on paper

This might be my own preference but I know when I write down all the things I need to get done for the day, it’s more satisfying to cross it off on paper. You might get the same satisfaction making a To-do list online on a doc, whatever you use, just write down all the things you need to get done so you have goals for the day. This will help you get tasks done and make you feel motivated to keep crossing things off your list throughout the day.

5. Work without distractions for 2 hours

If you’re like me, I know my biggest distraction is usually my phone, so I turn my phone on airplane mode for two hours to not be tempted when notifications come through. This is usually when I try to get done the most time consuming task that if I drag out with breaks in between it will be a six hour job. Obviously you can prevent phone distractions but working at home you may have other distractions from family members. Make sure to announce to everyone that you will be busy for two hours before you do this to minimize the distractions even from family members. We’re all in the same boat right now and it’s likely that they also have things they need to get done for school or work so they will likely leave you alone.

6. Take Breaks

Stretch your legs, have a snack, text some friends (after you turn off airplane mode, of course) FaceTime some friends or family you haven’t seen in a while. Usually when we take breaks some of the type A people will use this as the time to get some chores done. The dishes can wait. Use this time to relax and try to keep your break under an hour and get back to work after that.

The rest of the day you can try the Pomodoro technique which is when you work on a task for 25 minutes and set a timer; when the timer goes off you take a short break of five minutes. Every four Pomodoros you should take a longer break. Here’s a free timer if you want to try this technique!

To sum it up

Working remotely isn’t easy. You need to not overwork yourself just because you’re at home. You need to unplug yourself from work and have a cut off time like you would at work. Sometimes seeing a list that isn’t completely checked off discourages you but focus on the things that did get checked off that day!

If it helps, write all the task you didn’t finish into a notepad for your day tomorrow like a “brain dump” so you know exactly what needs to get done the next day.

Things take time, so don’t fret if you don’t finish everything on your list, there’s always tomorrow!

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