Since the big job loss spike that hit the US after the onset of COVID-19, many Americans have had to get used to working from home.
This means sitting back in your favorite chair and getting to work. If only it were that simple, right?
Staying at home and staring at a screen all day is surprisingly draining, but there are some things you can do to reverse the effects and stay productive during the pandemic.
These 10 tips will have you feeling energized, motivated and ready to tackle your busiest work days from the comfort of your home office.
10 Tips for Work-From-Home Productivity
Early To Bed Early To Rise
If you want to have a productive day, going to bed at 2:00 A.M. and waking up after lunch isn’t going to cut it.
It’s important to have a sleep schedule that gets you a full night of sleep so you can wake up refreshed and recharged. There is no real right or wrong answer when it comes to your bedtime. Experiment to see what time works best for you and gives you the most productive work time.
Burnout is real. When you know you need to be working, but can’t get your brain to do the simplest task, it’s a sign that you need a break.
Think of it like dehydration. You know you’re dehydrated when you start to feel thirsty, so you drink water to quench the thirst. Take note of what happens physically when are beginning to experience burnout. When you start to feel that familiar pang, stop what you’re doing and practice self-care.
It’s a good idea to take a 15-minute break for every hour of work you do. To give your mind a chance to reset, do something relaxing or completely unrelated to your work. When you come back, your brain will thank you.
Work In Chunks
Separate your work into different categories and tackle them one at a time. By conquering your workload in this way, you will get a boost of motivation from accomplishing the little tasks first, gaining the momentum you need for the bigger tasks ahead.
Trying to do multiple things at once severely hurts your efficiency and increases the likelihood of burnout. Targeted focus allows your brain to use energy efficiently and allows you to get tasks done faster and better.
Mix It Up
The same old thing every day gets boring and boredom is a recipe for burnout. Add some excitement to your work at home life by changing the scenery.
Maybe take some of your work outside in the sun or go to the beach and work while you listen to the waves crashing. A change of pace gives you a rush of excitement and makes work feel like an adventure.
Put Your Phone On Airplane Mode
Distractions and focus do not mix, and never will. One notification bell from your phone can turn a state of flow off faster than you can unlock your phone to see what it was.
Whatever is happening on your phone can wait. When you are working for someone else or working on your business, nothing is more important at that moment.
Have A Good Attitude
Manifestation is real. If you think negatively about your situation, you will feel negative about your situation. If you feel negative, you will react negatively and therefore create negativity.
It’s a simple cycle that we never really pay attention to. If you change the thought process into a positive one, see what happens. This is a much better way to work and live in general.
Do Something Fun
If all you ever do is work, work, work, and never have any fun, you’re destined to hate it.
Take a mini-vacation, go for a walk or pick up a talent or hobby. Use your time off in a way to reward yourself for your effort, and you’ll be rested and ready to get back to work in no time.
Take A Power Nap
Surprisingly, this is a very easy one to get wrong. Too short of a nap, and you won’t feel the benefits. Too long and you might not wake up before that deadline hits.
Studies suggest that the ideal length of a nap be between 15 and 20 minutes. To get the most out of your nap, invest in a neck pillow, weighted blanket and sound machine so you can fall asleep quickly and deeply.
Stay Away From Junk Food
Sugar will not help you stay focused. Not only is your brain not getting the nutrients it needs, but sugar-highs are very short and are often followed by an extreme crash.
Cookies, cake, chips, crackers and other unhealthy snacks will put you at a significant disadvantage in the productive phase of your day.
Call a Loved One
Have you ever noticed how good you feel after laughing with a good friend or a positive conversation with a stranger?
Socializing boosts your mood and gives you a pick-me-up, especially if you are bantering with somebody you care about.
When you are on your 15-minute break or before you start your work for the day, give somebody a brief call just to check-in or say hello. This is a win-win for everybody involved and it only takes a couple of minutes.
Nobody knows how much longer we will be working from our home offices, but it doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon. In the meantime, the best thing we can do is adapt to the changes and prepare ourselves for the future.