The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in ways we would never have thought were possible. Perhaps the biggest change we have witnessed is the way we work and balance our private lives. Betweeniving time to your family and pets, trying your best to overcome technical issues while attending a work meeting from home, and getting the food ready, you may have struggled with keeping your productivity levels up during these tough times.
Working from home is never easy, especially if you are easily distracted by the hullabaloo all around you. However, there are always ways to maximize your concentration and productivity even in the most challenging of work environments.
1. Take the Time to Get Ready for Work
Having a proper routine is extremely important to increasing your work productivity but more importantly, it is vital for your mental health.
Think how you would go about your day when there was no pandemic. If you would wake early to dress up and look presentable for work earlier then do the same things now too.
Of course, our favorite outfit to work in when staying home is our pajamas, but that is not work attire. When you are in your work clothes, you are in a productive zone. It compels you to be back in that same mental state necessary to boost work productivity. After all, when you look professional, you feel professional.
You do not have to dress the same as you would when working from the office, but the act of changing and overcoming the temptation to keep your nightwear on can signal your body that it is time to wake up.
2. Pick The Best Spot In The House
This may be hard to do especially if you have a big family and children waiting in line to attend their online Zoom classes, but it is not impossible to achieve. If you do not have a separate study at home already, then picking the most comfortable spot that also makes you feel alert and wide awake is a good way to boost productivity.
Working on your bed while you are nestled between your comfy pillows and cushions, wrapped in a warm duvet will not ignite any feelings of productivity and passion for work.
Avoid sitting next to the fire as it may make you drowsy. Similarly, working in front of the television will undoubtedly cause distractions and you will find it doubly hard to switch back to work mode. Never work while lounging in bed as it may also incite drowsiness and laziness.
Having a particular spot to yourself where distractions are minimum, there is enough room for your work materials, and where you are surrounded by items that give you work vibes is effective in boosting productivity. Choose a corner that gives good natural lighting and set up a comfortable chair where you can work for 8-9 hours a day.
It is also best to work on a desk so you can arrange your computer or notes on top of it instead of scattering them on the bed or floor. Make this the dedicated workspace that gives you a feeling of being in an office again and keeps your focus on work.
3. Invest in Good Quality Technology and a Fast Internet
If you are attending an important meeting on Zoom or FaceTime and your internet breaks down in the middle of the conversation or if there are severe lags and noise in the connection, you may find it very hard to get anything done at all. You may even misunderstand the contents of the meeting, leading to more work and delays.
To avoid this, invest in a strong internet connection and do your research on the plans and packages provided by internet providers in your area. Assess the users and workload in your home and purchase a plan that accommodates everyone.
At the same time, you should also get a proper work laptop or desktop if your company does not provide you with one to work from home with. Keep your personal and work systems separate. Do that with your smartphones too if possible. Always ensure that the necessary software needed to get your tasks done are available on your systems to avoid delays.
4. Maintain a Good Eating and Drinking Schedule
When you are working from home, you can always make a detour to the kitchen and even munch on snacks during work without the need to follow any rules or regulations like you would at your office.
While this may seem exciting and fun, it is not doing your productivity levels any favors. In fact, it serves as a constant distraction from your daily work routine.
The best way to go about your day is to eat energizing meals for breakfast such as oats or boiled eggs, leafy greens for lunch, and lean proteins like fish, meat, etc., for dinner. Add complex carbohydrates like legumes and whole grains to your diet as well. These are the types of foods that do not stuff you or make you feel sleepy throughout the day, unlike pasta or rice.
You can also include fruits, nuts, and juices in your diet to keep you energized and alert for longer. Remember to stay hydrated and always keep a water bottle with you.