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We are living in changing times, there was a time where those who stayed at home while others went to work were considered to be lazy and had no addition to the value of the society. But this is not the case any more. Remote work is becoming more and more popular. And if you’re just getting started with remote work, I’ve got some tips for working from home that will help keep your productivity levels up!
Many companies have adopted the remote style of work which involves their employee performing certain tasks from home. Some people work from home all the time, while others might have the option of working from home on certain days of the week while going into the office on other days.
At first, it can be difficult if you’re only starting to work from home. Your home is your comfort zone, not a place where you’re used to having to sit down and focus on work. But let me say that if you can master the ability to work from your comfort zone, you will advance towards the zone of growth. That is where all the fun lies.
In the words of Marcus Aurelius, “As long as it is achievable by man, I can also achieve it”. I have a strong conviction that by the end of this article, you will most certainly become your most effective self, ready and always motivated to get stuff done.
Here are some tips for working effectively from home.
1. Create a time table.
My friends, many of us are spontaneous creatures, which is absolutely amazing. Some others are regimented, in the sense that the first things they do when they wake up till they retire for the night had been planned before, which again, is absolutely good too.
A time table for the former group will seem hard, but alas, it is an effective tip for working from home. Timetables are known to be boring and all (take a moment to recover from the nightmarish remembrance of when the maths teacher decided to use more than one period for his class), but those were the days where you had little or no say at all in the creation of the timetable.
Now this timetable is your own, emphasis on YOUR OWN! Add sass to it, fill it with things that you love doing. Perhaps you are the burst type of worker, who can work for an hour and rest for three. If so, make sure that during that one hour you are dedicating everything to your work. Or maybe you are the stretch type? Working for five hours and resting for four? Awesome too, fix your timetable to suit your needs.
All in all, having a timetable and following it are two very different yet interrelated things. It is very important to follow that which you have created to improve your effectiveness which in turn will skyrocket your discipline levels.
2. Find your workspace.
There are legends of certain people who are capable of working effectively from their beds. If you are such a person, please teach us your ways (lol). But truth be told a very large number of us are not capable of working effectively that way because our brains have ascribed the bed to be a place of rest.
To that end, a tip for effectively working from home will be to create your own workspace that helps you focus. It does not need to be extravagant, it could be just the reading table where there are no distractions. As long as you work effectively, it doesn’t matter where in your home you set up your work space. Find the place where distractions are at most minimal, love it, and utilize it well.
3. To-Do Lists
How can I begin to emphasize their importance? Todo lists help us track our progress through the day, and they are really handy when it comes to motivating us. I advise that each day, before we begin tasks designated by our offices and places of work, we write a short list of things we need to do that day and make sure we carry them out.
4. Dress Well
The trick to working effectively from a home is to trick the brain into thinking “Oh wow, this is work”. And we can achieve that by repeating the same things we do in preparations for work, such as putting on some makeup and proper clothes. This creates a sense of seriousness, and our brain fires up.
So no, don’t work in your PJs. Rather show up for yourself each day the same way you would show up for work.
5. Use your favourite music
If you are a classical music type of person, or whatever genre you prefer to listen to, feel free to put it on while working if it doesn’t disrupt your concentration. Music is powerful when it comes to its application in the workplace, so putting it in the background during work is one of the tips for working from home.
If you’re someone who can’t concentrate with music in the background, you can also just listen to your favorite songs while you take a short break. It will help restore your mental energy so you can continue your day and get that work done.
6. Do little exercises before work
A little stretch, some light workouts, jumping jacks like for 20 seconds, sit-ups for 10 seconds, 10 pushups and also yoga will get your blood circulating well and will contribute greatly to improving work efficiency every day.
7. Maintain a communication line with your working partners
While working it is very important to always communicate with your office partners to inform them of the challenges and also progress you have made. It serves as a good motivator for fellow employees and also helps keep everyone up to date with projects.
8. Take breaks when necessary
It is highly imperative that we take breaks while we work to avoid overload which could end up ruining our day.
So I sincerely advise that when you run into the block where it seems your mind is distracted or can not assimilate information, that you take a quick break without feeling guilty. Grab a snack or cup of coffee and relax for a while and you will be back on track.
9. Eat healthily
While we work we burn numerous calories, as such, it is very important that we replenish our fuel stores with the right amount of food, and also the right quality of food.
We should endeavour to have a balanced diet and also drink enough water; scientists say that we should drink at least 2 litres of water daily.
10. Go outside
Every once in a while, we should take a moment to go out and let our bodies receive the rays of sunlight. It will help greatly in clearing our minds and hey, just the right amount of sun is really good for our skin.
11. Try your best to avoid distractions
It could be impossible to completely ward off distractions in the form of children or our pets, who are likely extremely happy with the idea of seeing us at home and may not understand we are working. But we can keep their interaction with us to the barest minimum during working hours. Let us also not be too harsh with the kids if they are very persistent with staying with us when we work, it is welcome and highly advisable to find a way to keep them busy when we work.
12. Find your zone
I like to describe our zone as our periods of maximum effectiveness. It ranges for many people, for some it could be during the day, for others it could be the wee hours of the morning.
Once you find your zone, you must try to do more work during that period. This will greatly increase the time range of your zone and it will help you be very effective every day.
13. Avoid social media during work hours
It could be hard to stay off our phones during work and it is very normal. One trick could be keeping your phone in a place where it will not be visible to you. Behind your computer can work, under your pillow also works very well. When it is far from sight it will be harder for your brain to think about the fact that you want to check that new update on Instagram or Facebook.
14. Set realistic weekly goals
Emphasis on realistic. Because though we can achieve anything, it makes more sense to set goals that can actually be achieved within a given time frame, rather than be left with herculean goals that will make us feel bad when we do not reach them. It is very important that we have little victories so as to improve our work morale. Every little victory counts. No matter how small, they say, progress is progress.
15. Maintain a positive outlook daily
With all the negativity flying around in the world, it is very important that we are the rainbows in the cloudy sky while still being realistic. We should try to ensure we give solutions to the problems people face daily. A listening ear might seem insignificant on the list of solutions, but it can go a very long way.
16. Do not let your work invade your personal life
Working from home brings the disadvantage where work will be the distraction itself. We must maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life and one must not encroach on the other.
This will make us mentally healthier in the long run as both parties, workforce and our beautiful families, will appreciate the quality time we give to them.
17. Use a reward system
Little victories, like I said previously, should and must be celebrated when you reach a daily milestone. Plan a reward for yourself whenever you achieve what you set out to do for the week or day. It can be something as small as your favorite treat, or working fewer hours on a Friday. Whatever it is, give yourself something that you’ll enjoy. It will wire the brain into wanting to do more to maintain the supply of rewards, and help you be more effective in the long run.
18. Set reminders
As we proceed with our day’s tasks it is possible we become so swamped with tasks that we might forget one errand, one chore or the other. Using reminders and labelled alarms to remind us of such tasks will really prevent that sadness that comes with forgetting something important.
19. Always make your coworkers aware of your availability
Just because we are working from home, it should not necessarily mean that we are always available for work. We should ensure that we tell our coworkers the times when we will not be available for work and this will really go a long way in proper communication with our workforce.
20. Always tidy up after work
This is very important as we will be preparing ourselves for the next day. So we should always close down our laptops, discard unimportant pieces of paper from our desks and keep the workspace clean.
All in all, we must be ready always to give our best each day to our work and I am very sure that with these bits and pieces of tips on working effectively from home we will be able to deliver more to our work each day.
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