Many of us have been working from home for over six months now. The initial spark and creativity has long gone and so many of us are just trying to survive. It is growing harder and harder to stay productive when the urge to slump on the couch is growing stronger and stronger.
I am lucky enough to be able to go into the office two days a week for one of my internships, but I spend the other three weekdays doing all of my schoolwork, lectures, and some internship work from home. The days are drowning at times and it seems as if I miss one day of productivity that the entire week is skewed.
This led to me creating a video on my YouTube channel yesterday with my 5 Golden Tips for Staying Productive Working From Home.
I thought I would go into depth a bit more over here and share the top tips that seem to be working best for me!
1. Change into a fresh set of clothes
This step is so small, yet so powerful. It is easy to stay in your pajamas all day when working from home, but the difference it makes in my mindset when I change into new clothes is amazing. I do not get dressed up or anything, but by showering and putting on a fresh set of leggings and a tee shirt really does make a difference. I am both comfortable and productive. I also feel semi- put together if I have to take a zoom call or answer the door.
2. Make a schedule
Making a routine and sticking to it helps provide consistency! You do not have to be super rigid in this, but providing some sort of schedule will help your brain function as you navigate days that start to get more and more chaotic.
3. Schedule breaks
Within your schedule, it is important to include breaks. It is so easy for me to pack my day full of tasks, meetings, and errands. There are two problems with this though. Sometimes I get wore out and need a break. I am then forced to decide if I will push through and produce mediocre work or take a break and get behind on my work. The second problem is that sometimes tasks take longer than you anticipate and meetings go overtime. By scheduling in breaks, you allow room for life to happen.
4. Keep a running to do list
Personally, I can not focus if I am thinking of all the things I need to do later. The system that seems to work best for me is keeping sticky notes in my planner for each of the coming days. On each sticky note, I list out tasks that need to be done. I am able to adjust and move tasks on a day to day basis. Concurrently, I keep a list of things that need to get done eventually, but are not time sensitive. These are the small things like “clean my makeup brushes” that get trapped in my mind and distract me from the task at hand. As I adjust my daily lists, I keep the tasks on this list in mind. This might seem like a lot of effort, but it is much easier to focus when I do not have to worry about tasks that need to be completed later.
5. Treat yourself
This is my favorite tip! I know the idea is very trendy these days, but for the sake of your mental sanity, please treat yourself. It does not have to be anything extravagant. Personally, I enjoy going on iced coffee runs. This is a win-win, because this can count as part of my scheduled break and I come back feeling refreshed and motivated to work. It could be something as simple as taking the time to break for an episode on Netflix or painting your nails a new color.
I hope this has been helpful to you and that you are feeling motivated to tackle the new day! Please make sure to check out my Productivity Video for more tips and ideas!
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