Are you currently working from home (or planning to)? Many of us have now found ourselves working in this new environment, given the circumstances. While working from home was once a luxury, companies both large and small are finding benefits to allowing their employees (and themselves!) to work from home. It’s now more important than ever to understand how to keep yourself productive and stay on task.
Our team at Wingman has gathered 5 tips to help you stay on track while working remotely:
1. Separate Your Work Space From Your Recreational Space
Normally I’m not someone who worries about ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ energy within a space, but when it comes to separating a work and relaxing space, I get it. Claim a room in your house (that is far from noise or distractions) as your work room—nothing more. This room should inspire you to work more productively. Prepare the room with items that bolster this effect: a notebook, logo of your company, or a nice cup of tea or coffee as a pick-me-up. Conversely, remove any distractions or items that aren’t essential to your work. For example, avoid social media (unless you work as a social media manager), your dog, or Netflix.
If you’re feeling unmotivated or need a break, remove yourself from your work room. Psychologically speaking, mixing work areas with break areas can negatively affect your productivity. However, when you do feel like you need a break…
2. Take Breaks!
Forcing yourself through a mental block can work negatively against you. Productivity is fluid—rising and falling throughout the day—especially for those who find the work-from-home environment very new. Find work intervals that work best for you. I find that 90-minute bursts of productivity followed by a 20-minute break works well for me. If possible, go outside.
With that being said, use your break time purposefully. Whatever that task may be—folding laundry, taking a walk, or looking up the latest news—make sure your break has a defined, purposeful goal to it. By doing so, you stop yourself from extending your break unnecessarily. Don’t allow your 15-minute break to quickly creep into a 90-minute break!
3. Listen to Music
This is subjective, but I find that listening to music improves my productivity. During the hours that I am working from home, I am alone. Despite this, I prefer working with noise-cancelling headphones and soft background music, because sudden and abrupt sounds like a barking dog or neighbour’s lawnmower can break my focus. The choice of music is entirely yours, but I look for songs that have a checkmark in all 3 of these categories:
- Minimal Bass: This goes back to my reference with sudden abrupt sounds. Songs with heavy bass often does the opposite for concentration.
- Consistent Rhythm: Work music should help you find your rhythm and (work)flow.
- No lyrics: Everyone has a song that they get caught up in singing because of catchy lyrics (or at least I do). Look for music that has no lyrics to prevent this from happening!
4. Discover your High Productivity Periods
We all have different times of day where we are most productive. Maybe you work better during the evening (when the kids are in bed) or prefer to tackle your tasks in the early morning. Whatever the case may be, experiment with what times of the day work best for you. Once you’ve found it, stick with it! Creating a daily routine develops good habits. Good habits increase your productivity.
5. Set a To-Do List
When I worked in the office, I always kept a notepad or sticky notes handy. At home, this should be no different—keep a notebook or sticky notes handy. Lay out the tasks that need to be accomplished each day and arrange them from highest to lowest priority. By writing these out, you not only have a physical note to keep you on track, but there is scientific proof that writing also helps with information retention and memory.
Working from home affords many benefits like a greater work-life balance, reduction in transportation expenses, and increased business continuity. Hopefully some of these tips help you maximize your productivity within your newfound workspace. And remember that your mental health is also important—regardless if you’re working at the office or from home. See our blog on the importance of mental health in the workplace and letting your manager or coworkers know if you’re struggling mentally and need support.
We also understand how difficult this recent situation has affected businesses. That’s why WMDM is offering a free 2-hour marketing audit of your choice. Need someone to take a look at your website’s optimization or need some suggestions on how to improve your social media feed? We got your back. Book a Wingman today for your free 1-hour marketing audit!