It is day – uh, 9? of quarantine and let me tell you – my life has not changed that much. You see, as a work from home-er, I am used to spending hours at a time in complete silence with nothing but my dog chewing his antler as white noise. See, I’m not a big music person, and I can’t have the TV on all day or I will watch it so silence it is.
My partner on the other hand, is the complete opposite of me – he needs music and he hates (hateeess) working from home.
“If I worked from home I’d just play video games all day”
– Adam L.
It wasn’t until COVID-19 and these interesting times of ‘self-isolation’ and social distancing that I realized that I am the weird one! So many people – clients, friends, family – have echoed their inability to work from home, or rather, their inability to work productively from home.
So I decided to share with you all, a few of my tips to actually be productive when working from home – or WFH as us WFHers call it.
Step 1– Get Ready for Work:
This may be the biggest help in boosting your productivity while WFH- Get. Dressed.
After my morning routine is done, I grab my coffee pot and put it in my office, then I brush my teeth and hair, go to my closet and pick out something to wear. Changing our clothes signals to our brains that it is time to, as the scientists put it, ‘get shit done’. As much as it is a part of your routine to get dressed when going into your workplace, make it a part of routine to get dressed before settling in for the day.
Step 2 – Create a Separate Work Space:
This is especially important if you suddenly find yourself working from with your partner or roommate. Tensions can run high and honestly, being exposed to each other 24 hours a day will get difficult. Create a separate workspace for your self that doesn’t need to be cleaned off at the end of the day to be used as something else. When we have to take time to set up our office daily, we avoid starting work and miss out on crucial productivity. Being able to sit down and start working right away is key.
Step 3 – Get Moving:
You will notice that you hit a plateau during your workday where you are no longer being productive and have likely been scrolling through Instagram for the last hour (maybe that is how you found this blog?) In any case we all have that wall we hit when we have gone about as far as we can. When this happens, stand up and go do something active.
There are studies suggesting physical activity sparks creativity and allows our subconscious to help us find solutions. I will always suggest getting outside if possible but if not, take 20 minutes to an hour and do something that is not sitting down. If you’re in the mood for a yoga class- try this one
Step 4 – Schedule:
Here is a sample of what my day looks like:
6a: Wake up; snuggles with Angus and Daily Non-Negotiables
7a: Make coffee, get dressed
730: Werk on big projects or things that require lots of brain power
1030/11a: Make breakfast; eat breakfast walk doggie OR exercise
1230: Werk on less strenuous projects like editing blog posts
330/4: Lunch, walk doggie OR exercise
530: Finish up and make my to do list for tomorrow.
I cannot stress how important having a schedule is when you are working from home. Often times, working from home is seen as a lazy or cheat day that allows you to not do any work without taking a vacation day, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Ensuring that you are scheduling your time means that you are not allowed to be distracted by social media or house hold chores. Save the laundry for the weekend and get shit done.
Step 5 – Human Contact:
Remember that schedule? Well, another crucial aspect to staying productive while working at home is to ensure you have adequate human contact. Whether it’s grabbing a midday coffee, going for a rollerblade or in times of quarantine, having a skype bevvy with your besties after work – filling up on some human interaction will boost your feel good hormones and make you more productive.