The Ultimate Survival Guide for Working from Home
Working from home can be a blessing for some for a short period of time. That is until the neighbors start drilling the walls, their kids start singing along to the latest Lady Gaga single or you get your brain cells melting from the four walls encompassing you like a prison cell from the Shawshank Redemption. (Great film, btw.)
But for millions across the world, who are accustomed to the company atmosphere, can feel a sense of distress. Whether it is the pandemic or your company’s requirement to stay at home, it can be wearisome after months.
Before you fire up your computer, prepare that precious morning remedy known as coffee. 🤩
Whatever you do, try to pretend that you’re going to an office. This means, following the same routine:
- wake up on time and do your bed
- Get out of those pyjamas
- finish a nice breakfast
And by all means, avoid checking your phone the first moment you wake up. (Unless you don’t have an alarm and need to check the time.) But no other excuses!
Getting to Work and Staying Productive
Now, this is where the fun begins. 🙄
When reaching out to most freelancers or HO workers, the problems are manyfold. One of the biggest distractions is social media. Social media is designed to make it easy for us to open and browse quickly. It is entertaining and yet addictive. At work, though, this convenience can be the detriment of your productivity.
Our suggestion is to use Chrome and go in incognito mode in your browser windows. This ensures you stay signed out of all your accounts and each web search you conduct doesn’t autocomplete the word you’re typing. This helps many avoid being tempted into taking too many social breaks during the day.
Another easy way to counteract this is to log out of your accounts. In moments like these, try to capitalize on your most productive periods. Nobody sprints through their work from the morning till the evening. Your motivation will naturally fluctuate. Use slower points of the day to knock out the easier, logistical tasks that are also on your plate.
There is a strange, yet true rule for productivity. It is simply: the busier you are, the more you’ll actually do. And busy people are in fast-enough motion that they have the momentum to complete anything that comes across their desk. But how are we supposed to maintain the momentum of a busy little bee, when spending the entire day between four walls?
According to an article by Hubspot, one should focus on a “one distraction.” Some people focus on their kids. Others focus on their cats as they try to shove down a small object from the shelves. This might sound counterintuitive, but does help people manage their time better. “How?” you say? The distraction of someone of something means that we cannot succumb to other tasks such as laundry, cleaning or tv. This way, we are compelled to focus more on work to get some actual work done.
Stay Connected from Home
Working from home might help you focus on your work in the short term. But it can also make you feel cut off and disregarded. While still staying away from social media, try to reach out to your coworkers on a weekly basis. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tools can make it easy to check in with them and remind you how your work is contributing.
Music is Life!
Match your music to the task at hand. If you need to do repetitive and fast work, don’t hesitate to play Darude Sandstorm. But if it requires concentration and commitment, we”d recommend these classics, if you like these sort of oldies. Or another popular song list, many enjoy is Lofi hip hop or MTV Unplugged. (Back in the days, when MTV actually played songs.) 😋
With all seriousness, adjust your work rhythm to the music whenever you can. And since you are home… ditch the headphones. As long as you’re not disturbing the neighbor or your damaging your work efficiency, you’re good to go.
Taking Breaks – Work those Muscles
It can be so easy to get distracted. But don’t let the guilt of working in the building prevent you from taking time into your own hands. Rather than just opening YouTube and watching cat videos, use your breaks to get away from your desk. Even if there is a quarantine, stretch your legs, go for a walk within your own building (if you live in an apartment) or spend time with others who might also be in the house. Whatever you do, get some blood rushing through your veins. So when you are back at your desk, it will feel more natural than frustrating.
You don’t need to do a full set of pumping iron. (Pun intended) But forcing yourself to 10 pushups or situps during your break can pump you up and help a lot to relieve stress.
Just remember that you’re working from home, not the moon.
Interacting with other people during the day is allowed, even if they’re not your coworkers. In fact, it’s a good idea to see another face during the day when most of your workday is solitary.