5 Tips for Staying Productive While Working at Home

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During the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are requiring employees to work from home. If you’re not used to telecommuting, it can take some getting used to new challenges that you might not have at the office.

Some people work better in clutter, while others can’t concentrate unless their workspace is tidy. Everybody is different. Regardless of your style, here are some tips to help adjust to your new work environment.

Define Your Workspace

Designate a specific area in your home so your job doesn’t intrude into the lives of other household members and you can concentrate. Have a space that you designate as your workstation, instead of checking emails in front of the TV on the couch or even worse, from your bed. Make your space a stress-free zone of quiet where you can concentrate. If you don’t have a separate room, find a corner area with minimum traffic flow.

Stick to a Schedule

Sticking to a routine can be extremely positive. Without one, it will be harder to stay productive and motivated. A schedule will help you separate the professional part of your day from the personal. Avoid sleeping in, and make the effort of showering, getting dressed or whatever you need to feel work-ready. These mundane tasks will give you time to mentally prepare for the workday, make you more alert and help you stay on top of your deadlines.

Embrace Video Technology

Use video communications more than you normally would, now that you’re more isolated. Make sure you have your company’s telecommuting tools, such as Zoom, ready to go so you can stay connected with team members. If you start to feel lonely, consider setting up a support group of friends and colleagues who are also working at home. Make plans to meet regularly and share creative ways you’ve adjusted to the new situation.

Avoid Cabin Fever

Now that you’re spending a heck of a lot of time at home, get outside as much as possible. Even a quick walk around the block can lift your mood and help you reset. Research shows that spending time in nature lowers stress, helps you relax and clears your mind. After work hours, enjoy other areas of your home: watching a good movie, reading a book or cooking a fun meal. During this new normal, take advantage of Facetime, Skype , or Google Hangouts with friends and family members so you feel connected to the people in your life that you care about and miss.

Check Your Attitude

It's easier said than done, but try not to let current circumstances redefine your level of happiness or productivity. Our greatest strength is perspective, which can either victimize or empower us. First, be sure to consider what you can control and what you can't during the COVID-19 outbreak. This makes it much easier to accept whatever is beyond your control. Next, look for possible opportunities in the difficulty of the situation, such as taking time to clean out your basement. My husband and I turned ours into a second office so we are less inclined to distract each other while working from home. Another tip is to revisit fun hobbies you've neglected for a while, like painting, writing or gardening.

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