More people than ever have been working from home for the past few months and with that comes a whole host of personal challenges. Be this co-working with a partner, juggling home-schooling, or managing our wellbeing and mental health. If you’re struggling with productivity, you’re not alone.
Many may be struggling with the monotonous repetition or dragging yourself out of bed to the next room for a day of sitting at your computer alone so here are some tips to stay sane during these uncertain times:
Stick to a routine
There can be both good and bad things about working from home. You won’t be distracted by colleagues dropping by your desk to try to engage you in conversation. But on the other hand, they might pop up with demands on Skype, and with no one literally watching over your shoulder, you could easily find yourself wasting time browsing social media. Thankfully, some simple steps can greatly help you to work more productively from home. Those include starting work early, structuring your day as if you are in the office, having a dedicated workspace that is separate from where you go to relax, and generally acting as if you are in the office. Use this time to learn what works for you when it comes to working from home as productively as possible.
Obviously, this is not business as usual, but your career isn’t simply on hold. Set yourself goals to achieve each day or week. Improve your knowledge, tackle a task that you’ve been meaning to get round to or even simply attempt to beat your own average productivity. You’ll find the achievement rewarding, and we all need to occasional win at the moment.
Embrace the chance to change
No one in the workforce has experienced a situation such as this; even in previous times of adversity the tools available to professionals have never been as innovative as they are currently. This means that, despite the threat to your wellbeing, learning to be adaptable and embracing the chance to improve your own endurance and will to succeed are available to you. This is a chance to prove what kind of leader you want to be, so take it.
Look after yourself
It sounds like vague advice but ensuring that your own wellbeing is the number one most essential part in all of this. Every day, you must make time to work on your own wellbeing and mental health. This may mean going for a jog to release endorphins, it may mean doing a workout video, eating a diet of increased nutritious foods or doing a guided meditation.
Schedule in breaks when you can. Whether this is reading, watching TV, or having a social chat with someone. Try rewarding yourself at the end of the working day. This could be going for a walk and listening to your favourite podcast, playing a game with your family, or cooking your favourite dinner.
If you have the time and the inclination, you could try a new hobby during lockdown; brewing beer, learning to bake or trying a new type of exercise through YouTube tutorials.
Disconnect when you can
It’s very easy to lose focus from non-essential distractions when working from home. For example, notifications on WhatsApp or Facebook can quickly take your focus away from your daily tasks; so, it’s no wonder if you’re struggling with productivity.
Mental health charity MIND recently highlighted the risks associated with social media in coronavirus. On its website, the charity stated: “Social media could help you stay in touch with people but might also make you feel anxious including if people are sharing news stories or posting about their worries. Consider taking a break or limiting how you use social media. You might decide to view particular groups or pages but not scroll through timelines or newsfeeds”.
It’s definitely a challenging time right now; especially if you’re trying to motivate yourself when working from home. Focus on what you can control and take responsibility to manage your mindset as best you can. Remember, you are not alone.