Recently, we were all mandated to work from home due to the current COVID-19 crisis. This the first time that I have worked from home for such length of time. Usually, it is day or two and not more.
At first I didn’t know what to do and how to manage.
For the first few days, tried to work from wherever i can find some space - sofa, bed, dining table etc. But then I realised it cannot go on for long. I was feeling more tired, sleepy and my back hurt.
So, I had to make few adjustments to how I work. And it worked!
All we need is tiny habits change to make impact.
I am going to share with you 10 habits that work -
Make Work and home life separate -
Most of the times, when we work from home we don’t care about what is work and what is life. Those are mostly intertwined with each other and there is no separate time or space or both.
Make your Work and Home time separate. Maintain a schedule.
Like we work in office - Go to Office, Have some tea, work, lunch, work, have some tea, chit-chat, work, snacks, work, Home. We have a set routine. That enables us to take breaks and unwind in between work.
At home we are mostly stuck in front of our screen and rarely move. Change that habit. A slight change in our structure will bring order to chaos and you will enjoy your workdays better while working from home.
Use a separate desk area or space for your work. This will enable spatial difference between work and home and will lead to more productivity.
Don’t work on couch, sofas or bedrooms. This is for relaxation or sleep.
Don’t be online all the time. Follow the same office routine at home. This will tell the mind when to start and when to stop.
Invest in a good chair. You will sitting and working for most part of the day. This will 10X your productivity. Trust me.
Follow a Routine. Build structure-
Working from home allows us the luxury to not waste time in getting ready for work, commute time etc. but it also messes us with our routine.
We are used to getting up on time and working like clockwork to be ready for office. Then we have the long commute where we spend most of our time driving and cursing traffic till we reach office. Repeat every day.
While we save on lots of time, we can lose it at home as our mind plays tricks and just want to relax or spend our time being lazy as there is no time constraint to follow.
To overcome the inertia of the mind, follow a routine. Have a structure to your work from home.
My Start of day routine -
7 am Wake up after at least 8-9 hrs of sleep
7:30 am Brush teeth. Shower. Drink tea.
8 to 9 am Play with daughter. Help wife in household chores.
9 to 10:30 am - Breakfast. Watch videos or read few pages of books.
11 am Log in to work
My End of day routine
8 or 8:30 pm Log off from work
8:30 to 9 pm Help wife in household chores. Dinner.
9 to 10 pm Play with daughter. Watch something.
11:00 PM Sleep.
The routine helps to tell our minds to draw boundaries and we automatically will start following the timing after few days.
Minds tricks us to do things. We have to trick our mind to do the things we want it to.
This simple routine has helped to distinguish the work time and play time. It will enable you to be more productive with your office time. Of course, in between you should take breaks and unwind for some time to refresh yourself.
The biggest distraction of them all - Mobile.
Turn off all the notifications from your phone. This way you would not constantly keep checking for messages. Check all of them at once. If it’s urgent, they will call you.
Turn off apps from your desktop. Concentrate only on your work apps till the time you are working.
Install all your work apps on desktop and delete from mobile. This way you wouldn’t want to check your mobile all the time and then drift into social media.
When working, focus on work. Block un-necessary distractions. They consume time. Small change in habit will remove the ‘noise’ from your day.
Hope these small habit changes will enable you to work efficiently during your remote work.
What’s your favourite habit to make remote work efficient?