Top 10 tips on working from home during lockdown
1. Wake up on time
So, you don’t have to wake up and travel to work every morning now but, that shouldn’t mean that you hit snooze on your phone over and over again. Try to put your phone or alarm clock out of arms reach so, you have to get up out of bed to turn your alarm off.
You’re up and out of bed, what do you do now? Well, me personally I like to take a cold shower to give me a BOOST in energy but, it’s up to you what temperature you choose to take. Try at least showering every other day because you don’t want to lower your standards just because you’re not going outside.
After you shower, it’s time to get dressed, no you don’t need to wear a suit and tie or a formal dress but, it is important that you don’t just slob around in your pajamas or scruff’s, you should dress how you would want to be addressed.
Lastly, even if you don’t do this usually, you should be making your bed every morning as one of the first things you do, not only are you completing a chore, you’re also creating discipline which you can take into the rest of your day.
The importance of these morning habits is that you should stick to your normal routine, even if you have the freedom to be lazy.
2. Have a healthy breakfast
They say that health is wealth and I couldn’t agree more, one way to be healthier is to eat a nutritionally rich diet full of all the vitamins and minerals you need for the day ahead.
Most of you that do work are usually in such a rush in the morning that you don’t even have time for breakfast so you end up skipping it entirely. Now that you have a bit more time in the morning, you can cook your food for the most important meal of the day.
If you’re not a fan of eating in the morning, you can easily replace your breakfast with an energy boosting smoothie that is full of good fats that your brain requires to work at it’s optimal level.
You should also be drinking lots of water to help transport all of these nutrients around your body, one app you can use is Daily water, which works out how much water you should be drinking and sends you a notification every time you should have a drink.
Your body is the vehicle that you use to travel through your life and your brain is the thing that controls it so, it is vital that you fuel them with the right ingredients for them to work at their best.
3. Do a brain dump
Your brain is somewhat like a computer in the way it processes and stores information and like when your computer doesn’t have enough storage but you keep filling it up with information, it begins to lag and eventually malfunctions just like your brain does.
Your brain doesn’t deal well with stress and that’s why it is important to offload your workload so, you can focus on the important things you have to do, you can do this with a brain dump.
In short, a brain dump is a way of unscrambling your mind by writing down everything that is going on in your head. The idea is that by freeing up the space in your brain, you are able to concentrate on the tasks at hand. You can learn more about this in our full article on it.
Whilst at home, you are going to have lots of jobs to do such as your work, house chores and any other things you get up to, that’s why doing a brain dump will help you organize these tasks into different categories.
4. Do a To-do list
Now that you know the tasks you have got to accomplish from completing your brain dump, you can now create a to do list to get through them in an organized fashion.
By creating a to do list, you are allowing yourself to plan ahead by always knowing what you need to do next, this means that you don’t need to waste valuable minutes, deciding on your next task which can cause decision fatigue.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if you have lots to do and that’s where using the 80/20 principal comes in handy, to do this write down all of the jobs that you have got to do, then choose the 20% of them that are going to bring you the biggest results for example, if you have 10 jobs to do, you should only focus on the 2 most important things on your list.
Now that you have a clear target for the day, it should make it easier for you to accomplish them as you know what to focus on.
5. Have a designated workspace
Now that you are working from home, you may begin to feel a bit lost to where you should actually begin your work. You’re so used to leaving your house and heading to your place of work to focus, that you don’t know where to knuckle down on your projects at home.
First you want to choose a room that you are going to use as your office for the foreseeable future, preferably not your bedroom as you want to separate the place where you are working hard, from the place where you rest although, due to circumstances that you can’t control, you may not be able to have a separate room for office, if this is the case, try setting up as far away from your bed as possible.
Your going to need a desk, chair and other furniture to make a comfy and productive workspace. More than likely you are going to need a laptop or computer to work from and any other gadgets that are going to enhance your output but, it is important to note that you shouldn’t just buy things for the sake of it.
The aim of having a designated work area is to get you up out of bed and producing your best work, yes you have the luxury of being able to use a laptop whilst in the comfort of your warm fuzzy blanket but, let’s be honest you won’t get nothing done.
6. Limit distractions
One of the biggest challenges that you are going to face due to working from home, is being distracted by the things that are going on around you. Your mind is constantly trying to sabotage you into doing something else because it just doesn’t like doing the work, however, there are ways around this.
I’m not just going to tell you to leave your phone in the other room because the chances are high that you probably work from your phone, instead I would advise you to put your phone on do not disturb mode whilst you are concentrating on something, you can also do this with your laptop or any other appliances you use.
If you’re quarantined in a house with someone, whether it be your parents or your partner and children, tensions might be running a bit high already and you don’t want to add to that by shouting at someone for making to much noise, this is where it is important to communicate with the people you are living with so, they can try to not distract you when you are working.
Being distracted is a constant battle that you are going to face and it’s pretty much unavoidable but, by taking these actions you can begin to limit your distractions.
7. Just do the work
You’ve hit the dreaded wall… (dramatic sound effects) in all seriousness, there are going to be times where you just can’t be bothered to do anything but, you can’t let the urge to lay in bed all day get the better of you.
If you follow the other tips in this article you shouldn’t face this obstacle to often but, if you do you’ll probably get to the end of the day and feel lots of guilt for being so unproductive and that’s why you just need to grind it out sometimes.
If you get to a point where you feel that you just can’t do anymore but, you’ve still got work to do, you can use a trick called the cookie jar method which is where you store previous achievements in your ‘cookie jar’ and then pull them out when you need a little extra BOOST of motivation.
You could take the easy option and do absolutely nothing when you come to a halt but, it shows great character and discipline if you keep hustling even when you don’t feel like it.
8. Get some sunlight
Although it might sound obvious, getting yourself outside of the house for a moment is a really essential part of keeping your energy levels high throughout the day.
Either a few minutes relaxing in the garden or your daily prescribed dose of exercise is usually enough to reboot your system, to go back to work feeling ready and raring to go.
We’re planning on creating a home workout routine for you to do whilst in quarantine so, let me know if you would be interested in that.
9. Take breaks
Although spending every minute of your day at your desk seems to be the most productive way of getting your work done, it really isn’t! Many studies have found that overworking actually negatively affects your work ethic and it’s also been seen that taking periodic breaks can BOOST your ability to work effectively.
You should be aiming to take breaks all throughout the day, some 5 minute rests where you have a drink and a stretch and then longer breaks where you can grab some food and totally detach yourself from your work.
There are many productivity techniques and time management tips out there but, one of the most popular ones is the Pomodoro technique which you can learn more about here.
A lot of people who work from home tend to fall for the trap of not resting and end up burning out, which puts them further behind in life, sometimes it’s better to go slow and steady.
10. Reward yourself
Well done! You’ve had a long hard day at work and completed everything that you needed to do so, now it’s time to reward yourself with a little treat.
You might think that rewarding yourself is a bad thing to do, however, it’s a simple rule of human behavior and has been studied for many of years, finding that it increases the chances of you repeating the behavior that has got you this reward.
Whether it’s playing on the Playstation with the squad or quarantine and chill with your significant other, try implementing rewards into your work life to reinforce good habits.