How to stay productive at home

Our tips should help you handle home chores and office tasks seamlessly like a pro while staying at home.

Space
By
Sankar Pillai
April 8, 2020

When the UAE government announced quarantine measures for its citizens in the wake of COVID-19 early last month, the very thought of being confined in one’s house and working might have seemed daunting to a majority of the UAE workforce. For one, many workers were being exposed to the work from home (WFH) environment for the first time in their lives, while there were others with family responsibilities for whom the sheer task of juggling work and project deadlines, the kids and home chores, while staying at home might have seemed a bit much.

It’s why getthat.com felt putting together a 101 on staying productive while negotiating the daily rigours of WFH seemed just right at this juncture. Here are our top 6 tips:

  1. Think like it’s the real deal

It’s essentially mind over matter. If you manage to trick that wonderful brain of yours into thinking that you are actually in office working, your mind automatically switches to workspace mode. This means not turning up disheveled when starting your day working from home, and if not the full three-piece suit and tie, exercising some restraint in lounging around in your pyjamas as you handle video calls with your boss and clients. The moment you manage to bring some semblance of the work environment into your home space, you will automatically discern an uptick in your production.

  1. Schedule your work hours

Much as you have the freedom to procrastinate while at home and push pre-scheduled tasks to the ragged edge, if you wish to remain productive at your house endeavour to maintain a work schedule and execute tasks like you would in office. Again, it’s mind over matter, if you make yourselves believe that you are in office and not at home, you will find reason to set the work hours as you would in office and meet and accomplish tasks likewise, simple.

  1. Designate a work area
work from home

If you are the type who is used to hitting office every day for work (and many of us are), you already have a designated physical demarcation between home and office spaces in your mind. To bring that demarcation through in a WFH environment and seamlessly at that it makes sense to set up some form of workspace in your home, and stick to it while executing office tasks. You will notice that this regimen will help you stay on course and accomplish tasks quicker, helping you stay productive during the WFH period in the short and long term.

  1. Stay in touch, constantly

The move to a WFH environment gives you the initial high of enjoying some quality me time even as you meet daily work pressures. However, be prudent and ensure that your me time does not come at the cost of isolating yourselves from your team. Staying in touch with your team and your boss is critical during the WFH period. Constant communication with the team and your boss will prove to the others that you are as hands on at home as you are in the natural workspace environment, establishing your credentials as a professional who is committed towards the team and the organisation’s best interests. What this communication also does is ensuring that you remain on top of your game.

  1. Zoning in, zoning out

Much as how your daily commute to and from work helps you prepare for the day ahead and unwind as the case may be, integrating a similar regimen into your daily WFH schedule helps, aiding both body and mind to transition in and out of work in the same fashion. Suit your pleasure and catch up on some reading, listen to some music, possibly the same exercises that you would do while going into office and exiting the workspace, except the driving bit, of course! You will notice the benefits of maintaining this transition period as your productivity improves.

  1. Set a break pattern and don’t get distracted

Much as you have set several break times during the course of a normal work day in office, creating a break schedule during your WFH stint will help you stay productive too. While it’s part of the overall office schedule that we spoke about that you need to try and maintain, setting breaks for yourselves while at home and maintaining these break periods will ensure there are less distractions as you work.

There’s a lot on COVID-19 on the news right now and this can be a distraction for instance. Learn to stay focused on the job at hand and train your mind to follow your office regimen so you weed out the distractions to scroll through random news sites at random. It’s good to stay informed but not at the cost of being distracted as you work from home. Keep reminding yourselves about how this could sap your output and productivity and you should be fine.

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