As COVID-19 cases all over the world increase more and more every day, many countries are encountering a real dilemma: suspend jobs and let the economy fall or continue operations and risk catching the disease.
For some businesses, they’ve taken the middle ground and implemented new work-from-home setups for their employees. While many would rather take a break from work entirely, this new setup is as good as it gets. That’s because for the majority of the population, not working is simply not an option, even in the face of a global pandemic.
That said, work-from-home setups also come at a disadvantage, especially for people who are not used to doing work outside of the office. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to stay productive while working from home.
1. Minimize distractions
One of the things that many people don’t like about working from home is the abundance of distractions at home. If you’ve got a little sibling, a child, or a pet, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Especially these days when schools and even jobs are suspended because of the pandemic, it’s more than likely that you’ll have a whole slew of distractions to keep at bay.
What you can do is to minimize these distractions, at least during your work hours. Maybe you can keep your bedroom door locked, or if that’s not possible, perhaps you can set up your personal nook in the dining room. It’s easier said than done, of course, but your life will be much easier if you can focus on your work with minimal distractions.
2. Prioritize your tasks
What are your most important tasks for the day? If you don’t know the answer to this, then you’ll have a harder time finishing everything that needs to be finished, because you won’t even know which one you should finish first.
Prioritizing your tasks means knowing which task is more important than the other, and thus which task you should tackle first. If you’re working from home, you should also probably include non-work tasks to your list, like doing the dishes, cooking lunch or dinner, and even playing with the dogs.
3. Keep a schedule
Our next tip on how to stay productive while working at home is to keep a schedule. Make it as detailed as possible, but do have some leeway in case something comes up. For example, let’s say that your schedule says you should finish your work tasks from 10am to 12pm. You should probably leave some free time before and after that, so that you’ll have some allowance to breathe, too.
Again, when you make a schedule, make sure that you include your house-related tasks as well. Not only does it help with productivity, but it also helps you make sure that you complete everything you need to do for the day.
4. Set a timer
Still having a hard time working when you’re supposed to? Set a timer, then! One of the most famous productivity hacks is to set a 2-minute timer every time you feel like not working. Simply set a 2-minute timer and start working when the timer starts, whether you want to or not. Most people say that even after the timer is up, they still end up continuing what they’re doing because the momentum is already there.
Fun fact: you can also use this 2-minute timer trick for pretty much any task. Don’t feel like cleaning? Set a timer and clean away. Want to skip the dishes tonight? Set a timer and wash what you can. It’s a really great way to boost your motivation in just 2 minutes.
5. Create a motivation board
When you’re working in an office, just the act of going to the office is usually enough to get you to start working. But when you’re at home, it’s more common for work productivity to suffer. In fact, a senior economist from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research said that working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will “create a productivity disaster for our firms.”
A simple way to avoid this would be to create a motivation board. As its name suggests, a motivation board is something you can use to maintain your motivation while working from home. You can add motivational quotes, pictures of your dream trips or dream items, pictures of your family, anything to get you going. It may not seem like much, but believe us, the difference can be quite astounding.