Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have adapted to allow employees to work from home. Some even encourage it, and have downsized office spaces. While working from home can help us cut back on our gas budget and travel time, it also comes with its own set of unique challenges. For some employees, staying home can test organizational skills, time management and discipline. This is especially true for those that thrive in structured spaces and benefit from collaborating with colleagues.
With that being said, here is a quick list of tricks that can be used to maximize motivation and efficiency while working from home! Here are some of our tips for working from home help you in the new year!
Map Out a Schedule
In order to stay ahead of our workload, mapping out a monthly or weekly schedule can help us keep track of upcoming deadlines. Working from home can sometimes lessen the amount of reminders we have for our deadlines, since we aren’t working in the same space as our boss or colleagues. So finding ways to stay on track is a great way to maximize success!
Create a Daily Routine
Working from home saves us from being stuck in traffic and the time we spend commuting. However, a lack of structure can also lead to an increase in disorganization and negatively impact our time management, efficiency and motivation. Having some semblance of self-imposed structure—no matter how small—can give us a bit more guidance throughout the day. This can look like booking a daily time for lunch or a walk around the block.
Have a Priority Checklist
A daily priority checklist can help us track what needs to get done for the day and assess each task’s time-sensitivity. Having a visual representation can also help us figure out which goals will take the most time. Sometimes starting with smaller goals can also help us build momentum throughout the day as we prepare to tackle larger tasks. Balancing our itinerary with these two factors in mind can increase our efficiency and motivation.
Setting alarms can help remedy a lack of organization and structure, and encourage us to stay on track throughout the day. They can also be a powerful incentive for motivation. That added element of controlled pressure can help keep us focused.
Create a Designated Work Space
While having the freedom to organize our own work space can be fun, having a reduced degree of separation between our work life and home life can be stressful. When these spaces start to coincide, it can be more challenging to separate ourselves from our work at the end of the day. With that being said, creating a designated work space that is separate from other parts of our home can help us manage this. It also ensures that we can maintain a calm space in our home. We need these spaces to unwind and recharge.
Schedule Zoom Check-ins or Coffee Breaks
Working from home can feel isolating sometimes. Scheduling time to have zoom check-ins or coffee breaks, like we would at the office, can help us feel more connected with others. This will also ensure that we make time to be social every day. This is crucial for our mental health and wellbeing. Meeting up with others can also keep our thoughts fresh and creative. These breaks can be scheduled with a colleague or friend, and it can also be a great way to brainstorm ideas and get a second opinion on our work.
Having more control around the sounds and distractions around us can help us focus. For many, this is one of the perks of working from home! However, the opposite is also true. For many workers, staying home is one of the biggest distractions of all! Hiding all of our main distractions (like phones and video game consoles) can help. Downloading apps that track or limit time on social media can also help anyone that gets distracted from their phones. AppBlock and Flipd work really well for this!
By: Briahna McTigue