All of us crave that extra minute to take it slow when working from home but at times it just proves much more difficult. I would actually go ahead and use the word ‘crazy’. My co-workers tended to think that I am having a spa day at home with a fruit cocktail. They used to frown because they expected me to show up with prompt replies but also forgot one important aspect: I was working from home. And the simple reason was that I needed to give my life that vibe of relaxation.
But I finally triumphed, and my co-workers even began asking me the secret of how I managed to be so focused and finish all my work while watching the stroganoff cook. I educated them through these 5 methods, which boost productivity any given day:
It takes discipline.
Yes, you read right. A routine is a necessary element in making this work. You need to have discipline and create a time-frame in which you want to finish work. You break it down and assemble it into bite-size manageable chunks of work. You organize it under priority. I always loved sticky notes, and had colour-coded sticky tiles on my desktop, which brought forth the tasks one after the other, in terms of importance. This made my work relatively easy. I had deadlines associated with these and I was grateful for being good at personal management. There, your discipline begins. Understand that this routine should be similar to your work day, if not flexible and should allow you to finish the work, without distractions!
Cut out distractions.
You need to eliminate distractions and bring yourself in an environment where you might be more motivated to work, especially if you are feeling home-sick for the people in the business-casual attire place but don’t want to visit it.
The 50 – 10 Rule.
Work for 50 minutes and take a 10 minute break. This rule is good for focusing and concentrating all your energy on your task at hand and then taking short breaks to relax the mind, and release the tension.
I understood that taking breaks was essential, I was opposed to it, but I realized it caused me to burn out more quickly and even get frustrated. But, breaks really did work wonders and made monotonous work often more enjoyable. Breaks allow the mind to be refreshed, it is kind of like putting fresh linen on! The result is always good.
Learn to say no.
The reason you are working from home should be a solid reason, and you need to respect your own time. Others respect your time only when you respect yours and learning to say ‘No’ is a big part of it. Not every task can be done and completed in a day, and not every request needs to be entertained.
I pondered over this a while. My family did not disturb me at work, and my friends did not ask me to help them shop for a new rug. They understood and respected my time at work, they knew that I was busy and my obligations were more important to me at that time. Why then are co-workers and managers any different?
We all have a life at home, and people need to realize that.
Disconnect after work.
Our smartphones are as much a hindrance as they are a convenience, and will disturb the peace with the incessant buzzing notifications of emails. Before I used to be sitting around, trying to finish up assignments long after 6, but now I clock out. The constant work mode needs to take a back burner.
(Image is from here.)