For a long time, working from home was just something some employees could dream of. In the last few weeks, one of the most popular corporate benefits became a new normal overnight. However, a long-term home office needs some strategy and organization. Otherwise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and inefficient.
Here are our tips on how to stay focused, motivated and efficient during the coronavirus forced full-time home office.
1. Work on a to-do list the night before
When working from home it’s easy to get caught in things like doing dishes, vacuuming or just thinking about the lunch you’re about to cook. If you’re unable to get your hands off doing dishes we highly recommend scheduling and writing down even the smallest things like this. Every evening work on your to-do list to determine the tasks you want to accomplish the next day. If you’re not much of a to-do list person, try to ask yourself some basic questions, for example: What do I need to finish tomorrow work-wise? What are the things I need to get done at/ around home? Now write down your answers. Simple, right?
Extra Tip: Don’t forget to schedule some regular breaks. Let’s be real – none of us can work efficiently without breaks for eight hours straight. Breaks will benefit your eyes, you can stretch out, refill fluids, check the latest news, or even unload the dishwasher if that’s what you scheduled as one of your breaks.
2. Create your morning routine
If you stopped setting up your alarm for a certain time, we highly recommend getting back to this habit. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, having a morning routine helps you create an expectation and will help you to get things done. Even though we know it is comfortable to wear pajamas, change your clothes into reasonable working clothes. Make yourself a tasty and Instagram-y breakfast rich in fiber, nutrients, and vitamins you’ve never had time for before. If you still feel drowsy, take a quick shower to help you wake up and get you on your feet. Oh yes, and now it’s a time for coffee.
3. Pick a designated work spot
Even though working from bed or couch might sound tempting, it is seldom effective. Find yourself a place where you won’t be disturbed and will remind you of the work desk the most. If you do not have an office room where you can fully concentrate, create a work area anywhere in the apartment. Try to optically separate the space from the rest of the room, ideally, pick a spot with sufficient daylight intensity. Now take a look at your newly found workspace and if your desk is best characterized as “organized chaos”, fix it immediately. Remove anything that can distract you to create a “blank canvas”. Better now?
4. Listen to the music that helps you focus
Did you know, thoughtfully selected music can enhance your concentration? We recommend playing music that helps you concentrate better, whether it’s jazz, lo-fi, ambient, or classical music. The best part is – amazing playlists have already been created and are available on Spotify, YouTube, and other platforms! We recommend Spotify’s playlist for concentration, and for all the Potterheads in the house – Harry Potter Soundtracks, full of great musical compositions by the brilliant John Williams. If you truly miss your favorite coffee shop you can also choose from dozens of different playlists on Youtube or Spotify, that will teleport you right back in time.
5. Plan the end of your working day
Planning the end of your working day will help you to create work-life- balance, which can be hard to maintain especially when our homes suddenly became our offices as well. Try to keep track of time if you tend to neglect your private life because of work and set the alarm 30 minutes before the end of your working day. This way, you are sure to complete what you need and manage the most important things. Go with a clear conscience offline time to recharge and to get some fresh new ideas. And that’s always appreciated!
6. Take advantage of online courses
Whether you’re a student or a marketing professional there is always something new to learn. Take advantage of the given extra time you save on commuting every day and learn something new! What about that Google Analytics certification you wanted to take for so long? Photography class, online cooking class? If you don’t have anything on your list right now, no worries. We’ve got you covered. If you want to master your skills in digital marketing – here are our tips on Best Digital Marketing Courses you can take.
Let us know how you are keeping these days! Do you have any proven tips and tricks on how to increase concentration and overcome procrastination especially now during the COVID-19 home office?