So…productivity tips. During such uncertain times, it can be difficult to stay motivated and productive…even when you really need to – that’s why we’ve provided you with our top 10 productivity tips.
So when Netflix is calling your name or you have taken your 13th coffee break (in the kitchen of course) how do you stay on top of your workload and complete those daily goals?
We have the perfect ‘get s*!T done guide to see you through COVID-19 and beyond…
TIP 1: Listen to Brain.fm for productivity tips .via music
First step: turn of Netflix. But then what? Working in silence can lead to boredom… or make you notice the noise coming from next door! But equally listening to the radio can be distracting and cause a lapse in concentration. Why not try listening to Brain.fm instead? Created with your working day in mind, Brain.fm is music with a new approach- curated to enhance brain function and support your daily goals. Think functional music rather than grabbing your attention! A team of scientists, musicians and developers have worked together to create this effective tool to transform your daily routine and enable you to get more s*!T done…bonus! See…productivity tips right there .via music
Why not take a listen here and see how it can improve your working day? https://www.brain.fm/invite/Rk0PjBQNrP
Tip 2: Don’t multitask- instead, use single-tasking
Even whilst working from home, you may have a ton of tasks that need doing- perhaps your normal workload has increased or has been adapted by COVID-19? Or maybe you are juggling family life, are in lockdown remote working with others or can’t stop noticing how the hallway needs a hoover? However many tasks and goals you hope to achieve in a day, focusing on them all at once is actually counterproductive and way more stressful. Instead, try ‘single-tasking’- or in other words approaching one task at a time. Not only will this make you less stressed and happier, but it’s more likely to produce quality results quickly, as you apply your sole focus to the task at hand. So, treat each action point on your daily schedule as a separate task and watch how focusing on one thing at a time brings productive benefits. Oh, and it could even help get your creative juices flowing as well!
Tip 3- Only check your email every couple hours
Ah, emails- have you ever spent an entire day checking and replying to emails rather than doing the work you are supposed to be doing? Guilty! Whilst email is an effective communication method (especially during times of remote working) they can also be incredibly distracting by diverting your attention away from your work goals. To enable you to get more s*!T done and not revolve your day around email, why not limit the number of times in a day you check your inbox? A good habit to get into is checking every couple of hours- this ensures you keep on top of any urgent communication that may come in, but that you remain focused on work that is a priority.
Tip 4- Turn your phone off (or at least put it in another room)
Possibly the worst culprit of all… your smartphone. Like email, they are a great way to stay in touch whilst working remotely, but are crammed full of distractions! How much time do you actually waste scrolling through Instagram, checking Facebook or browsing Twitter? Many devices now track your smartphone usage and can flag up a warning if you are spending too much on-screen time- as well as comparing your usage to previous weeks. Check the time you are using your smartphone to try and actively reduce this.
Yet, even if you are really disciplined with web browsing and social media usage, a new WhatsApp message or news announcement is likely to distract you from the task at hand. A solution? Either turn your phone off completely for a designated period of time, or if you need it for work calls, place it in another room. This ensures you can hear it if it rings, but that you aren’t tempted to constantly look at it!
Tip 5- Close all browser tabs
How many of those browser tabs are you actually using? Or did you just check something quickly and leave it open? As well as cluttering your monitor whilst you are trying to concentrate, leaving multiple tabs open slows your working day down. You may struggle to locate the right tab when you need it quickly… and spending 15 minutes opening and closing multiple tabs isn’t our idea of productivity! It could also significantly slow your browser down, use up more memory and make work…slow. Nobody wants to have to ‘force quit’ halfway through a task!
Keep a tab (pardon the pun) on what’s open in your browser and close tabs as soon as you finishing using them. If you no longer need them open, using the CTRL + W or CMD + W keyboard shortcut will close them instantly.
Tip 6- Master time management
Without a doubt, a challenging aspect when working from home is time management. Suddenly there is no 9-5, no commute or defined end to the day. Although it is important to establish a ‘work mode’ during this period of remote work if you’re not careful, you could end up struggling to switch off. Even if you master your productivity, there will always be more s*!T to get done, so you need to set realistic expectations and put time limits on yourself.
Set your own deadlines. Do you want a task to be completed by 5 pm? Setting these intentions will help you plan your breaks and make you more motivated to get it done. A little pressure (but not stress) can actually improve productivity levels. Without this, it is likely you will delay tasks making your next working day or week more exhausting.
Tip 7- Transition in and out of work
More productivity tips?
Well, we have already mentioned the importance of transitioning from ‘work’ to ‘home’ mode during the isolation period, so setting clear activities that define both can help with this. In normal circumstances, a morning commute gets you to work, but it also provides the time your brain needs to prepare for the working day. Think about how you would usually fill these time… would you read? Listen to music? You can still do these things before the start of your day. Or perhaps you could use the time to get a workout in or have a proper, fuelling breakfast- things people sacrifice during the working week due to time restrictions. Similarly, the end of your working day should be signalled, even at home. The commute home is often a time when you wind down after a busy day- before you make dinner, workout or commence with other evening activities. When remote working, why not use this downtime? Make sure all electronic equipment is stored away and switched off and socialise at home or get out for a walk- anything that will switch your brain from ‘work’ to ‘home’ mode… as long as it’s in line with social distancing of course!
Tip 8- Maintain a positive outlook and learn to appreciate the benefits of working remotely
What with the bombardment of negative news and depressing stats, it’s hard to ignore that our daily lives have changed significantly and that a new type of normal is going to be in place for some time. An obvious reaction to this is to feel anxious, panicked or depressed as we try to navigate an ever-changing situation.
Yet, a positive mindset can really work wonders when attempting to focus on your goals and immerse yourself in work the same way you normally would. You can achieve this by taking some time to acknowledge the benefits of working from home: things like not spending precious hours sitting in a traffic jam, or having the opportunity to properly prepare your meals. Expressing gratitude for your health and having the choice on how to conduct your daily schedule can come as a welcome reminder that we have much to be thankful for and are fortunate to have goals to work towards.
Tip 9- Remain flexible and adaptable
It goes without saying that a working week in isolation isn’t going to be the same as a working week in the office, or when freedom of movement isn’t restricted. Trying to create a like for like whilst at home is only setting yourself up for failure- and you are wasting time and energy which could be used to focus on the task at hand. The reality of isolation is that kids are going to interrupt video calls, dogs might bark in the middle of a remote meeting or you may start to experience cabin fever from lack of outside time. Rather than waste time trying to control something you can’t- let it go. Instead, learn to adapt your work around the current situation. The sooner you accept this, the more likely you are to focus on the end goals without piling yourself with too much pressure.
Tip 10- Sit near a window
Enjoyed our productivity tips? Well here’s one more for you!
Organising a designated workspace- once which promotes productivity is certainly key when working from home. One thing to consider when choosing this space is natural light. Recent scientific studies have proven that sitting near a window has health as well as productivity benefits. This is based on a concept known as ‘refuge and prospect’, which suggests we are at our most comfortable when our backs are to the wall and we have a view of natural light through a window. Not only has this been proven to increase our capacity for directed attention (in other words improve our ability to focus and get s*!T done,) but nature also reduces our blood pressure and the circulation of stress hormones… productivity AND health benefits? This is definitely one to consider!
What are your productivity tips when working from home? How have you kept motivated during COVID-19? We would love to hear from you!