If somebody told you that from tomorrow onwards you’ll be working from home for the reat of your working days, you might ask yourself: ‘how will I maintain the productivity I had in the office?’ Whether this is already the case, or you are just starting your first remote job, here are some of my tips to help you keep your productivity at an all-time high.
As someone who has been working from home for the past two years, I initially had a really hard time being as productive and time efficient as I was when I worked in an office. When you’re working from home it’s normal to struggle for motivation as your comfy bed keeps calling to you, there’s endless TikTok videos to tempt you or you simply feel too lazy to start working on something. At the end of the day, we are only human, even machines can’t work non-stop, they also need some TLC sometimes. This brings me to why I’m writing this article. After two years of being ‘stuck’ working in the house, I’ve developed some great practices that work for me and that will hopefully work for you too.
1. No distractions: In a world of TikTok videos, Instagram reels, and YouTube shorts, which take advantage of our short attention spans I decided to remove all unnecessary items from my table as sometimes I would catch myself playing with things, instead of working. Keys, keychains, phones, phone cases, and all other things that you don’t need for work should definitely not be on your work desk. One thing that I would recommend is a stress ball, it comes in handy from time to time😒
2. Deep work time: You’re probably not living alone, there may be your partner, kids, family, friends, or housemates being really annoying sometimes. They yell, talk, walk or listen to loud music (as if earphones were never invented), and all these things can distract you from your work. That’s why you need some hours in the day for deep work time, with your notifications off, and perhaps even your door locked. For me, that time is during the night. I’m a night owl, I can work really late, when my family is sleeping, the streets are not as busy as they are in the day, and my girlfriend is not sending me tons of Instagram reels.
3. Take a rest when you need it: The best thing when you are working from home is that YOU ARE IN YOUR HOME.
Wow, amazing right 😀.
Now take advantage of that. Instead of sitting in your chair when you’re waiting on a message, just lay down on the sofa for a couple of minutes. Or if you’re really tired, and nothing is going your way, take a longer rest. There is this really cool method of rest I read about a while ago called Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR for short). It is a form of relaxation that Dr. Andrew Huberman (you should really check out his work btw), a neuroscience professor from Standford University suggests doing that even the CEO of Google practices. It is a way for resting deeply without sleeping, which in turn directs your mind to reset its focus and gives you a major boost in the day when you need it. This type of rest does not take a lot of your time, 20 minutes at max, but for me, it feels like waking up from a long sleep.
When you feel too tired, just lay down on your bed or sofa, take a rest without thinking about anything, but make sure you don’t fall asleep and after 20 minutes your brain and body will work as a brand-new well-oiled machine!
4. Invest in your work equipment: When I first started working remotely, I did not want to spend a lot on my chair or desk, or monitors because why would I do that, it is better for me to keep that money, right?
After a while, I learnt that I’d made a mistake. My back started hurting like hell and my legs would go numb when I would stand up from my desk. That was when I decided to buy a standing desk and a good chair that would support my lower back so that I can be more productive without thinking about all the pain I felt in my body. This, obviously, was not cheap, but now it’s definitely paying off. I can work for longer periods of time without my back killing me and even stand in my meetings. After all, I don’t want to have a hunched back when I get old.
5. Hit the gym: I will repeat it once more: HIT! THE! GYM!
This is not some advice, this is simply mandatory!
I am serious, we are humans, we are not designed to sit in a chair, especially for prolonged periods of time. Even though that’s the way most of us we make a living. Take the time you would spend commuting to work, and use that time to go to the gym, you don’t need to become the next Arnold, just keep your body active. Go 3 to 5 times a week, walk on a treadmill, pump your biceps a bit, feel the burn! For me, this becomes especially handy when I have a rough day. I go for a walk on a treadmill for 40 minutes, leaving my soul and feeling like a reborn man. All my bad thoughts are left on that treadmill. That poor treadmill must be very sad and desperate by this point
6. Your home is more than an office
Sure, you’re working from home, but work should start at 9 and stop at 5! Have some time for yourself before and after you clock out. One mistake that I used to make (and I still do sometimes) is waking up 5 minutes before my work begins. What can I do, I love sleeping, and my very nice, warm, and comfy bed. But this is not good, as you will feel sleepy at work, and you will not perform to your best ability. Because of that, wake up sooner, freshen up, stretch, bathe in some morning sun, enjoy a freshly brewed coffee and you are off to a great start to conquer your working day.
Those are some of my tips for keeping my productivity high when working from home. Don’t be sad or discouraged if you don’t do all of these things, sometimes even I don’t do them all.
All of us have good and bad days, but the important thing is to improve ourself day by day and be the best version of yourself to achieve your future goals. Before I go, I will add that some of these things might not be your cup of tea, that’s why it is essential to find what works for you individually.