Home is where the distractions are. It may seem like an extreme sport trying to get any work down when you have children, the tv, and your phone demanding your attention. So how do you stay focused without losing your sanity?
For many South African’s that will be experiencing this new workspace for the first time, welcome! Here are nine essential tips to maximise your newfound responsibility by maximising your productivity levels.
Stick to the work hours
Maintaining the same routine as if you are still heading into the office can help your productivity levels. It’s been scientifically proven that our concentration levels for one task last for 40 minutes before the brain begins to get distracted. Which leads us to our next point.
Take regular breaks. Your brain needs a break a break from all the hard work you have been doing. Remember not to stretch these for too long. It can cause you to lose your groove. Have a snack, clean up your work space area, go into your yard for a small walk, or change your work station. Working from a different area can break the mundane aspect of tapping away at your P.C.
Plan your days
Routine is one of the best ways to stay sane. Keeping a plan of how you would like your day to go is crucial. Stick to the same time consistently. Write down a list of the most important tasks you would like to execute before the end of the day to give structure to your day. It will also make the process less overwhelming and will give you a sense of direction. If you have children, you can give them tasks to keep them busy such as drawing or games. Remember to have a talk where you explain that your work area is strictly for you and you should not be disturbed.
Take care of your mental health
A UN report revealed that people who work remotely experience higher-stress levels than office workers and tend to clock in more hours. It can also trigger anxiety and depression in people, which is why you need to break away from work once in a while. Remember to switch off and switch on activities that get you in a good mood. You can exercise, read, listen to a podcast, do arts and crafts while you listen to music to destress. Catching up with your loved ones via telephone or skype is also a great way to get your mind off work.
Have a set workspace in which you work in away from distractions. If you find that your phone is a distraction, keep it away from sight or in another room where you can still hear it should it ring. For people who have children, it is important to create clear boundaries of what can and cannot be done during these hours. If you have an infant, this could be a bit trickier. You can look at hours where your child is the least active to get work in or ask your partner or relative that you stay with to assist you on taking care of them while you work.
We are social creatures, which is why it can feel a bit lonely when the only communication you have is text. Scheduling video calls with your colleagues or relatives can help bring the social aspect into working from home.
Separate business from pleasure
Aim to keep your work hours as work hours and personal hours as personal. Once it is knock-off time from work, switch-off by focusing on your personal life. It is a great way to stop your work from bleeding into your personal life.
Remember to rest
Have a sleep routine that allows you to wind down 30 minutes before you head to bed. Make sure that all your electronics are switched off and far from your bed to make sure that you get adequate sleep.