9 tips for staying productive while working from home

Struggling to adapt to working from home? Here are 9 tips for people adjusting to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic.


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Stephen

Mar 24, 2020

I’m a passionate believer in ultra-slow travel, travel therapy and self discovery, and I believe that every experience can be used for good. My nex...

tips for working remotely

There are a lot of changes going on right now... and many of you will have been thrown into the deep end. 

This article will hopefully provide you with the infrastructure to transition to working at home with some ease. 

What follows are our top 9 tips for working from home in a productive way. I truly hope there is some value here to help you through these tough times!

Our top 9 tips for being productive while working remotely:

1. Evaluate your work-life balance

2. Establish your new routine

3. Do exercises that reflect your mood

4. Don't be consumed by the news

5. Redefine your relationship with social media

6. Get comfy

7. Play to your strengths

8. Take this experience for what it is

9. Enjoy the current offers and training opportunities

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1. Evaluate your work-life balance

Firstly, take a nice deep breath. Take stock of the new situation, the new work environment. Where you'll sit, what you'll wear, when you'll have a break, your personal do's and don'ts and crucially, when you'll finish for the day. 

Define your boundaries. Don't just jump into remote working from the first moment, but really make sure that you have a rough idea of how it'll play out before you start.

Some things to consider: how do you handle being free to procrastinate? Is unlimited fridge/snack access an issue? How about motivation when not with colleagues?

Stability and self-understanding is now more than ever an asset, as we manage our way through the following days and weeks without a physical community.

2. Establish your new routine

Now is the most vital time to ground yourself, precisely because so much is up in the air. 

Of course, you'll need some time to get used to the new way of things, but the sooner you have a basic infrastructure in place, the better. It doesn't need to be set in stone from the first day; it can change, it should change.

Try things out, see what works best for you. For example, you might need to allocate some extra time to do things with the lingering anxiety surrounding Coronavirus (I know I'm not the only one that's always distracted now!). Of course the opposite is also true, there are those that really double down on work, and need a very busy schedule to take their mind off of the pandemic. 

The sooner you know what your new daily routine looks like, the sooner you can sleep with some comfort for what the next day will hold.

3. Do exercises that reflect your mood

After a few days in quarantine (I'm currently in Paris) I started to feel extremely anxious, pacing around my room, far too high energy to focus on work. 

I usually do yoga and I absolutely love it, but at that moment all I wanted was to work out until I was pouring sweat. Every day since then, I've been doing brutal HIIT workouts in the morning, as a way to physically work away some stress and get ready to start my day.

You might find yoga is exactly what you need right now, or you might want to do as many crunches and push ups as you can. Either way, if your lifestyle has suddenly changed, there is a chance that your workout will need to as well, so keep this in mind.

4. Don't be consumed by the news

This one is huge. Let this be your mantra in the coming weeks: IF THE NEWS STARTS GIVING YOU ANXIETY, SWITCH IT OFF

As a person accustomed to hearing news from word-of-mouth it's even more painful for me to count up the hours, the blog posts and news articles I have read in the past week. It's good to read some, but you know what? I didn't gain any real knowledge between the 10th and the 20th articles.

With the flurry of headlines and the urgency of the global situation, it's all too easy to find yourself suddenly addicted to the news... and keeping abreast of the news is great, but don't be consumed by it!

5. Redefine your relationship with social media

In the same way that you eat carefully when on a diet, it's worth being conscious of the content that you consume now that your social contact is limited. 

With coronavirus, it's easier than ever to go down the rabbit hole of getting in touch with not only family and close friends, but... everyone, from old classmates and colleagues to those people on Facebook that you never usually speak to.

I'm experimenting a lot with the rules I set myself. While I'm in bed, I can consume as much social media as I want. But during the day my phone has to be set to "do not disturb." If I didn't have some form of rule in place right now, I'd never stop consuming content.

Having said all of that, it is a balancing act. If social media enriches your life and gives you comfort (or on the contrary — you can give comfort to an isolated person right now) then please, don't feel restricted. 

Just have a social media relationship that keeps you in a good place, however that manifests itself for you.

6. Get comfy

These are tough times, there is a lot of uncertainty and nobody knows exactly how things will play out. Though our minds might make us feel that we are the only one, allow me to personally promise you — right now — that you aren't. 

Put on some nice music, give yourself an extra break during the day. Get some of your favorite snacks, keep an eye on your mental health, let yourself indulge a little on the things that you enjoy, and don't beat yourself up over minor things.

Perhaps most importantly, remember that this situation isn't your fault!

There's a very practical reason for doing all of this. The better your morale is, the better your work is. So go wild. The layout of the desk, the ambient sounds, the temperature, absolutely everything you can control, optimize it from the first day.

You'll find that by focusing on what you can control as opposed to what you can't, your mindset will be greatly improved

It's absolutely worth investing a few hours to rearrange some furniture if it means that the next few weeks (or maybe even months — eek!) will be that much easier to handle.

7. Play to your strengths

Some people might find themselves fitting into their new lifestyle like a glove, while others find it hard to adjust. 

Working from home has some real differences to the office environment that many people are coming from right now, and with time you'll find your own rhythm

A few tips to get you started:

  • If you know you get distracted easily, or are liable to procrastinate when you always have access to your phone... turn it off!
  • If you think you need to set some rules with a partner or other members of your family, do it.
  • If you have access to someone with useful skills, capitalize on them!

The idea here is to make your life as easy as possible, and the greatest benefit to working from home is that you can customize your lifestyle to suit your needs. 

So by all means, make the most of it. If you want to sleep in and swap the 9-5 for a 1-9, now is the chance to experiment!

8. Take this experience for what it is

I get it; this was not the plan. But, with every new change of circumstance comes an opportunity to glean something new. 

Just because we didn't choose this doesn't mean it's not valuable. If you are part of a company that often has a need of remote workers, at the very least, you'll have an insight on how that process looks, and a better understanding of how to work with them in the future.

And if you were thinking of transitioning between careers in the future, take this chance to diversify your skills. It has value.

9. Enjoy the current offers and training opportunities

Right now there are big discounts across many online learning platforms and e-courses, as companies respond to so many more people at home. 

So whether the lack of commuting has given you more time, or you could just use the distraction, now is a good opportunity to learn something new

Everything from languages to masterclasses are going cheap, so see what's out there and stay occupied!


Remote work tips

With all of the changes going on in the world right now, perhaps you won't wake up at the peak of joy but with any luck these tips will still enable you to have a reasonable quality of life, despite the current hardships. 

Don't spend too much energy on the things that you can't influence, be good to yourself and try and give yourself as much peace as possible.

And wash your hands!


02277874cf0dcc32c73d0dbe70426f2f

Stephen

Mar 24, 2020

I’m a passionate believer in ultra-slow travel, travel therapy and self discovery, and I believe that every experience can be used for good. My nex...


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