Schedule, schedule, schedule: How to stay productive when working from home

working from home

Fig PR founder Emma Burrows. Credit: Janis House Photography.

If you are reading this in your pyjamas, you’re not alone. 

Right now, across the globe, millions of people are working remotely for the very first time, embracing a new and unfamiliar type of working to help ‘flatten the curve’.

Of course, remote work is nothing new. It’s incredibly common in this digital nomad age and is adopted in most professional workplaces. 

The key difference at the moment is the C-word: choice. 

This unprecedented time has forced many people into remote settings, an unknown territory for their work, where staying focused and productive may prove to be difficult.  

So, whether you’re on hold to the IT team (trying to get some damn remote access) or simply needing some motivation, here are some simple tips to stay productive at home and get shit done. 

1. Start the day right

Set the alarm, put your work pants on, and show up.

It is incredibly easy to get into bad habits that can lead to a lack of motivation, before it even gets to 9am.

Make sure to have a routine: exercise, get dressed and clock on to your remote working lifestyle.

This will create a productive mindset and shape a day that is conducive to work. 

2. Create a work nook

Your physical environment plays a huge part in your level of productivity and wellbeing.

Find a space in your house where you can set up a makeshift office that is quiet and has minimal distractions, away from kids, housework, Netflix and even the fridge. Make this space for work only. You’ll be surprised at how productive your day will be. 

3. Schedule, schedule, schedule  

Use your calendar to block out key times of the day.

Aside from meetings, you might have a two-hour window to focus on admin, another block for training and development, as well as an hour to just answer emails.

Make sure to also schedule time for your lunch and to step away from your work. Go for a 30-minute walk when you need a pick-me-up to regain focus. 

4. Be accountable

If your team doesn’t use a CRM, try signing up for free with a productivity platform such as Asana or Monday. Add your set projects and tasks for the working week to help stay accountable and on track.

Try to get your workmates to join and follow your projects to create greater transparency. There’s nothing like others accessing your to-do list to give you a little extra boost. 

5. Stay connected

Remote life can be lonely AF. Make sure to stay connected with your team.

Use video conferencing services such as Zoom for meetings to have face-to-face interactions and stay in touch. Use this opportunity to also join relevant social media groups in your industry and network online.

It’s amazing the people you can meet through digital networking.  

6. Go to bed with purpose

Don’t make every night a party. It can become incredibly easy to have ‘just one more glass of wine/gin/whatever your poison’ because you’re working from home.

Try to set a nighty routine where you write your goals and to-do list for the next day, and go to bed with purpose. 

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