The Covid-19 outbreak is certainly changing the way we live our lives. For one, it is forcing a lot of people to now work from home. But, for a lot of folks, working from home will be a new experience. In this post, we'll look at 10 tips for staying productive, focused, and sane whilst home working during this time of Crisis.
As an online business owner, freelancer and blogger, working from home is something I'm used to now. I've been doing it since 2006. Over the years, I've developed a pretty robust routine and schedule for staying focused and productive. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
OK, so let's get started on the 10 tips below.
Let's start with one of the most important processes of working from home. Before you start to get comfortable and productive, first find a place in your home which you can turn into a permanent work area.
If you're going to flop your laptop out here, there and everywhere, you're not going to be as productive. If you live in a busy household then you're going to get distracted, frustrated, and all the rest of it.
When designating your workspace, make sure it's away from any distractions. By distractions, I mean the TV, Radio, screaming kids (if you have them), family antics, etc.
If possible also, choose a place near a window. You want some natural light and to be able to open a window if you need some fresh air from time to time.
Keep your workspace clean and tidy. Make sure, of course, you wash your hands and wipe down your desk, keyboard, mouse, books, etc regularly.
At the time of writing this post, all the news channels are constantly streaming content about Coronavirus. Television, in general, is showcasing programs about the outbreak too. Now, that's not a bad thing, we all need to be kept informed, but try not to watch too much of it during your scheduled work time.
For the past few weeks, I've been transfixed on the News. I've been leaving the TV on in the background in my office. But, as I learned this was having a negative impact on my productivity and motivation to work, naturally.
I already struggle with anxiety, so now I just leave the TV off.
Of course, you should make time for catching up on the news, but not during your time of work.
If you really need to have something on in the background, try some relaxing music.
Staying motivated when working from home can be tricky. It's so easy to fall into the procrastination trap. You might be tempted to do some housework or shop online, or aimlessly scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed.
You need to plan and strategize well in advance. I spend around 20 to 30 minutes planning the night before. Give it a try if you don't already do this.
Set yourself not just daily goals, but also hourly goals and set a timer with your smartphone or watch for each hour.
Oh, one more tip:
Put all of the boring stuff at the top of your priority list. Then at least you can look forward to working on the exciting stuff.
Self-isolation can be a challenging time, especially if you are doing it all alone. If you can't meet with your friends and business contacts face-to-face, it's time to start making use of all the awesome communication tools and technology we have.
Use apps like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or any other means of Video conferencing to stay connected. Email is fine, but, you can't rely on this as your only means of communication for weeks on end, it's not healthy.
We live in a wonderful modern digital age. When it comes to productivity and project management, there are plenty of tools, apps, and services to make good use of.
The web and app stores are crammed with both free and premium tools, select the tools you need wisely. Or check out this comprehensive list of tools to choose from.
Self-isolation and working from home is all well and good. But at the same time, you have to keep yourself in good health, especially if you're in for the long-haul. You have to look after yourself well, both physically and mentally.
Take up yoga. You don't have to be an expert, there are plenty of YouTube videos to follow along. Yoga is fantastic for improving breathing, managing stress, and strengthening joint and muscles.
If you have a treadmill in your home that is currently being used as a clothes rack, well, it's time to put it to good use, don't you think? If not, you can jog around the garden if you can.
Or why not do some start jumps on the spot. The end of it all is that exercise is good for your mental and physical health. And when you're self-isolating, it's super important to stay sane, active, and healthy.
You might be used to drinking a lot of tea and coffee working in a busy office environment. I'm just guessing. Well, if you are, then consider substituting caffeine for water when working from home.
It's so easy, you open the tap and fill your glass to the top and drink, frequently. And it takes less time to pour a glass of water than it does to make a cup of coffee.
Here are some benefits of drinking water are plentiful -
Click here to read more about the benefits of drinking water.
I get it, you have deadlines to meet, people to Skype, emails to send, spreadsheets to complete, and all the rest of it. But don't forget to take frequent breaks.
Most of us have smartphones, so I recommend downloading the Focus Keeper App. You can apply your own settings for whatever length of time you want to work for before taking a break. You can set your break length too.
When you do take your break, go to a window or open the door and get some fresh air. Or, if you can, sit in your garden for a few minutes. Re-adjust your eyes on something other than a phone or computer screen. Leave your phone or tablet at your workspace, in fact. But only if you are able to.
Some folks will be facing the long-haul working from home and self-isolating. It's not going to be easy. Especially during this Covid-19 outbreak. No one knows for sure how long this will last.
If you're working on projects that require team collaboration, you can use tools like Monday.com to build and manage your team and tasks.
Slack is another fantastic client collaboration app I recommend checking out.
Last but not least. A great way to stay focused, productive, and free up your time working on the most important projects, is to automate your marketing where possible.
You can use tools like CoSchScedule to automate your emails, social media, marketing campaigns, and all the rest of it.
Also, check out this post for tips on automating your marketing.
We are all facing big changes in our lives with the Covid-19 outbreak situation. The way we go about our business, working, socializing will feel a lot different over the coming months.
It's important to stay positive, motivated and productive when it comes to working at home. Most importantly, though, it's important that you look after yourself first. Stay healthy both physically and mentally. You are not alone, we're all in this together. We got this. You got this!
Best of luck to you.