Working from home is not everyone’s cup of tea but let’s face it - it’s our new normal. Staying productive and focused can be difficult when they are more distractions around us at home than in the office.
A study by Blind gauging emotional well-being due to social distancing in terms of productivity, loneliness, and anxiety levels from 10,107 workers found that 53% of respondents said that their productivity levels have been impacted due to changes in mental health while working from home.
In our inaugural blog post, we share our 10 top tips for increasing your productivity while working-from-home.
1. Take regular breaks
It’s easy to ‘get in the zone’ and lose track of time when you’re at home, so it’s important to take regular breaks to optimize your performance throughout your workday. Taking regular breaks of only two minutes has been shown to increase productivity by over 11%.
Use Boost to increase your productivity while working from home. Boost has content for every preference and is already used by remote workers all across the globe.
2. Make a schedule
Every week when all work is assigned, create a weekly schedule of what tasks you want to be completed and at what time you want them to be completed. Especially when planned down to the last minute, these schedules simulate order and organization, much like school or work schedules.
Use the Boost Scheduler to schedule regular breaks around your work schedule. Having Boost notifications at specific times during your workday can also increase a sense of urgency as the time limit serves as motivation to work harder, smarter, and faster.
3. Prioritize your time
Use the extra time per day wisely and carefully to your advantage. Your extra hour or so that is saved from not having to commute to work can be learning a new language, going for a run, or catching up on a call with a friend.
Whatever you decide, make sure you complete your top priorities before focusing on lower ones to avoid leaving a huge pile of work and stress for the end of the week.
4. Try a new work environment
At some point, working in the same places will become repetitive and if you find that working at your desk is unproductive, it may be because the setting is too familiar and comfortable. Instead, find an environment that you've never tried to work in before.
Changing up your work environment regularly will help you break up the monotony of working in the same place every day.
5. Drink plenty of water
Use the 8x8 rule to stay hydrated during your day. As per this rule, drink eight 8-ounce (~250ml) glasses of water every day. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of your body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water.
The more water you drink, the more you’ll need to use the toilet which provides the added benefit of you having to stand up and walk to the toilet.
6. Exercise regularly
Exercise is good for you. Cardiovascular exercise helps you maintain healthy lungs, which is important because coronavirus is a respiratory illness. Get fresh air, get sweaty, and a good pumping heart rate.
Boost offers exercise content including yoga and stretches that you can do from your desk. Exercise also helps keep your body flexible as your range of motion diminishes from staying at home all day.
7. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults (18 - 64 years) get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is particularly important during this pandemic, helping you mind your mental health and develop and maintain a strong, healthy immune system.
A strong immune system is crucial for fighting off the coronavirus or any other illnesses that may come your way during this time. When your brain is rested and healthy, it’s much easier to deal with the emotional and mental demands you may face.
8. Minimize the time you spend on social media
Social media is designed to be addictive and is detrimental to your productivity. A report by TeamLease found that workers who used social media while working lost 13% of their total productivity.
Remove social networks from your toolbar and log out of every account. Clear your browsing history so your browser doesn’t autocomplete a social network’s name when you start typing.
9. Prepare your meals the night before
Working-from-home can make it tempting to spend time preparing a nice breakfast and lunch for yourself, chopping, and cooking included.
Don't use precious minutes making your food the day of work - cook it the night before. Preparing food ahead of time ensures you can use your meal times to eat, and that you aren't performing non-work tasks that spend energy better used at your desk.
10. Choose a definitive finishing time every day
You may be under the illusion that working-from-home establishes more work-life balance but this is not always the case. You can get so caught up in what you’re doing that you lose track of time.
In place of co-workers, whose packing up and leaving the office reminds you to do the same, set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal workday is coming to an end. You don't have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing the work day is technically over can help you start the process of saving your work and calling it quits for the evening.
While working-from-home may not have been a seamless transition for you, we hope that by putting these tips into practice, you can optimize your productivity throughout your working day and be happier and healthier in the process. We wish you the best in your professional endeavors.