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It can be tough to stay on track while working from home, especially during the Coronapocalypse. Although research actually shows that we get more work done when we’re working remotely, it doesn’t feel that way at times. But, at Mondays in PJs, we’ve been working online for over half a decade now, so we’ve developed a pretty solid routine. Here’s how to maintain productivity while working from home.
How to Maintain Productivity While Working From Home
Get Into a Set Schedule
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of staying productive while working remotely is to get into a schedule that works for you – and stick to it. Maintaining a regular schedule like this one can be super beneficial, not only to your work but to your general sense of well-being. Going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day to start work can keep your circadian rhythm in check, and help you keep a healthy brain/body balance.
Don’t Skimp on Breakfast
It can be tempting to guzzle some coffee and jump right into things, but that may lead to a serious energy slump before lunch. Eating breakfast will not only give you the energy you need to get through your morning, but it also boosts your brain power. Make sure to grab something to eat before getting started, even if it’s just a piece of toast with some peanut butter or a protein-packed breakfast bar. Even better? Toss a bunch of nutritious and delicious stuff into your blender and make an awesome, energizing breakfast smoothie.
Wake Up and Get Ready
Do whatever it is you need to do that makes you feel energized and ready to face the day. If that means getting in a workout and/or taking a shower, or maybe it means journaling while drinking coffee, whatever it is – do it! Whether or not video conferencing is a part of your workload, jumping in the shower and getting dressed like it is can boost your energy and prepare you to get it done. But relax, that doesn’t mean you need to reach for the pants with buttons. No one would see your bottom half even if you were on cam, so hello, yoga pants and flip-flops.
Love Your Space
While you may just want to pop open your laptop and get your work done from the couch with your TV on in the background, it’s definitely not one of the best ways to maintain productivity while working from home. Setting up a dedicated workspace, or even a full home office, can make a world of difference when it comes to your motivation and energy during the day.
Ergonomic Office Equipment
Once you know where you want your workspace to be, filling it with ergonomic furniture and accessories is one of the best ways to keep your energy levels high and prevent lower back pain while working from home. Ergonomic computer chairs with lumbar support make sitting down for long periods of time easier on your back. Adjustable or standing desks along with balance boards, or even under-the-desk treadmills help you stay awake (and fit!) during the day.
Use Binaural Beats
Sometimes, all of the background noises around us can be extremely distracting to the point we have trouble concentrating on the task at hand. Other times, our minds will exaggerate those noises simply because we’re having trouble concentrating on said tasks. Either way, it can be beneficial to use some type of white noise or even music. You can find these binaural beat soundwave therapy tracks for everything from stress and pain relief to energy boosts and, for the purpose of working, focus and concentration. Binaural beats work best if you wear a good set of headphones while you listen.
Stay off of Social Media
It’s just so tempting and convenient to keep switching back and forth and checking up on everything going on in internet land, and it’s kind of hard to resist the temptation of social media. To make it easier, use an app like Stay Focused, which tracks productivity while blocking all of the sites that distract you from getting your work done.
Keep Your Work Area Off-Limits
If you were working at the office, your family members wouldn’t be popping in to ask you questions throughout the day. While working online throughout the COVID era can be a bit difficult, it’s still important to maintain boundaries if you want to remain productive while working from home. Let family members (or whoever it is you live with) know that you don’t want to be disturbed during work hours.
While working from home has plenty of benefits, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an adjustment period in getting into the flow of things. You already have your workspace setup, but is everything that you need for work organized within it?
Take Plenty of Breaks
Sitting and staring at the screen for hours on end can be bad for your health in a number of ways. But, it can also lead to a brain scramble, which usually ends up resulting in more work than necessary, because something gets screwed up and you have to go back in and fix it later. Make sure you’re taking plenty of breaks to get up and move around. Go for a walk around the house (or neighborhood,) grab a glass of water, get lunch, get up and stretch, etc. If your living situation doesn’t allow you to walk around outside, and/or if you don’t have very much space, you can always consult YouTube. There are plenty of short exercises, like these 10-15 minute one-mile walk fit videos, that you can do in your living room.