If you’ve worked from home in lockdown, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve achieved. According to recent research from Citrix, 69.6% of Australians polled said their productivity levels from working from home are the same or higher as they would be if they were working in the office.
However, maintaining this productivity is another matter. As the novelty of working from home wears off it’s important to keep up your output and morale.
Maintain that separation between work and home
As you probably discovered, working from home can blur the lines between home and work. If you managed to set up a designated working space from home, that’s fantastic, but if not it isn’t too late to establish one. Even if it’s just the corner of a room or a section of a desk, this will make the delineation between home and office more apparent.
With working from home being a new experience for many, you may have found yourself working odd hours of the day and night. If you haven’t already, use rituals to clearly signal the start and end of the working day. Rather than scrolling through your emails over breakfast, sit down in front of your computer and consciously make a start at your regular work start time. Try to wrap up work at your expected finish time and power down your computer.
Time your work
If you’re getting easily distracted, try timing your work. Called the ‘Pomodoro Technique’, this time management principle uses 25 minute intervals separated by short breaks. You can click on the online Tomato Timer or simply set an alarm on your phone. Turn off all other notifications and close down any browsers you don’t need.
As simple as it sounds, timing your work can be a great solution to not being able to get started or stay on track. Once the time is up you can take a short break or hit reset for another 25 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get through.
Write a to-do list and prioritise
Another simple solution to staying productive is listing what you need to get through that day and week. This is great to do at the end of the working day, as getting your tasks down on paper will mean you’re less likely to wake up in the night worrying about what needs to get done.
Make the tasks as specific as possible and check if any can be delegated. Once you’ve written your list, structure it according to priorities. The Eisenhower Matrix is a great tool for deciding which tasks are urgent and/or important.
Work your way through the list, being mindful that some flexibility is required as your day might not pan out as expected. As satisfying as it is to tick everything off the to-do list, some items might not be able to be wrapped up as quickly as you thought. On the other hand, others will naturally drop off the list as priorities change.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how simple yet effective list writing can be and how it makes a difference to your efficiency levels.