With Coronavirus on the rise, many companies are cautioning their employees to work from home. But when you’re used to going into an office every day, it can be a serious struggle to transition to working from home.
With distractions galore, and nobody around to keep you in check, it might even feel impossible to get work done.
But with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can learn how to work from home successfully — and even enjoy the luxury of not having to commute and go into the office.
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How to stay sane working from home
Design a dedicated work space
While it may be tempting to work in bed, try to resist that urge. It’s important to set up a proper work space to get yourself in the working mindset — otherwise you may find yourself snoozing off instead of responding to that important email.
Ideally you should have a dedicated desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure the space is organized and clutter-free. Have a dry erase board, or notebook with pen nearby to jot down ideas as you go about your day.
If you have to do video calls for work, pay attention to what’s in the background and make it look clean and professional.
Set office hours
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re at home, so make sure to appoint specific office hours each day. For example, decide each day you will work from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., then take an hour break for lunch, and resume working from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.
The great thing about working from home is you get to decide exactly how you want to set up your schedule. If you happen to do your best work at midnight, nobody is stopping you!
During your set office hours, be sure to keep your distractions to a minimum.
Clear up any clutter that’s around, or you might be tempted to start cleaning during your workday.
Put on some motivational background music that gets you in the zone — we recommend music without lyrics so you don’t get distracted.
If you find yourself getting sucked into mindlessly scrolling on social media, keep your phone away from your desk and turn it on airplane mode, or download a web extension like StayFocusd to block access to certain sites during your work hours.
Plan out your day
It can be especially hard working from home if you don’t know what tasks you should be focusing on next. It’s easy to wind up wasting lots of time figuring out what you should do next, instead of actually doing the tasks you need to get done.
At the end of each work day, set up a schedule of what you’ll be working on and what you need to accomplish the next day. That way, you can get right to work in the morning and know exactly what needs to get done.
Your tasks might have to change if urgent issues arise, but it’s important to try to commit to a set agenda as much as you can. You will be far more productive as a result.
Stay connected with your team
If you need to work from home for an extended time, you might start to feel isolated and cut off from your team. Without seeing them face-to-face each day, it can be a struggle to still feel like a part of the team.
To make team collaboration easier, check in with coworkers regularly using messaging tools like Slack, and video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts. This way you’ll always keep eachother in the loop.
Prepare meals the night before
When you’re at home, it may be tempting to spend valuable time cooking an elaborate breakfast or lunch instead of focusing on work.
Instead, save time by prepping your meals ahead of time so you aren’t wasting energy on non-work related tasks during your set office hours.
Take clear breaks
Sometimes working from home can make you feel guilty and like you aren’t really working — so you may avoid taking breaks altogether. But the truth is, you will be more productive if you schedule a couple times during the way to get away from your desk and take a breather.
Rather than using a break to scroll Facebook or watch a YouTube video, try to get some screen free down time. Try doing a short yoga routine, peacefully drinking some coffee in the sunshine, spending time with friends or family who may also be in your house, or taking a little walk outside.
You will find you come back to your desk feeling refreshed and energized to continue your work day.
The bottom line
If you’ve been wondering how to work from home successfully, we know it isn’t always easy — but hopefully these working from home tips will help make your days more productive.
If you’re following all these tips already, but are still struggling to stay focused and energized, consider trying our CLA supplement with caffeine, or our Curcumin supplement for an added boost of motivation and clarity.