Many of us have had our lives turned upside down, with little notice or time to prepare and are just ‘making do’.
Here at HSM our working lives haven’t changed too much – we are already used to working online and we seem to be pretty good at it, but for a lot of our friends, family and clients, working from home is a new and often unwelcome challenge.
They all seem to be having similar problems with productivity, so we have put together a list of tips to help make the most of these uncertain times.
Some may sound a little obvious but if you follow them all you’ll be well on your way to being productive everyday.
1) Get dressed
Not only will this help you to maintain your old routine, it helps set your brain into a productive frame of mind.
Most of us only get dressed when we have something to do, so by just doing that, you’re already telling yourself to do it.
Pyjamas and nightgowns are cosy and comforting but you’ll never be at your finest in them – which leads us neatly on to the next point..
2) Never work from bed
This is counter-productive in a couple of ways.
You’ll never be fully focused lying in bed. The clothes you’re in, the duvet you’re warm under, the snoozes you’ll take and the mental fog you will be in will stop you from achieving even the most basic to-do list. Get up (and get dressed).
Working from bed is also proven to harm your chances of resting or sleeping in bed when it is actually time for it.
A productivity lose-lose.
3) Choose the best desk or work area that you can.
This point is worth a bit of effort. Even if you don’t have the cash to splash on a desk and wheelie chair, or the room to spare for a study, you can do small things to make your space the best that it can be.
Wherever it is, keep it tidy. Spend the last 5 minutes of your working day organising your space so that it is ready for tomorrow morning. An untidy desk isn’t just depressing to look at, you will never be productive if you can’t even find your pen.
Nab the best spot that you can. Lots of light and away from the kids or the fridge. Wear headphones if you can’t escape.
If your chair is uncomfortable get a cushion. If your table is too low, prop your laptop up on a book or two. Your posture affects your productivity almost as much as your environment, not to mention the backache you’ll have. Sit up straight now and see how different it feels. A plant would be 👌
4) Stay hydrated
This tip makes almost everyone roll their eyes, but, when questioned, nobody is ever drinking enough and most people are well below what they should be drinking.
Drinking water helps you stay focused and productive but it is also critical for countless aspects of your health and well being.
If you find water bland or boring then simply adding a low sugar cordial or a slice of fruit will help.
Just remember that you shouldn’t count caffeinated or alcoholic drinks in your daily target!
5) Set breaks and stick to them
You’re much more likely to have a productive hour if you know you’ll soon be rewarded with a 20 minute break.
This simple reward system really does work. But there is one catch –
6) NO PHONE
Phones are the number 1 biggest distraction that all of us have these days.
Whether it’s looking at the news all too often or messaging your friends and family, or the constant pull of just having a quick look on Facebook or Instagram – it all adds up and you wouldn’t believe how long you’ve been online. 2 minutes can easily turn into an hour.
If you are worried about missing important messages in between your breaks then ask your friends and family to call you if something is urgent and silence all other notifications. If you can, leave your phone in another room. You will be much more productive.
7) Write a to-do list
We are huge fans of todoist and all things digital, but nothing has the same feeling as an old fashioned, pen and paper to do list.
A good tip is to break your tasks down into smaller ones, to increase your sense of achievement and your feeling of productivity.
Laundry is a classic and relatable example.
A huge and never ending task will never be crossed off but something more along the lines of
Sort dirty clothes from clean
Pair socks etc etc.
is far easier to achieve and when you start to cross things off of your list, the more productive you feel. The more productive you feel, the more productive you become.
Another popular type of to-do list is to write 3 separate lists; one for urgent things, one for important things and one for little non-urgent things.
This way you can actually be very productive. When your urgent list is empty, the chances are that some of the ‘important’ things would have become urgent and so the cycle continues.
All of these things really helped us to succeed when we were just starting up Headsmart Media and we hope they help you, too.
Let us know if you have any other tips or how you get on with ours. Stay safe. Stay home. Be productive!