While it may be tempting to work in your pyjamas or very causal clothes, dressing as you normally do if you’re going to work can be a good way to keep the routine going and get you ready for a normal workday. Scheduling video chats with Zoom or Skype instead of phone calls with colleagues or clients can also help with motivation to keep yourself looking the part.
Timed breaks and a workday that has a set beginning and end is a good way to keep your work separate from your leisure time. While it may seem like a good idea to work an hour over here and there or work through your lunch, taking a break can help you to refocus; you might find that you perform better in the long run. Taking a short walk before you begin and after you finish your workday can also help you to separate work time from leisure time, as a kind of “simulated commute”.
TV, internet, kids, pets… There’s a long list of things that can distract you and make you less productive. Do the best that you can to minimise distractions; if it’s not possible (i.e. with children,) try to deal with the problem as quickly as possible, and take a short break if you need to. Restrict leisure activities such as TV, internet browsing, chatting and social media to break times. The Do Not Disturb function in Windows 10 and on your phone can be very useful! There are several apps that can help you to focus, such as Cold Turkey Blocker which can help you lock yourself out of specific apps or websites if you find your self control waning! Music can also help you work, and Brain.fm (mobile app and website) have a selection of soundtracks that are designed to help you focus. Your mileage may vary; some people find music distracting. There are many apps out there for focus, though, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to find something that works for you.
Making a set workspace and keeping it organised and tidy is essential to maintaining focus while working. Keep necessary items nearby so you don’t have to search around for them. Try to separate your working space from your leisure space if at all possible; if this isn’t possible, try different using furniture or desk (or even desktop) configurations for working and leisure time.
If you work as part of a team, it can be a little disheartening not to have people around when something goes well or something is achieved, however small. Have a group chat or similar way of contacting your colleagues (or even friends, or your partner) and share your successes. Seeing other succeed and receiving congratulations from them on your own successes can help boost morale while you’re working from home.
We hope you and your team are still managing to stay productive during lockdown. It’s important to recognise that some people may not be able to accomplish as much as they can during a regular office workday while working from home, while others may find that having the option to work in a more relaxed environment helps them to focus. It’s all down to the individual – Stay supportive of one another!