I’m betting no one thought that this time last month they’d be giving up their daily commute for Lent, but here we are. As things stand, it looks as if we’ll all be working from/studying at home until the Easter holidays and admittedly, there are a couple of nice benefits.You’re now there to accept online deliveries and you can play whatever music/podcast you like as loudly as you want to.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few drawbacks to it too and if you’re beginning to feel them, you are definitely not alone. So, on the back of that, we wanted to provide some actionable tips on how to be productive when you are working and job searching from home.
1. Put some clothes on. 👕
If you’re still in the clothes you woke up in, it’ll be a lot harder for your brain to compute that you’ve actually now transitioned from sleeping time to working time.
One of the obvious perks of being at home is that you can always be dressed comfortably. However, it’s important to prepare yourself for the day. First and foremost, start your day by getting dressed. It can be tempting to reach over when you wake up and pick up your laptop and get stuck into your working day. Don’t.
By not preparing for the day and creating clear boundaries, your day never really starts. Plus, it’s always nice to be ready for a surprise WhatsApp Video Call, Zoom or Google Hangout that comes out of absolutely nowhere at 10 am.
2. Make a schedule and stick to it. ⏰
People can find it hard to clearly define when their day starts and when it ends. To address this, we would recommend making a schedule for each day and follow it as closely as you can.
Set your alarm for the same time you’d typically wake up at and if, for example, when you get up you normally take a shower and brush your teeth, keep doing that. Do whatever is part of your morning routine when you actually do have somewhere to go. Meditating, walking your dog, going for a run. Whatever it is that gets you in the right headspace to work, get it done.
Then, break your day into blocks with separate work and leisure time. Write out a to-do list each morning and have a clearly defined finish time where you know you can turn off and relax.
3. Create a workspace in your home. 🖥
The final and potentially most important thing to do is to have access to an environment at home that is conducive to doing good work. Where you actually set yourself up is entirely up to you. The purpose of the exercise is to have a clearly defined space where you can work.
Obviously, it’s ideal to have a desk in a separate room with a nice view but a kitchen table or counter can easily act as a viable alternative. If space allows for it, you can even throw down a couple of plants if you’re feeling fancy.
As tempting as it might be, I would try to avoid working from the couch and under absolutely no circumstances, as mentioned before, should you try and work from the comfort of your warm bed.
Having as much separation as possible between your home and work life while you’re spending your time exclusively at home will be the difference between you spending this extra time efficiently and being productive or dragging by slowly.
What’s crucial to remember is that the feelings you might be experiencing are completely normal! Suddenly going from working from a lecture hall, library or office to working from home can be a difficult transition. This is a temporary situation and the more positively you look at it, the better you will feel.