Being productive during work from home is a lot more trickier than working from the office, and the entire world population knows that by now. With your comfortable bed a mere few inches away from where you're currently working, resisting the temptation to climb back into bed requires a will power made of steel. Besides, every space in your house becomes unexpectedly comfortable, when you're really trying to focus on work. And soon enough, 5-minute nap breaks turn into hour-long slumber sessions, and missed calls and meetings.
So what can we do about the giant waves of laziness that take over us, every time we resolve to dedicate all our focus to work? Luckily for us, there exist a few hacks that long term Work from Home veterans have been using all this while, to enhance their productivity. Here's a list of 5 such tactics to increase your work output form home:
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1. Figure Our Your Peak Productivity Time
Even though our usual work schedules span the entire day, there are a couple of hours within that window when your productivity is at its optimum level. While waking up at the crack of dawn and getting an early start on tasks, works for some people, some tend to feel sluggish during the morning, and are only able to maximise output during later hours. Figure out the time of the day, when you're motivation, focus and propensity to work are at an all-time high and channelise your peak productivity period to get your most quality-driven work done.
2. Follow POMODORO
A time management technique developed in the 1980s that is still relevant, and effective to get things done in 2020, POMODORO lets you make the greatest use of your time, instead of working against it. In this technique, you divide your workday into slots of 25 minutes of focused work and a 5-minute break. After 4 POMODORO, i.e. 25 minute long sessions, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. The sense of urgency induced by strict timers helps you put some healthy, internal pressure on yourself to go through with a task, and finish it once and for all.
3. Use Apps To Block Interruptions By Social Media
In my experience, none of the usual interruptions at home like your mother calling you, or your father asking for your help with something, carry the potency to disrupt your focus the way a singular social media notification can. Especially, at a time like this, when the need of the hour demands physical separation from our friends and loved ones, our dependency on staying in constant touch through social media increases substantially. The best way to avoid this affecting your work output is to make use of the numerous notification blocking, and do-not-disturb apps you can download on your phone.
4. Follow The 2-Minute Rule
When you're working from home, it's highly tempting to file smaller tasks for later and focus your attention on bigger chunks of work. But the truth is, every small task that you defer eventually comes together to form a huge, and stressful pile of pending tasks, that you can no longer say no to. The best solution? Follow the 2-minute rule, according to which if there's a task at hand that can be done in under 2 minutes, you finish it immediately. For everything else, create a "will get back to later" file and keep listing all pending tasks.
5. Allocate A Dedicated Work Space For Work/Life Boundaries
It's understandable if you think you don't need a home office because things will soon get back to normal. But as a matter of fact, even if you're working from home for just a week, having a dedicated workspace can make a tremendous difference to your productivity during those 6 days. It's all about re-establishing those work and life boundaries that seem to have momentarily been blurred. It's important for you to pick certain spaces in your house that are either pure work or pure play. This helps you stay organised, and creates some distinction between your work and your regular life.
Lastly, when it comes to productivity, there's no universally agreed upon rule that works for everybody, equally. The idea is to experiment with various techniques until you arrive at a schedule and process that works the best for you, and only you.