The ultimate guide to productive working from home
Making a more productive workspace for WFH.
The Covid-19 outbreak has meant many of us have had to move our work life into the home, which can bring some difficult challenges along with it. We are all different, so some won’t find it challenging to get on with what they need to do, while others will find ways of distracting themselves or procrastinating and feel very unproductive.
We have put together some of the most useful tips and techniques to help create an environment that is conducive for productive working.
It all starts the night before
Studies have shown this simple technique to be very beneficial for allowing you to filter through your ideas and process them, meaning you can prioritise which pieces of information are essential and to hold on to and which parts to discard.
Journaling. Writing down everything you think you may need to remember for the next day or a to-do list is an excellent way of processing and stacking information from the day while preparing you for the next day. Allowing your brain to ‘switch off’ without ruminating over the day and worrying about the following.
Do these things during the day.
If you can’t do this or it’s simply not for you, then don’t worry. Meditation is a great way to start the day. There are many apps available to use to learn how to meditate, or you can simply practice deep breathing. Breathe in for 4 seconds and out for 6, or if you can breathe out slowly for 8 seconds. This is the breathing speed that activates the Vagus nerve, which is meant to bring some serious health benefits with it.
Alongside this, try to get outside for a walk or just some fresh air and, of course, get a healthy nutritious breakfast in as well. We like a Greek honey yogurt mixed with strawberries and blueberries as its great for your gut health.
Prepare a workspace that’s conducive for focused attention.
What to put on your desk?
Here is our list of essential items:
- Water bottle
- Desk lamp
Your phone needs to be somewhere where you can’t reach for it every time you have a break from work. Set aside a time in the day where you can look at your phone to answer texts but stick to a routine of not looking at it during the hours you’ve said you are going to work.
When you do take out your phone, set a timer so that you don’t get trapped in an Instagram scrolling rabbit hole that you only come out of an hour later without realising how long you’ve been in.
Turn off unnecessary notifications. Keep the notifications for only the essentials like email, or calendar. You don’t want the constant pinging noise going off every 5 seconds as studies have shown that this noise can make you more likely to look at your phone more frequently.
Now you need to ‘eat the frog.’
Self-development and productivity writer, Brian Tracy advises that we “Eat the Frog” – what he means by this is that you should start each day by tackling the most important thing that you need to do but often avoid because it scares you. The difficult tasks are ‘the frogs,’ and the way to deal with them is to ‘eat them.’
When you notice you’re getting fidgety, get up and move.
When we become fidgety and restless, this is our body’s way of telling us we need to move. We recommend doing a few stretches like a forward bend, but it’s up to you.
There are too many studies to count that show hydration affects concentration levels, so make sure you keep your water bottle filled up and drink a sensible amount, i.e., enough to keep you hydrated and not so much that you’re getting up to pee all the time.
Our Top Tip
In your journal, make a list of all the things you have completed at the end of the day. It’s an excellent way to wind down and feels good. Make sure you stick to your working hours and allow yourself to relax in the evenings and connect with loved ones.
So seeing friends or maybe practicing yoga for an hour might be great ways for you to switch off.