Most people have been working from home for some weeks now. They have gotten into the routine and found a way to make it work. For others, it is a struggle, especially with all the distractions at home; watching the constant media updates on the virus, homeschooling if you have kids, no concentration, noisy neighbours and the feelings of anxiety not knowing what will happen.
The routine of waking up, not leaving the house and working from our preferred spot has become monotonous. That is why, creating a dedicated, working space that is appealing to the eye will help you stay focused and productive.
Here are a few tips on how to spruce up your space.
Designate a working space
Not everyone has a home office setup. Some people work on the sofa, others on the bed, and some in the kitchen (there’s no shame in that). Depending on your mood, you will work from any place in your house, which might not be the best idea. Having a dedicated workspace will make your mind associate that spot with work. So each time you go there, your mind will adjust to work mode. Regardless of where you decide to work from, ensure that it is a dedicated space purely for work.
Make your working area comfortable
It is important to find a comfortable seat and sitting position when you are working from home. Sitting for 8 hours nonstop will affect your body in the long run. Even working out at the end of the day might not reverse these effects. Now imagine what sitting on the wrong chair with the wrong posture for those 8 hours will do. Also, to avoid feeling the strain on sitting all day, take breaks within your work schedule to try out these simple desk exercises for your entire body. Avoid working from the bed as you will feel tired faster.
Create a neat space
It is very easy to leave your coffee cups, notebook, pens, files, chargers, and phone cables lying around your dedicated workspace just because you will use them the next day. Not forgetting the kid’s toys if you have children. A cluttered workspace leads to more distractions. If you want to focus during the day, resist the urge of leaving things lying around anyhow and declutter your home.
Set boundaries with people
You might be going through this situation with your families at home which makes it difficult to work without distractions. If it’s not the kids wanting to play, it’s your partner having conversations when you need to be working. Teach yourself to have strict working hours even when you are at home. Make sure the kids understand why it is important for them to give you your space when working.
Create an inspirational wall
When you get tired of staring at your screen, your eyes will wander to the wall ahead of you. Why not make it something worth looking at? You can fill it with things that you love, your family photos, a pet, your goals and aspirations, places you’d like to visit when all this is over. Remember to put inspirational stuff which is fun to look at.
Start with important tasks
It is very hard to work throughout the day with the same level of concentration. So, before you go to bed, write down your to-do list for the next day. Start with the tasks which are most important and harder to achieve. Do those first thing in the morning when the mind is fresh. Then you can finish off the rest during the day.
Stick to your working hours
You might have realized that you tend to work for longer hours when working from home compared to when you’re in the office. It’s very easy for time to fly by because you are focused and don’t have that constant reminder of what time it is. Take breaks throughout the day to catch up with your colleagues and friends. Avoid working until late into the night because it will disrupt your sleeping patterns and your schedule for the next day.
Working from home has become our new normal. And it is important to find a work-life balance which will help you avoid burn out that can happen easily even when you’re not going to the office.