We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of our personal and professional environments having been altered in response. Working and studying from home (for a prolonged duration) may be new to you, so we want to share some advice on how to stay focused and productive during this time.
1. Maintain a morning routine
Although you may not be heading out for work, still take the time to set-up a morning routine and get ready as if you were going into work is a good first step. Instead of looking at your phone and jumping right into your work, try having a healthy breakfast and spend some time changing your clothes and getting ready. When changing out of your pyjamas, it's still good to wear comfortable clothing for the long day ahead. The simple act of maintaining a morning routine will help you shift into "office-time" or "work-time". Think of this transition as a mental buffer from your home life to your work life when you are unable to separate the two physically.
2. Create a workspace
Setting up a distinctive workspace that is conducive to your specific working style is essential. Ideally, this space should be far from your bed to mentally separate your sleeping area from your working area. Situating yourself towards sunlight, near a window or away from any clutter, can relieve some stress and bring some freshness to your space. Likewise, removing any clutter by clearing out any unnecessary files, apps or folders on your computer desktop and taking the time to organize your files will not only save time but also makes it easier to focus.
3. Communicate and communication
With most of our peers also working/studying from home, communication and connecting virtually is more important than ever. Taking the extra time to ping an instant message or send a confirmation email can make a difference in completing projects and avoid missing any details. Carving out extra time to make sure that each email is detailed and proofread with all the correct information can make a big difference in productivity effective communication with your peers.
4. Encouraging Video Use for Meetings
Utilizing video in meetings is a simple yet effective way to ensure successful remote work. Seeing the facial expressions of your colleagues creates more effective communication and cohesion. This is also an incentive for you to take the time to get ready in the morning.
5.The Power of To-Do Lists
It might be more difficult to keep yourself accountable when working remotely. Making a list of daily tasks to complete (either on paper or digitally) can help keep you stay on track and, provide a visual cue of what you have committed to complete. Breaking up a large task into smaller manageable ones will be really helpful. It will help build a sense of accomplishment as you are making progress into conquering that big project or assignment. There is a real satisfaction that comes with crossing off something from your to-do list, marking it complete!
We hope these tips help you to adjust to your new working and studying environments during these unprecedented times. Stay inside, wash your hands and stay safe!