How to Work From Home (& BE PRODUCTIVE!)

This article was written pre-COVID. However, being productive at home is literally relevant to everyone still social distancing right now. Or at least physically distancing, we can still be social. With the possibility that work culture is going to change and that we all may be WFH for a while longer – we have some advice. If you’re finding it tough to strike a balance and are still figuring out how to work from home, this one’s for you!

First, it takes some serious motivation. There are a lot of distractions that can interrupt days stuck at home. From tackling that looming pile of laundry to the USPS carrier that seems to be taunting your poor dog from the insurmountable number of Amazon packages you have ordered. Now that you work from home, we know you understand the struggle, but how do we stay productive?

So for all of you quarantined, and all you Montel Jordan fans, this is how we do it

1. Ease into your workday

Go workout in the morning before clocking in or make some coffee and scroll through a newsfeed. Do something that helps wake your mind up and gets you ready for your day. I am guilty of waking up and going right to a meeting within minutes (or taking the meeting from my bed, with the camera off), but this DOES NOT put me in the position to feel like I am ready to tackle the day!

2. Create a clearly defined workspace

My recommendation would be to make this an area of your house that is not your couch or your bed. Get away from the TV and bingeing all six seasons of Community. All joking aside though, it is imperative for your brain to put distance between your “home” space and your “work” space. Whether it is a spot at your kitchen table, a desk in a quiet room, or even outside if it’s nice – dedicate a space for you to get it all done! Take a look at our team’s spaces!

3. Know your weaknesses and distractions

According to Lifehacker, it takes 25 minutes to refocus after getting distracted. Therefore, block your day by doing quick win tasks and following those up with longer more intense projects. Give your brain space to do both.

4. Schedule EVERYTHING

I need to do this weekly and daily. Although tasks may need to move, timeframes help me stay on track.  Email is often a giant productivity drain when handled incorrectly. Block out 2-3 short time periods each day to focus on it specifically – then stay off it for the rest of the day. Make sure to schedule in time for non-work activities. This goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a good work/life balance. If it’s not on your calendar, it’s not going to happen. Clearly I am a big advocate for schedules!

5. Avoid meetings (when possible)!

You don’t have to attend every meeting. CIL is a small remote company and we have quite a few meetings, yet it is understood in our culture that inclusion is great but not necessary in all cases. 

6. Maintain a Connection to the Outside World

Seriously though, working from home and not getting out in public can make you start to think that you are awkward in social situations. Although I claim to be an introvert, I am a person that needs human interaction face to face to feel complete. 

Figuring out how to work from home is hard when you consider all the distractions the average human has. By understanding how you work best and creating your own systems, you’ll be A LOT more successful!  

Want to know how to tackle your to-do list? Right this way!

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