When working in the office, you are usually dividing your time between different tasks, client meetings, and staff meetings. But in these extraordinary times, when the entire team needs to work from home, your workflow is completely different. Your schedule and the way the team interacts are different, so sometimes you might feel that you are not productive enough. Here are a few tips from international specialists to help you stay productive and be successful while working remotely.
Stick to a morning routine when you work from home
Each working day, your morning routine prepares your brain for work. You start with a bit of exercising (or maybe just stretching), you take a shower, have a coffee, dress for work and catch up on the news, on your way to work. Even if this routine may have changed a bit since you are working from home, you can still do most of the things you did before, like exercising, taking your morning shower, changing your clothes and drinking your coffee. This will help your brain prepare for work. You should also try to create a home working environment so that your brain can more easily connect to work. Find a workspace- a separate room or a simple desk will trigger in your brain the impulse to start working. Stay away from your bed, the couch or any other place that could become a distraction for your brain.
Create to-do lists and a schedule for your working time and the rest of the day
When you work from home, you definitely need a to-do list. Use a daily to-do list, just like you were doing when you were working in the office. Psychologists say that you should start with the most difficult tasks – like a call to a difficult client or working on a difficult document and keep the easiest tasks for the end of the day, when your concentration level may not be the same, but your work instinct steps up.
Respect the work schedule and also create a schedule for the rest of the day. When you work remotely, your work schedule should remain the same as the one from the office, so your brain can keep up. After finishing your working hours, even if you have to stay inside, you should try to find activities to keep you and your family entertained.
Motivate yourself by tracking your task evolution
When you work from home and have a task list to follow, you should also track their evolution. No matter if they are individual tasks or tasks on which you work together with your team, you should always have a clear overview of their evolution, so that you can finish all your projects in due time. Start monitoring the status of your tasks and projects together with your team, using a task management and time tracking tools.
Stay away from distractions when you work from home
This is maybe one of the biggest challenges for anyone working from home. Distractions are everywhere, from a TV show to a ringing phone or a kid crying, anything can break your concentration and workflow. Even if it is very difficult to stay away from distractions when you are working remotely, there are a few tips that can help you with that – you can try to work using earbuds, bring all the things you might need in your working room so that you don’t start with „I’m going to drink some water, I am very thirsty” and forget to get back to your desk, set your tasks and appointments in your calendar and share them with your clients and colleagues, so that they know when they can call you. Also, you can choose separate time frames just for answering emails or making client calls.
Communication and collaboration processes, while working remotely
When you are working from home, you need to adapt to a different kind of team collaboration process. Some of your tasks might require you to work with just some of your colleagues, others might require a brainstorming session with the entire team. Try to integrate a new approach to things and create a new communication process – have conference calls or online meetings with your colleagues, create problem-solving schedules and use online tools to streamline your work (link tools to use while working remotely). If you work with many documents, you can use company-wide templates, so that each one of you can access the latest version of all documents. This way you improve communication with your team and things get done in time.
Respect your free time and take care of your spirit, too
Psychologists say that it is important to separate work from family time and that a clear work schedule will help you stay productive and mentally healthy. After your work is done, turn off your email notifications or any other work-related messages, that might attract you back into work. Try spending time with your family or friends, even if everybody is isolated, by video calls, try cooking, seeing a movie, etc.
Take care of your spirit, too. In your free time, try to do things that are good for your mind and spirit, either read a book or do some exercise, maybe take a virtual tour of an international museum or play with your kids, whatever makes you happy.
And most of all, #StaySafe and #StayHealthy!
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