Having worked from home for three weeks so far, we don’t know when it will come to an end. Though we all hope it will end soon, we need to stay positive, productive, and active. How can we create a sustainable work environment from home? Surely it’s not optimal when:
- Not everyone can work in a quiet area. Not everyone can work completely separate from their flatmates, kids, partners, and pets.
- Not everyone can indeed have a sizable flat to set up a separate workstation.
- Not everyone can get a noise-cancellation headphone delivered soon.
- Not everyone can still enjoy a stable internet speed.
What can we do to stay productive, regardless of your surroundings?
People say that I am good at prioritization in general. Yet, I am still learning how to structure my days more effectively, so we are all on the same boat. All the points below are practical principals I’ve been practicing for years. These are high-value tactical principles you can start doing tomorrow. So let’s dive in!
1. Get Up Early
At Least Two Hours Before Your Work Time
This is not an easy task, depending on what other routine and commitment that you have outside your work hours. According to cognitive psychologists, your brain needs at least 90 minutes to boost up. No matter if I am having a morning meeting, a morning exam, or a marathon race, I always wake up two to three hours before that. I have applied this principle to myself for more than 10 days, and it has proved itself, every time.
Pro tip: If your workday starts at 9 am, get up at 7 am so that you will have plenty of time for exercise and healthy breakfasts.
2. Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule and stick to it.
Creating yourself a daily schedule can assist in maintaining routine as well as work-life balance. Although the benefit of remote work is the flexibility, it is essential to know when you have a lunch break, and when you wrap things up and call it a day. You can use time-tracking apps such as Toggl to follow your work hours. Once you have enough data, you will be able to figure out when is your most productive time. You can then schedule and plan your day by reserving your hours of high focus for the most important tasks.
3. Arrange Yourself A Work Desk
Work From Home =/= Work From Your Couch
A work station is probably the most important thing in your home office. Even if you work from your dining table, do make sure you have a clean “noise” free environment.
4. Dress Like You Are Going to Work
Yes, Even Though You Are Working From Home
Seriously, you are working. So why shouldn’t you dress up? Even though you might not meet anyone online (yes Zoom, we all know your magic), better yet to dress as if you were going to a meeting. The way you dress impacts how you think.
5. Don’t Slack Out!
As most of us are stuck at home, it is vital to exercise. It will not only keep you fit, but it will also help you clear your mind, relax, and stay productive. If you haven’t started yet, no worries, you could start from home.
6. What To Do If Your Space is Too Noisy?
And The Answer is…Regular Headphones!
You don’t need any specific noise-cancellation headphones. This is a mind trick that you intentionally choose to do. You are sending a signal to yourself and people around that you want to FOCUS. You can try listening to white noise or classical music to send relaxing vibes to your mind and body. There are websites designated to focus music, like Brain.fm, which will assist you to stay productive. It can be hard to change your surroundings, but you can change yourself on how you perceive the situation.
7. I Have Slow Internet Connection
In Kayzen, we have 20+ smart people in our Tech and Product teams. If you want to know how to hack your wifi speed from a technical perspective, please ask them 😉 But under a below-optimal environment, we can still focus on what we can control. If your internet connection is super slow, and other technical hacks don’t work, this means:
- You can focus on the most important things, with the precious time that the internet functions.
- You can sharpen your communication skills by being crystal clear in the conference call.
- You can write more precisely and concisely in your emails and Slack messages.
- You can rethink the tasks that you can actually do without any internet connections.
- You can practice prioritisation with your colleagues together.
Due to the exponential increase in usage of the internet, Internet speed might continue to slow down. It is never too late to plan ahead.
In today’s competitive world, teamwork is not a buzzword. It is a necessity. I am glad that in Kayzen, we have such a great team that supports each other in this uneasy situation. Even if you don’t work at the moment or on the search for a new role. FYI We are hiring 😉 so take a look at our open positions.