Image courtesy of Doist
Working remotely used to be a privilege, a perk. Now it's become the modus operandi for most of us until a vaccine is found and we can all safely return to our 9 to 5 grind.
It just isn't the same when you're made to work at home in order to avoid a deadly pandemic...
The most frustrating part of working from home are the temptations and distractions that can so easily take us away from our work. Spared from the judgmental gazes of our co-workers, we can find ourselves deep in a two-hour Youtube spiral after having only worked on one slide of a powerpoint. And especially with families with kids, it's as if you're having to wear all of your different role hats simultaneously and all on top of each other.
Here are 5 easy habits you can adopt to help you better navigate your workday at home:
1. Take breaks
Schedule periodic breaks throughout your day. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks helps you concentrate and improve your mood. Take 15 minutes to walk around your neighborhood or to chat with a friend on the phone.
2. Break your workday down into small goals
Staring down a big project you need to get done can be anxiety-provoking and daunting. Breaking your workday into small, manageable goals will help you feel more in control and be more productive. Instead of just writing "finish the powerpoint" on your calendar, create a to-do list with the tasks required to finish the powerpoint.
3. Tackle the biggest tasks when most alert
It can be tempting to procrastinate on big projects because we don't feel ready to take it on or we don't feel confident we can accomplish it. Get to know when and how you work your best for big projects that need to get done on time. Everyone's schedule is different.
4. Multitasking is not your friend
You may like to think that you're a "multitasker" and good at juggling several things at once but here's a newsflash—multitasking is not humanly possible. Instead of trying to respond to an email while talking to a co-worker on the phone, focus on accomplishing just one task at a time. It'll get done faster and be of better quality.
5. Try the "Two Minute Rule"
There are two aspects to the "two minute rule." The first, according to entrepreneur Steve Olenski, is finding and immediately completing tasks that take two minutes or less. The second is that any goal or habit can be started in under two minutes. This complements the habit of breaking down big projects into smaller, more manageable tasks as you get yourself initiating tasks in 120 seconds or less.
"Unprecedented" is being used a lot lately to describe the times and it's because it's the most appropriate. Heck, even working remotely was still an uncommon practice before the quarantine. Each person's day is going to look different and it's really just a matter of getting the perfect cocktail of habits together to help you feel more accomplished at the end of the day.