As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are still working from home. In fact, many companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Slack, plan to make remote work permanent for most, if not all, of their employees.
With no definitive end in sight for those still working from home, many may be starting to feel remote work burnout. If you’re finding it harder to stay on task and concentrate on your job with all the distractions that come with remote work, here are some tips for regaining your productivity:
Keep Regular Hours
In our always-connected world, it’s easy to get pulled back into work after hours when you should be spending time with family or simply recharging your batteries. This was true pre-pandemic but has been exacerbated by the shift to remote work. When you don’t give yourself an end time for work, it’s easy to get burnt out. The best thing you can do is set strict hours for when you’ll work each day (such as 9 am to 5 pm) so you don’t get fatigued and can fully focus on your work every day.
Skip the Chores
When working from home, it’s tempting to try to multitask. But the laundry, cleaning, and running errands can wait. By trying to get it all done, you end up not giving your work enough attention. This inevitably leads to an extended workday, with you sitting up in bed at night trying to make up for the time you lost that day. Do yourself a favor and keep your chores separate from your work life.
You’ll be more productive if you have a plan ahead of time. At the end of each day, make a list of 3 to 5 tasks or projects you’ll work on the next day. That way, when you sit down to work every day, you already have a plan of action.
Invest in Your Workspace
Working from your couch or bed is a huge no-no for remote workers. If you have the means, it’s important that you invest in a proper workspace. Perhaps the most important aspect of your workspace is a comfortable chair. Take the time to find one you don’t mind sitting in for 8 hours a day. You will also want to find a desk — the kitchen table or coffee table won’t cut it. And if possible, find a separate area for your workspace away from the living room or bedroom.
Whether you’re in the office or working from home, it’s important to take a few breaks throughout the day. It can be immensely beneficial to step away from your work for a moment and quickly recharge your brain. But, as mentioned above, stay away from trying to do house chores. Instead, do something to improve your mental health like take a walk outside. In the end, a break will improve your productivity.
Stay Away from Temptation
When working from home, resisting temptation is easier said than done. With no one looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to get sucked into social media or flip on the TV to catch up on sports highlights or your favorite show. To stay away from these productivity-killing distractions, it takes some will power on your part. Just keep in mind that any time lost to distractions during the day is time you’ll have to make up later.
Setting boundaries can be extremely difficult, especially if you have kids at home while you’re trying to work. But to truly stay on task, you need to set clear boundaries with whoever you live with, be it your spouse, roommates, or children. Let them know that during the workday, you need limited disturbances so you can focus.
Hopefully by now you have a handle on working from home. But if you find yourself getting distracted and your productivity starts to slide, get back on track by following these tips.
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