The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the lives of millions of people across the globe. Many businesses, large and small, have decided to close their headquarters—asking their employees to work from home to avoid contagion.
For many, working from home has been something they have been yearning for years. But, for others, it has proven to be a challenging task. As a freelancer, I am no stranger to working remotely!
Thus, I have come up with 14 useful tips to keep you productive and efficient throughout these days:
14 Tips to Efficiently Work From Home During the Coronavirus Quarantine
1. Develop a schedule
One of the most challenging things about working from home is coming up with a schedule — and sticking to it. Thus, the first thing you will want to do is program your day. Determine how many hours of the day you will allocate to work and commit to them (just like you would at the office.)
It is also important not to get reeled in by your work. In other words, the schedule will also help you establish a healthy work-life balance.
2. Set up a workspace
You must designate a room (or space) in your home to be your “office.” Working from your bed or while sitting on your couch can be tempting. But, trust me, you will be more productive if you set up an adequate workspace. Plus, your back will not suffer!
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@stokcoldbrew my favorite cold brew coffee, just launched STōK Fueled — a new line of cold brew coffee (you had me at coffee, BTW!) and creamers that help me kick-start my day with the help of my good friends, caffeine, and protein from butterfat and MCT oil. It’s the perfect way to get more out of my coffee, and more out of my day. #ad #StokFueled⠀ ⠀ But it begs the question, how does one set up their day for greatness? ⠀ ⠀ Myself, it comes down to 4 non-negotiable self-care, daily rituals.⠀ ⠀ 💪 Ritual 1. Daily Journaling. Start simple. Each morning, while enjoying your morning java, open up your notebook and scribble down 3 things that you are grateful for happening that day. ⠀ ⠀ 💪 Ritual 2. Minimally 5 to 15 minutes of morning meditation. No better way to calm the mind, the body, and the spirit. Think about this as your hard reset and the clearing of your mental cache. ⠀ ⠀ 💪 Ritual 3. If you don’t move it, you’ll certainly regret it. Celebrate your health and realize that there’s nothing more impactful on your health than your ability to celebrate your fitness. Move your body each day with a purpose — minimally 15 minutes! (and if you have a challenge getting started, 4 oz of STOK cold brew always does the trick for me) ⠀ ⠀ 💪 Ritual 4. Feed the mind and spirit with knowledge. Take at least 10 minutes a day to feed the muscle between the ears with something you didn’t know before. This keeps you learning, growing and evolving into your greatest version of you. ⠀ ⠀ Setting your day up for greatness is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4… and, when it doubt, add more caffeine! IMO, it makes everything easier. 🚀 ⠀ ⠀ #StokFueled
3. Write down a to-do list
Between house chores, distractions, and work, it can be hard for you to focus. Hence, writing down a daily to-do list can help you prioritize tasks. By doing so, you are also making sure that you accomplish what you set out to do within the day.
Additionally, crossing out items on your list will help keep you motivated!
4. Get dressed!
You should always get dressed (even if you are going from your bed to the living room.) By doing so, you will be mentally and physically more open to work.
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Feeling back to “me”… last couple weeks have been challenging health-wise, but nothing that rest and time can’t help… . How are you coping with the new #covid19 restrictions and #socialdistancing? . During these challenging times, it’s important to remember the things to be grateful for. . I’m thinking of hosting an online coffee date for all of us looking for community-connection — group coffee chat — who’s in??
Staying in your PJs can be alluring. But, it can also affect your productivity and compromise your efficiency. So, take a shower, get dressed, have some coffee, and get to work!
5. Take reasonable breaks
When you work where you live, you must implement periodic breaks to avoid burnouts. Hence, I recommend getting out of your “workspace” every so often. Of course, all within reason. To ensure productivity, limit your breaks so they do not take over more than 1-1.5 hrs. of your workday (just like they would at the office.)
6. Stay in contact
If you usually work within a team, do not let working from home get in the way. Keep in touch with your co-workers and team members online or via phone, Facetime or Zoom. And, if need be, schedule daily check-ups to ensure all projects are going as planned.
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That was epic!! . Today I had the honor of facilitating the first mastermind of the #WellpreneurClub. A group of incredible industry leaders who are changing lives and impacting communities all around the globe with their dynamic, ever-evolving lifestyle businesses. . There's an African proverb that states: "If you want to travel fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together." . This has never been truer for me than right now! 🙏 . Thanks for bringing the positive, uplifting, and supportive vibes @simonenlovell @iamnatkashani @shaunkay1 @richrealign @obedabbo @william__griffin @maithaswayoflife and @coachjenrulon!
7. Be prepared
When working from home, make sure you have all the necessary resources to get the job done. If you are missing a given document, piece of information, or any other thing that prevents you from doing your job, ask your boss (or superior) for it.\
For instance, if you work at a law firm, make sure you have all the necessary case files to do your job effectively.
8. Stand up!
One of the great things of working from home is that you get to choose if you want to work standing up, sitting down, or switching it up. So, take advantage of the situation and move around. By doing so, you will be more alert and avoid fatigue.
Active pauses are another great way of keeping you alert. They are usually mini-breaks that do not exceed 8-10 minutes and consist of simple exercises that can be done from your work station.
9. Learn to manage distractions
If you have roommates or kids, odds are you will have to face several distractions within your day. Try to keep calm — it is entirely normal, and you are not the only one facing these sorts of challenges.
To master the art of working remotely, you need time and patience. I still get distracted after years of working remotely. Thus, the trick is to learn how to manage those distractions, so they do not take over your entire day.
10. Establish boundaries
It is crucial that, aside from following a schedule and sticking up with your routine, you establish boundaries. Working from home can blur the lines as to what is (and is not) acceptable.
Thus, if your boss, client, or co-worker calls you at 10 PM, do not pick-up the phone. Let everyone know that you will be available during regular work hours and ask for them not to contact you outside that time (unless it is an emergency.)
Although this is not directly related to your actual work, you should always take the time to get some exercise done within your day. Even if it is just a walk around the block, reserve some time for physical activities (especially if you live in a small apartment.)
Remember that productivity also comes from feeling your best!
12. Trust yourself
Changes can be hard, even more so if they are not done voluntarily. Hence, you need to stay positive. Working from home is no easy task, but it is also not impossible.
13. Stay informed!
We cannot forget that we are going through a worldwide crisis. Thus, it would be best if you stay informed about what is going on. If you can, turn on the news once in a while or read up the latest tweets. The idea is to avoid contagion, not to isolate yourself from the world.
There you have it! Fourteen tips to keep you productive and efficient while working from home.
So, roll up your sleeves and get to work. And remember, it might feel weird and uphill at first, but, with time, you will learn to make it work. After all, you are only as strong as the challenges you overcome! And this too shall pass.
Miguel Bratos is a Spanish freelance copywriter running Spanishwriterpro.com. He specializes in SEO writing in the Spanish language and has more than six years of experience working full time from home.