The moment, we all started work from home in the lockdown, Instagram was flooded with nice-looking workplaces, flat lays and what not? Work from home can indeed be made pretty with all these high-end props with pink and gorgeous purple color in place on a white table, having said that it is not the core of work from home. It is just a cosmetic adjustment which is done to increase Instagram followers. The real work from home is where you are super productive throughout the day, which reflects in your work and every aspect of life. Doesn’t it sound amazing?
So let us take a look at some quick work from home tips that will help you be productive. These tips are majorly tried and tested for work from home environment.
Sitting around the house, working in front of the TV, with all the chaos would not help to be productive. It will instead create a lot of confusion.
Dedicate a specific place for your work.
I am a writer and I find it extremely difficult to work when many people are talking around. The dining table is the worst place to sit for work. Remember if you have a family around, everybody is going to come to the dining table at least a couple of times in a day disturbing your workflow.
Most of the homes have some spaces which are not visited by anybody throughout the day. Choose that space and customize it as per your requirement. I would suggest having a table and illuminating that space amply. Creating an environment identical to your workplace is the best thing you can do. I always keep a bottle of water around, a diary and a pen. In case you are on calls have your earphones/headphones charged and connected to the system.
Timebox your day
It is so easy to sway away in home chores and other stuff when you are stationed at home. Always timebox your day to avoid unnecessary distractions. Focussing on 90 minutes of concentrated time box is very useful. You can complete most of your work in that timebox I am sure. Be sure not to give in to browsing and chatting during 90 minutes of time boxing.
It is always best to start the day early but if you are not a morning person, having a to-do list helps to get through the day successfully.
I am a great fan of To-do lists just because it helps me get so much done in a day. The day I do not have my list ready, it gets swayed. I have always mentioned in my posts that there are only 5 important things that you can do in a day. If you have stuff that is more than 5 things, just keep them on the waitlist. You can escalate the waitlist if you complete these 5 things.
These three things should be helpful to stay productive while working from home. Work from home should be a boon and not a bane.
A morning routine is important to set the tone of the day. The day is all about morning 90% of the time. If you boost your morning routine, you are good to go for the whole day. Who does not want to conquer the day before it starts? well, is it about conquering? or is it just facing it head-on? or just slipping in with the time. I prefer slipping in with time throughout the day. Taking the day as it comes, accepting the small challenges, and finding my way through it. The key to having a great morning routine is that morning should be acknowledged by your body.
If you are doing some of the following things the earlier day, it is obvious that you would not get up early in the morning and after getting up you will be feeling lethargic for the longest time.
Drinking coffee/ tea more than 3 – 4 times a day.
caffeine is a stimulant and if you drink coffee once it usually takes 6 hours to partly eliminate it from the system.It may increase alertness which may be damaging to your normal sleep cycle.
What should you do instead to be alert?
Using tea/coffee to stay alert is like using sleeping pills for sleep. We usually do not resort to sleeping pills unless it is prescribed by the doctor. To stay alert through the day you must sleep enough and eat moderately to avoid lethargy.
Overeating in the night
In India, heavy dinners are a norm. It is that time of the day when most of the family members are together and one can leisurely have food with family. There is no harm in having food with family but late-night dinner may cause sleep issues.
What should you do to prevent overeating?
Plan your meals wisely as per your daily calorie intake requirement to prevent overeating
Intake of refined sugar:
Having 4-5 cups of tea equals to 8-10 teaspoons of sugar. Refined sugar spikes the blood sugar level and you might not be able to sleep properly with raised sugar levels.
How to maintain sugar levels throughout the day
Have balanced meals throughout the day and reduce your refined sugar intake, swap refined sugar with substitutes if you cannot quit sugar.
Overuse of gadgets
Using your gadgets throughout the day is a norm but using it before sleep is the latest trend. Most of us do it without even noticing the effects it causes on eyes and sleep patterns. Most wellness coaches loathe the usage of gadgets even one hour before sleeping.
How to reduce the usage of gadgets?
Regulating usage of gadgets is possible by engaging in a meaninful night care routine before sleep. Talking to your kids, having a dedicated story time with them works wonders. Catching up with your long cherished book is one more way to avoid gadgets post 8.00 pm.
The sleep pattern gets disturbed due to all the above things. If you want to ensure a better morning, the preparation starts from the earlier day. Is it easy to quit everything in a day? I would suggest, slowly, take on thing at a time.
Recently, a social media influencer put it on her feed, that she is planning to quit coffee. And she was not sure, how she will pull through the day especially the morning time.
This is a struggle most of us go through the day. But
Here are 5 ways you can boost up your morning routine:
- Sleeping early and waking up after you are feeling fresh:
Sleeping earlier than usual will certainly bring back that half an hour which you are missing out in the morning. You will wake up once the body is fully rested. Tuning in to the body clock works wonders here.
- Do not check emails first thing in the morning
Waking up should be a pleasant experience, do not tune into something you despise doing. Do not take up something you do not like to do at all.
- Checking people’s social media posts first thing in the morning
The purpose of getting up in the morning is to dedicate sometime in the morning for your cause. Not to help someone else’s cause by checking on their social media posts. Be aware of your ‘why’ when you get up in the morning.
- Drinking tea/coffee first thing in the morning
Start your day with water/warm water and not tea/coffee in the morning. If you are waking up before 5.00 am, do not have anything before sunrise. It is always better to start your day with Banana/Local seasonal fruit.
- Maintaining a journal and writing it first thing in the morning
Imagine how wonderful it would be to write down what you are going to accomplish on a particular day. Maintain a journal and prepare a to-do list or just a list of things that you would like to accomplish in the day.
These are some ways to boost your morning routine, but as the saying goes, you have to sow a seed to eat the fruit, you will have to make some efforts to make sure you wake up fresh. The pointers are given above.
In the lockdown times, it has been found that people are much productive in the environment of their home, in their comfort zone and many companies have extended work from home for another a year or so.
I remember when I first started freelancing as a Project management trainer and a blogger, it was not considered as productive work. It was more of side work. In fact, one of the top officials had offered me a “mainstream” job as he met me after a decade of my evolution as an entrepreneur and a writer. He was very generous of course and I am grateful to have such people in my circle.
An uncharted territory
The point to elaborate on this is that Freelancing (work from home) and writing was usually considered as a nonmainstream job. Lo and behold, today everybody is working from home. Working from home is not a stressed mom’s job who wants to be with her kids and still be working. In this aspect, I feel Covid19 has taught a lot to the world.
The millionaire mantra
This brings me to the point where Productivity is considered as the highest virtue. It amuses me how the marketers have brought us to think rather artificially that if you are not capable of replying to your emails and sit on top of the work in the wee hours of mornings as the most “millionaires” do, you are terribly failing at being productive. They brought in many concepts of the To-do list, Planners, Methods of waking up early, and what not? What works is still a question mark for many of us. Given the number of variables acting on us every day, tying anything in a plan seems to be rather bizarre. And why do that when you can let the day flow as it is.
“Anything which has a word plan is a myth. Planning something and constantly staying under the pressure of accomplishing it is such a passé.”
I am moving into a much deeper concept which many of you may feel is absurd.
I have heard that people who are billionaires plan their decades in advance. I just gasp at the limits that they put on the limitless possibility of many great things that may happen to them if they just go by their instincts and follow the flow.
Too much to do with less time
Who brings that too much to do compulsion? I am sure it is our own doing. Why that happens because you are not in tune with the day or yourself. Tuning in with you and tuning in with the day are two different things.
Tuning in with you:
How many of us are constantly tired and feel like doing nothing?
I am sure there are 80% of us who feel like doing nothing at all. This population is totally out of sync with themselves.
Let us identify why?
- One of my very close associates asked me why I did not follow up with some vendors, it was 9.00 pm. My clear answer was posted 6.00 I do not feel comfortable calling anybody.
- We usually tend to say “YES” to everything. Not knowing what impact it brings on us.
- The scientific reason for not calling or following up with anybody post 6.00.
- The body is slowly getting into the slowing down mode.
- It is the time when you are naturally in a winding-up mode, the person at the receiving end might not be in the mental state of answering you in the sanest manner.
Here is a sales and marketing fact:
“Most numbers of converted calls are dialed between 9.00 am to 11.00 am in the morning on a working day”.
Do we need any more reasons for tuning in with ourselves?
Tuning in with the day:
Many of us are constantly running behind time. Even while working from home, it takes them a lot to just keep pace with the day. Are you one of them?
Let us identify why?
My grandmother who was born in the 1920s had an impeccable sense of time. She was always working from home J proudly. She hardly stepped out of the house so much so that her footwear needed to be searched when she went out once a year. None of her chores were “LATE”. She was always on time with all her chores, relaxed and that brought her in meditative state naturally. She never needed to check the clock for her chores. Just looking at the clock, sitting in some other city, I would know what chore she must be doing. Isn’t it amazing?
Productivity and my grandmother were synonymous with each other. I am sure you must be having one such soul in your family too.
What is that sense of time?
Human beings are blessed with them naturally. We are creatures of habit. When it is morning, our body just knows it. We know innately when it is dusk or dawn. It is just that there is too much noise around and we tend to ignore the signals that the body is showing us. Tuning in with the day is a matter of practice and habit, once you are in sync with it, you will never be late.
So, once you are in sync with you and the day, slowly things start moving as you want them to. Is this not being productive?
Planners, To-do lists, organizers aren’t they of any use?
They are of no use if you are not in sync with yourself and your day. So before you invest in a 5-year planner, a thorough check is to be done.
I am personally a fan of Planners, To-do lists, and organizers and I have got one for every year, but over the years I found, if I am not in sync with the day it is of no use.
Planning for 5 years keeping the limitless possibility in mind is the best thing to do, productivity is anyway a biproduct.
प्रकृते: क्रियमाणानि गुणै: कर्माणि सर्वश: |
अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते || 27||
prakṛiteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśhaḥ
ahankāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate
All activities are carried out by the three modes of material nature. But in ignorance, the soul, deluded by false identification with the body, thinks itself to be the doer.