10 Expert Tips for Working from Home in 2021.
2020 has been a strange year. Of course, for obvious reasons, but also for how many of us are now having to adapt to working from home. We’ve all been guilty in the past of becoming jealous of co-workers or friends that get to work from the comfort of their home – but it’s harder than we thought. Yes, you can work in your pyjamas and you avoid the morning rush on the train, but are you working as productively as before?
With many of us likely to continue working from home well into next year, it’s perhaps time to see how you can increase your productivity and break those bad habits. But how can we do that?
Well, pull your pyjama bottoms up and take a sip of your tea, because we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 expert tips for working from home in 2021.
Work Regular Hours.
We don’t mean work the opposite of strange hours, so don’t worry.
When working from home, it’s easy to get into the rhythm of “well, I should work now, but I’ve only got a little bit of work to do, I’ll wake up later and do it”. This will mess up your sleeping pattern and decrease your productivity. Whilst 2020 is coming to a close, get yourself used to waking up early (before your working hours), have breakfast, drink a coffee, and get yourself mentally prepared. You’ll soon find yourself being more productive. Not only this, but you’re more likely to go above and beyond, doing more work than you intended to, or could if you woke up later. This is a great habit to get into going into 2021.
Make Your Bed.
Unfortunately, the saying ‘you’ve made your bed, now lay in it’ doesn’t apply here.
This might seem trivial, but it’s a great habit to get into. Showing discipline and care will help to improve your efficiency and productivity because leaving an unmade bed will cause you to roll out of bed and be sluggish. This entry is more of a mental gain than anything else but is something you should be attempting to do more going into 2021. Especially if your workspace and bed are in the same room.
Get Prepared and Dressed.
That dream you had of working in your pyjamas with the hole in that you can’t bring yourself to throw away? We’re squashing that right now.
Feeling prepared for the day will help you to be productive. After all, if you remain in your pyjamas, you’re more likely to rush through your work as quickly as you can, making mistakes, just to get back to doing nothing all day. Showering, eating, drinking, and getting dressed (not all at once) before work will help to get you ready for the day. If you’re working from home and looking to be more productive next year, remember – being physically prepared will help you to be mentally prepared. Therefore, increasing productivity.
Make a Note of Important Times.
We don’t mean making a note of when you met your idol or the time you were given 9 chicken nuggets instead of 8.
If you’re working from home either this year or next year, you’ll want to get into the habit of writing down times for meetings, deadlines, etc. As it can be easy to lose track of time and miss important markers you otherwise wouldn’t.
Take Scheduled Breaks.
You can’t schedule breaks for every 10 minutes, though. Sorry.
Much like being in the office, you should take scheduled breaks when working from home. This will help to reset your mind, relax you a little, and get you into a good mental state. This can be difficult when working from home, so try to have daily set times for your break as we move into 2021.
Plan Your Living Space.
You’re getting paid to work, so please don’t misinterpret this point. We’re not saying re-design your home during work hours.
If you have housemates, family, or pets, try to plan ahead as much as possible. Having set times for interactions, attention giving, or even socialising whilst working from home can help to increase your productivity. Of course, this doesn’t always go to plan, but it’s always best to try.
Leave Your Workspace on Breaks.
Because you’ll get square eyes if you stare at your computer screen all day.
2020 has been big on social distancing, and 2021 looks to be the same. So, if you’re working from home for the foreseeable future, and you want to increase your productivity, take short walks or runs on your breaks. Be safe when leaving the house, keep your distance, wear your mask when appropriate, and wash your hands thoroughly upon your return.
Sadly, spending your time on social media doesn’t count… not exactly, anyway.
It’s easy to remain isolated when working from home. However, this lack of social interaction can often decrease your productivity and efficiency. So, it’s important to stay in contact with colleagues and workmates. The odd social catchup is fine when time permits, but even just checking in to see if they need any help, or perhaps asking them for help, will not only keep you sane but also slightly increase your productivity. As is a running theme in this list, a healthy mind is a key to efficiency.
Set Yourself Tasks.
Drinking 8 cups of coffee doesn’t count as a task. They must be work-related.
If you’re struggling to stay productive whilst working from home in 2020, start a new trend for 2021 – setting yourself daily tasks. Having goals for the day, week, and even month can help you to work better and increase productivity. Plus, it gives you something to work towards, which is a good habit to get yourself into.
Not only do we mean avoiding your brand-new games console or catching up on your favourite Netflix show in the background. No, we also mean that when you are distracted, focus your attention on that, and nothing else.
When you work from home, there will always be distractions that you can’t control. From your neighbours and pets to household appliances malfunctioning, there are some things you can’t plan for. However, what you can plan for is how disciplined you are.
If you get distracted by something, for example, a pet wanting attention, set yourself a small amount of time to deal with the distraction, before returning to work. It’s easy to find yourself falling into a rabbit hole of going from one distraction to the next, before realising it’s 5 PM and you’ve only done about an hour’s work.
Anticipating distractions and focusing on just one at a time will help you to get the most out of your work. And if you’re going to be working from home into 2021, this is a great routine to get yourself into in order to increase your productivity and efficiency.
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