March 26, 2020
We are living in an interesting time in life. Workplaces, schools, restaurants, and all non essential businesses have been asked to close or shift to working from home. Most working families have been asked to work from home while (some) simultaneously are homeschooling and taking care of their school aged kids. Two very different scenarios coming together all at once that can feel overwhelming to those who are now having to work from home full time. How on earth can anything get done?
As a Realtor, my work takes me on the road, and I actually have both a home office and an office outside of my home. I reached out to my Operations Manager Damaris Rodriguez, who about nine months ago made the switch from working full time in an office to working full time from home and she gave me the rundown of what she feels boosts her daily productivity while working from home.
Whether working from home is temporary, or more permanent, these tips will boost your productivity and nourish a healthy state of mind while working from home, and long after the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. MAKE YOUR BED
The first part of your day really sets the tone for the rest of your day. This is a small stone that will help you to move a mountain. What is your morning ritual? When I spoke to Damaris, she had mentioned the one thing she does to start her day is she makes her bed. A made bed infuses her with good energy and starts the flow of her day. She is not alone in this! In his commencement speech at the Texas University, Seal William H. McCraven, a retired U.S Navy Admiral SEAL and author of the book Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World, said “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
A survey done by Sleepopolis (conducted by One Poll) , revealed that people who make their beds tend to be happier, wake up without an alarm, and are more adventurous. Check out this fun infographic:
2. DESIGNATED WORK AREA
Next to making your bed first thing in the morning, a designated work area is an important part of keeping in a workflow. This area must be separate from where the family gathers, any common areas, and away from any distraction. A designated space means that space is the only place work belongs. I found it interesting that Damaris puts special emphasis on this. Even though she has a laptop which can make her mobile, she leaves it in her office space once her day comes to a close. This keeps her from being tempted to ‘finish up a few things’, which potentially takes her away from family time. This is a common downfall of working from home, is that one can feel like they can’t walk away from work. This is why having a spot set up in the home is so important. Ultimately it will keep you from the distractions of a (potentially) full house. Which brings me to my next point.
3. KEEP A SCHEDULE
Part of being productive and executing on the tasks at hand is by having a time limit to complete them. Keep the same work schedule. Working from home does not have to, nor should it drag on after hours. Schedule your day, breaks included. Take time to get up from your desk, stretch, walk, get some lunch etc. Set a timer to work in 90 min blocks to get the most out of your day. The other thing that is super important is letting everyone in your house know what your schedule is.
This pandemic has provided an opportunity for many to test drive the work from home lifestyle. Make the most of this time by implementing some boundaries around mindset, space and time. Watch your productivity soar.