Right now it seems almost impossible to get through that to-do list, which is why it is always important to have a strategy behind getting things done effectively, which should allow you to free up your time for other tasks. CT Business Travel client operations specialist Natasha Inglis gives explains 5 ways to double your productivity whilst working from home.
Create a pre-work routine
Psychologically, leaving the house and making your commute into work is the start of your unwritten pre-work routine; whether that entails getting a coffee at the train station at 08:02am while you wait for your 08:06am train, or putting your tie in as you walk into the office.
Creating a pre-work routine that emphasises the difference to your mind and body between being at home and being at home to work will help you work more efficiently.
Tip: Say goodbye to your family (as normal), go for a 5-minute walk around the block and return straight to your dedicated workspace.
Create a work schedule
Maintain your existing work schedule at home, as you would in the office. If your working hours are 9am to 5pm, then create a work-from-home schedule that replicates this. If you disrupt the schedule that you are used to, by starting later or finishing earlier, you will make it more difficult to return back into the office with the same level of efficiency.
Tip: Keep your lunch break at the same time as it always was and build your day around it.
Share your routine & schedule
When you are in the office, it’s really easy for your colleagues to know what you are working on, so you will need to adapt your communication to make sure that they can see what work you are doing today and planning to work on for the rest of the week. This will help you work in a more focused way.
But the sharing of routine shouldn’t stop there; one of the biggest distractions if you are not used to working from home, will be your family.
Tip: Make sure your family also knows your working schedule, so they know not to interrupt you during work time.
Dedicated office space
On the odd occasion that you have worked from home before, you will likely have done this with a pretty casual set up, including plenty of distractions. This will not cut it if you are working from home for a sustained amount of time.
To be more productive, you will need to create a dedicated working space, whether that is a separate room or even a small table tucked away somewhere. Designating a space for work will help you to switch from business to home time more easily.
Tip: If you have one, choose a spare bedroom, but a kitchen table, or somewhere the footfall in your house is low can work just as well. Anywhere can work, just try and avoid your bed if possible.
Remove social media apps from phone
In a time of uncertainty and chaos, it is easy to get drawn into reading every news article on coronavirus, job uncertainty, and businesses in trouble. It is equally easy to get sucked into ‘furlough’ games that are being shared with you on social media by friends who have a lighter workload than you.
The distraction of social media will seem the most threatening to your productivity when working from home and can lead to hours of your day being wasted replying to comments and watching videos.
Tip: Limit time on your phone to designated breaks, which will cut down your Social Media activity. If you are finding the apps particularly distracting or negative, try a small digital detox and remove them from your phone for a day or even a week to lessen temptation.